The unknown Tianjin TJ740.

We all know the Hongqi CA770, the Shanghai SH760 or the Beijing BJ212. The Tianjin TJ740 is a rather unknown product.  Time to show this interesting car.

It was my late friend Maurice Kelly who came up with a technical handbook called Qiche Gouzao (Motor Vehicle Model Information), published in 1975. A poor picture of a nice looking car called Tianjin TJ740, according the handbook equipped with a 1815cc engine.

Tianjin TJ740, in Qiche Gouzao (1975).But we had missed the cover of the magazine Qiche Jishu, edition 5/1973.

Qiche Jishu, May 1973, showing the Tianjin TJ740.

On this cover a car with a different front, also named Tianjing TJ740. And inside the magazine the technical details.

Recently (June 2019) a webpage on the internet showed some nice, until now unknown photos. And together with what I collected over the years, they make a nice item in which I will reconstruct what I can tell you about the TJ740.

According several sources, the Tianjin Auto Works have made only 63 cars, produced between 1973 and 1978.
My photos show cars with a lot of differences.
Let us start with the purple car here above. First, I can’t believe this is the real color of the car, I estimate that it was a black and white photo and that the photo is coloured afterwards.

Tianjin TJ740 , model 1. Photo Kuaibao.qq.com.

Let us call this car ‘model 1’. It is the very first series and it is quite different from the others. The technical description I mentioned before belong to this car: wheelbase 2580mm, LxWxH 4510x1667x1492 mm. Curb weight 1350kg, max. speed 140km/h. Engine 485Q, 4-cylinder, 75hp/5000rpm. Inside this magazine there is another picture showing three cars.

Qiche Jishu 1973/5, three Tianjin TJ740 (model 1).

The two cars to the left are the same ‘model 1”cars, the car to the right has a different grille.

The next car comes from a book. Felix Bai gave me the picture. I call this ‘model 2’, different from ‘model 1’: front with emblem, a chromestrip over the side, other wheelcovers.

Tianjin TJ740, ‘model 2’. Registration 29-07607.

‘Model 3’ is the car from Qiche Gouzao, with which I started at the top of this article. The chrome strip is lacking. The logo is round.

Tianjin TJ740, ‘model 3’, photo Kuaibao.qq.com.

And even three cars again.

Tianjin TJ740, three cars ‘model 3’, photo Kuaibao.qq.com.

It looks like the designers were inspired by the Toyota Crown S50 (1967-1971) but the Crown is much bigger.

Toyota Crown S50, photo Wikipedia.

This is all I have for you. Wait, one thing, except for the blue car (‘model 2’), the cars look high with big wheels. Probably 16 inch (BJ212?), and maybe the cars have a real chassis.

Any car left? NO, not to my knowledge.

And oh yes, and don’t forget, we need you for helping us!

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