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STUNNING, FULLY RESTORED TR3, DISCS, LHD For Sale (1957)Triumph, after several false starts under the iron hand of Sir John Black, shocked the motoring world when it launched the pretty, efficient and remarkably fast TR2 in 1953, using the 2-litre Standard Vanguard engine to give a top speed of at least 107mph.
The rugged little TR rapidly became a favourite around the world, especially in USA, both for cruising and posing, and for serious rallying at which it proved remarkably successful. In 1955 it was given a little more power and a shiny grille to become the TR3 - arguably the prettiest of all the sidescreen TRs.
Rally and race experience led Triumph to become the first manufacturer to fit disc brakes to a production car, introducing them on the TR3 mid-way through production in September 1956. At the same time as the discs came a stronger rear axle, as the earlier one had been known to break a halfshaft under severe duress.
A year after improving the brakes, Triumph gave in to US market pressure that the car needed more 'bling', and made it the TR3A with full-width shiny grille (for many, losing the purity of the original style).
The point of this story is that the disc brake small-mouth TR3s, made for just one year, are the most sought after of all sidescreen TRs. They are eligible (and competitive in) many forms of motorsport and are a delight to drive.
This one left the factory on July 12, 1957 bound for France, with an exceptionally full specification that included an MPH speedo and whitewall tyres, suggesting it was ultimately bound for USA - presumably it was ordered by a US diplomat. Its most unusual colour scheme was Winchester Blue with Vermillion trim.
Its early history remains to be researched, which should be a fascinating exercise, starting with the two most recent previous owners in USA, both ladies, whose ownership takes us back at least 20 years and whose contact details are known.
The car was extensively restored in USA, including rebuilding the original (matching numbers) engine, the chassis, body and running gear. The panel fit is excellent, as many original details as possible were retained and the car is now as-new in almost every respect - including important aspects such as the steering box, which is the most precise we've come across in 30 years of driving TRs, and the very slick non-overdrive gearbox. NOTE: An all-synchro overdrive gearbox has just been acquired and can be fitted for a small extra charge if desired.
The restoration has been completed in UK over the last two years since importation and the car drives exceptionally well. It has featured in Classic Cars magazine, where its performance was found to be noticeably better than an MGC. It has been refined by a long-term TR owner to ensure it is the delight to drive that a good sidescreen TR should be, the latest fitment being new old stock rear shock absorbers, far better than the weak, recently-made ones fitted in USA.
The Vermillion trim (no longer available and a rather lurid orangey-red anyway) has been replaced by new black trim, and the Winchester Blue has been tastefully rendered in a very similar metallic shade that really suits the car. A heater is fitted, the hood and sidescreens fit well and have been tested at speed.
We are happy to meet Continental buyers at an airport or Channel port. UK buyers need not be put off by the LHD - the TR is narrow and nimble so the LHD is rarely noticed and overtaking is no problem even when driving solo.
The car is fully serviced, UK registered and taxed and MoT'd (even though it is exempt) to prove its mechanical integrity - in fact I have just driven it over 3500 miles around Europe taking in numerous mountain passes in the Dolomites, visiting Ljubljana in Slovenia and climbing the Stelvio and Gavia twice, without missing a beat - see www.facebook.com/LBLRallies. This is a superb car, ready to use and enjoy.