Triumph TR4 - I'm in love with my car
There's many songs about cars and the love of driving, written by many artists from differents music kinds, Queen aren't an exception, like this song written by Roger Taylor demonstrate.
“I'm in love with my car” was released in 1975 as B side of the Queen's single “Bohemian Rhapsody” entirely written and sang by Roger Taylor, the song was inspired by Jonathan Harris, a roadie of the band, and by his Triumph TR4. The song is dedicated to Harris himself, with those lines : “Dedicated to Jonathan Harris, boy racer to the end"
“ I'm in love with my car, gotta feel for my automobile ”
Sangs Taylor, a sentence any petrolhead can relate with for sure, the words are powerful and passionate, as the music is, in this love songs about cars.
Before have a look at the history of the Triumph TR4 let's have a look at the official video of the song, a little gem, showing old racing cars.
Fun facts :
Taylor wanted so badly the song to be picked as B-side for Bohemian Rhapsody that he locked himself in a cupboard, refusing to get out until the band agreed.
The revving at the end, it’s a record of the Alfa Romeo Spider Rogers Taylor drove at the time.
Triumph TR4, British soul, Italian design.
The TR4 was produced by Triumph Motor Company from 1961 to 1965, the chassis and drivetrain of the car were based on the previous TR sports models, but the body was designed by Giovanni Michelotti, an Italian designer who worked for coachbuilders like Vignale and Pininfarina.
Michelotti's design was particularly innovative, the TR4 is in fact the first production car with a unique hardtop roof, with an integral roll bar and a detachable center panel, along with a glass rear window called backlight. This system was employed and become famous five years later, thanks to the Porsche 911/912 Targa, in fact, this kind of roof is generally better known as Targa top, thanks to the success of the Stuttgart's factory model.
The roof was also replaceable with a foldable vinyl insert, held in place by a support frame, called “Surrey Top” which was offered as an optional.
Another relevant point was the wind-down windows, less expensive than the old side curtains of the previous models, and a reasonably spacious boot thanks to the more practical design of the rear.
The engine, a Standard inline four liters, the same of its predecessor, the TR3, was improved increasing the bore size, from its initial 1991 cc to 2138 cc, and was placed at the front. The manual four gear transmission was available with an electric operated “Laycock de Normanville” overdrive and a rack and pinion steering, which significantly improved the performance respect to the old models.
The TR4 was indeed successful, more than 40.000 cars were built in the few years of production, and it achieved good results in sales even outside the U.K. thanks to a charming design matched with a nifty attitude.
It's not surprising at all that Jonathan Harris, the Queen's roadie was so in love with this car, because look at it, who wouldn't fall for this little beauty?
Obviously, for Harris, his Triumph was the love of his life, but each of us as his own, at which car would you dedicate this song? Let me know in the comments!