Rides from the Readers: 1964 Triumph TR4 and ’73 MGB GT

mitty road trip 1964 Triumph TR4 1973 MGB GT
Ian Crawford

Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.

Today’s article stars not one, but two petite British two-doors, one from the ’70s and the other from the ’60s. The first is a 1964 Triumph TR4. The automaker unveiled the TR4 in 1961, and the model’s success showed Triumph that it had tweaked all the right aspects of the vehicle. Though the 105-horsepower, 2138-cc inline-four carried over from the TR3, the TR4’s Michelotti-penned design was fresh and handsome, offering improved storage and ingress/egress.

Our other featured Brit is a 1973 MGB GT, whose Pininfarina-designed greenhouse helped popularize the body style we now know as “hatchback.” As of ’73, a V-8-powered model was available, though in rather limited numbers; most MGB GTs sported the 1.8-liter B-series inline four.

These vehicles belong to a pair of young men who are passionate about keeping British sports cars on the road. In the Pre-Pandemic Era, Ian Crawford (MGB GT) and Nick Tonini (Triumph TR4) embarked upon a road trip from Lexington, Kentucky, to Braselton, Georgia, for The Mitty, one of the oldest vintage racing weekends in the U.S. Naturally, Crawford and Tonini tackled the Tail of the Dragon—twice, actually, on both their southbound journey and the return trip—and made many impromptu sightseeing stops to allow the MG and Triumph time to cool off. One such “rest stop” occurred at Turks Service Center, an abandoned gas station now home to nothing but old mowers and weed whackers, and another at a particularly spectacular Appalachian vista.

Both Brits made the entire trek requiring nothing more than a few parking-lot oil fill-ups and, in the Triumph’s case, a parts-store run for a throttle return spring. Sure, the smell of scorched tires accompanied the MG wherever it went—the rubber didn’t quite clear the inner front fenders—and the Triumph’s convertible top did a half-hearted job, at best, of staying in place. Crawford and Tonini still accomplished the trip successfully, arriving safely at Road Atlanta to soak in the delights of vintage racing (though they remained only spectators) and trekking north again in honest vintage style: no radio, dead cell phones, telling time by looking at their watches.

Check out more photos from their road trip below:

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