by Bruce Stutzman
If you were paying attention at the Summer Part you got
to peruse ADU4B. If not here is what you missed.
In 1964 the Triumph Competition Department decided to
again compete at the 24 hours of Le Mans. The last time they had been there was 1961 with the TRSís.
The turned this time to the Spitfire and started
development of a team of 4 cars. These cars were registered in England as ADU1B, ADU2B, ADU3B and ADU4B.
ADU4B was at the TRF summer part. Its proud owner is
Vern Brannon, the President of the Vintage Triumph Register. ADU4B finished 2nd in class at Sebring in 1965 and 1st in
class at Le Mans the same year. So this is the real deal.
The car looks like a GT6 with faired headlights. Not so,
however, GT6ís didnít exist until 1967. Actually it has an aluminum
body with a fiberglass fastback top attached.
The carsí 1147 c.c. engine produced 109bhp as raced in
1965. Although the were originally fitted with TR4 gearboxes, for 1965 the newly developed GT6 gearbox was fitted
because it was lighter. The also had aluminum cylinder
heads. The chassis frames were even thinner gauge steel to save weight.
The Triumph historians among us ma recognize a
difference in philosophy between the competition department
under Ken Richardson that closed in 1961 and the new competition
department under Graham Robson that opened in 1962. Whereas aerodynamics and lightweight were of little
concern during the development of the TRS (the frame was even beefed up and was thereby heavier then a TR3 frame)
the were very important in the development of the Spitfire Le Mans cars. The Le Mans Spitfires even had a higher top
speed then the TRS.
The two ďblokesĒ standing next to ADU4B in the
accompanying photo are former Triumph factor employees and are quite interesting. Chris Holbrook (on the left in the photo)
worked for Triumph from 1960 to 1970. Fred Nicklin (on the
right in the photo) was a very important person in the
development of both the TRS and the Le
Mans Spitfires as he was the
development test driver.
Their presence along with ADU4B made for a special
Summer Part this ear. And if y ou didnít know the were
And by the way Vern is also the owner of Ken Slagles
1981 SCCA production national championship TR8.
Fall leaf tour Phase 02
Itís time for phase 02 of the annual WPTA Fall Leaf tour.
Be read to tour the wild and wonderful great north and scope out some of the prettiest count side and farmland
youíve ever seen. Catch the change of season from the vantage point
of our British car!
This ear we plan to meet at the Kingís Restaurant at I-79
and Rt910 and be read to depart at 10:00 AM for a full day of back roads and colored leaves. The route will carry us due
north at first and the zigzag through some of the coolest
country and stop at several places of interest. We have
several surprises in store and, never ones to disappoint, probably
a beverage or two here and there. In between we will skirt the perimeter of a large forest or two.
Plans are being made to include an overnight so be
prepared, if you are so inclined, to spend the evening, with us
celebrating the coming of winter! There will be more specific info
I next months newsletter so make sure you put the date on the
calendar, and plan to have fun!!
Will be held at the Lawrence count Fair Grounds (I-79 To
Exit 105, Slipper Rock, Rt. 108 West), on October 19th and 20th.