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See Homepage. This page: Off-the-shelf tuning equipment to fit Triumph's TR2, TR3 and TR4 sportscars, by SAH Accessories.

SAH Accessories speed equipment.

In the 1960s, SAH were to Triumph engine tuning as Aquaplane were to sidevalve Fords, and Speedwell were to BMC cars. If you had a Triumph sportscar or saloon, and wanted extra performance from it, SAH Accessories, of Leighton Buzzard, were definitely the people to speak to. In later years the company changed ownership, and to this day continues to sell newly-developed parts to suit all the classic Triumphs, now under the name of Triumphtune (part of the Moss group).
Triumph tuning parts by SAH
The SAH (for "Sid A. Hurrell") catalogue shown here was issued in 1966, and covers the Triumph sportscars that were popular at the time, namely the TR2, TR3/TR3A, and the TR4. It is split into two parts - the first sections show some of their popular tuning parts (these pages are dated 1965), and to the rear is a fold-out price list, typed up on A4 sheets. As a one-time Triumph owner myself (the last being this 2.5 Spitfire), it makes for a very interesting read.

Engine components to suit the Triumph range.

These weren't just any old bolt-on goodies either, but properly-engineered solutions to making Triumphs go quicker. How fast your car went largely depended on how deep the pockets of your corduroy trousers were. The first option shown is a complete race-proved engine for the TR3 and TR4, available on an exchange basis and producing 135bhp. Special manifolds were bolted to a high-compression head, revised carburettor needles fed the fuel. A high lift cam was fitted, as were a new crankshaft, pistons, liners, a lightened flywheel, competition clutch plate and naturally new gaskets, bearings and so on. The whole engine was balanced too, and designed to be revved to 6000rpm. The cost? 155 GBP.
Ex-works Triumph TR4
If your pay packet wasn't suited to that level of expenditure, then you could always opt to improve things as you went along. A good starting point might be to make your engine breath better, so why not gain 8bhp from your TR's engine simply by handing over 17 5s 0d and walking away with an SAH four-branch extractor manifold, "Officially approved by Standard Triumph Ltd and used on the 'works' rally TR4 cars". Maybe a better option would have been to hang on for a while, save up some more money, and treat the top end of your Triumph's engine to a full package of modifications - namely the extractor exhaust manifold, gas-flowed cylinder head, and finally a polished inlet manifold. If you're engine suffered as a result of this top-end tuning, you could always re-condition it, and while it was in pieces on the bench, substitute the factory cam for a high-lift racing cam, again from SAH Triumphtune. An external oil cooler wouldn't have been a bad choice either.

Handling and stopping.

With your car's engine now churning out a healthy 120+ bhp, it would also be a good time to look at the TR's handling. The standard cars were ok in this department, but were always a compromise between outright handling and roadholding, while maintaining a reasonable ride comfort for the driver more accustomed to driving at 50mph, than hustling his car through the Esses at Le Mans. Owners of TR2s and TR3s were no doubt interested in the anti-roll bar kits that SAH had to offer, a bolt-on modification that could be fitted in an afternoon. A reduction in front tyre wear of as much as 50% was claimed for cars thus fitted.
Fitting aftermarket wheels was a mod that both improved the handling of a TR, and also looked rather good too. SAH would be happy to sell you a set of Minilite magnesium alloy wheels, something that would be high on the list of desirable car modifications for car tuners throughout the 60s and 70s. Even today the Minilite 'look' has a big following, although genuine wheels as opposed to look-a-likes are thin on the ground. With all this extra performance on offer, some thought really had to be given to uprating the car's anchors, and the benefits of a Girling Powerstop brake servo system were spelt out at some length within the catalogue.

Interior accessories for your Triumph TR.

Any press-on type who had a super-tuned engine under the bonnet of their Triumph, would be keen to keep an eye on their engine's behaviour while hurtling along at breakneck speeds. To do this, a bank of aftermarket accessory gauges would be essential. Again, SAH could help out. They listed a set of 2" diameter Smiths gauges in their catalogue, covering the following measures: oil temperature, oil pressure, ammeter, water temperature, vacuum and a combined oil pressure & water temperature gauge. An electric tacho (0-8000rpm) was also offered, as was a smart analogue clock, again designed to fit in an under-dash pod.
You could also opt for a sportier steering wheel, if the standard item was either too large, or getting a little dog-eared. Wood-rim wheels were popular, and two types were offered. The first, a three spoke drilled affair, heavily dished, had a rim made from African mahogany, epoxy-resined to the 1/4" steel inner rim. This wheel could be fitted to the TR4, TR4A, Spitfire 4 and Mk2, plus the Herald and Vitesse models. A leather rimmed wheel was also available, and could be ordered to suit the large Triumph 2000 saloon. Owners of the TR2, 3 and 3A could specify a less dished wheel, with elongated slots in each spoke rather than the circular drillings of the other wheels.
Rounding out the list of options designed to improve the interior ambience was the SAH Competition Bucket Seat, produced in glass fibre and available with three choices of rake. It came finished in either red or black PVC, and offered the press-on motorist greater comfort while behind the wheel, especially if cornering at speed.
TR4 and TR4A body parts from SAH Triumphtune

Bodywork modifications - TR4 & TR4A.

Two key areas of car modification lent themselves to making a car go quicker: increasing the power of the engine, and lightening the car that it had to propel. SAH could sell you a number of replacement fibreglass panels to suit your TR sportscar. Fibreglass panels are lighter than steel, which helps reduce the car's weight and therefore aids its performance. They also don't rust, something that British cars in those days were superb at (probably only shadowed by Italian products of the time), so it really was a win-win situation, as originality on what was still a modern-ish car didn't matter to most people back then. Owners of a TR4 or TR4A could buy a smart fibreglass hardtop for their car, glazed to the rear with a moulded perspex rear window. These hardtops were much lighter than the factory types, but perspex 'glass' is very prone to being scratched which was a real downside. Further weight-savings could be gained by binning the car's standard steel bonnet, and buying a fibreglass replacement that incorporated a cold air intake, designed to feed nice cool (dense) air straight to the carburettors. It would also feed bees and discarded crisp packets into the same vicinity of the engine bay, hence the need for quality air cleaners.

Bodywork modifications - TR2 & TR3.

Keen owners of the older TR2 and TR3 Triumphs needn't have felt left out though. A variety of panels were also on offer to suit these cars, which by 1965/66 were getting on a bit and probably looking a little past their prime. A snug fibreglass hardtop was available for the 2 and 3, supplied in primer ready to be sprayed to match the car's own bodywork. A fibreglass bonnet was also listed, offering a weight saving of 17 lbs when compared to the original steel bonnet, not to be sniffed at. It also incorporated a cold air intake to the carbs.

Other tuning goodies and options.

The catalogue shows just a small selection of the vast range of tuning and optional parts that SAH could supply. The A4 price list runs to 14 pages of closely-typed items, so even if you ran another make of car (say a Triumph-based Bond, or even an MG, shudder) chances are there would be bits and pieces of interest. Items such as the Kenlowe automatic fan, Lucas Sports Coil, wire wheel kits, racing aero-screens, clip-on Kontinental head rests, Britax safety belts, Selmar burglar alarm, Halda Speed Pilot, badge bars, luggage racks, mirrors and driving glasses could all be of interest to any motorist who wished to update or improve their car. Most surprising option of all perhaps, designed for the owners of the TR4/4A range, is a conversion to allow the use of a starting handle!
Return to the period car tuning companies section. Anyone interested in Triumph parts, whether for road or competition use, may find the Triumph classified ads section of interest. A screensaver featuring the various classic TRs can also be found here.
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