Like many automobile manufacturers of the early twentieth century, Triumph got its start in the bicycle business, starting in 1887. Triumph followed the natural progression to the new world of motorcycles near the turn of the century, followed by a 3-wheeled cyclecar in 1903. It wasn’t until twenty years later that they built their first four-wheeled motorcar, and after a few hit-and-miss years, the company’s early automotive success came with the Super Seven of 1928.
After separating the motorcycle and automobile businesses in 1936, the struggling four-wheel side of Triumph was acquired by Standard Motor Company three years later. Triumph finally found its sweet spot with the pretty and lithe TR2 sports car of 1953, which had its sights set squarely on the burgeoning American roadster market. Powered by a 1,991-cc overhead-valve inline-four sourced from the Standard line and wrapped in a distinct and stylish body, the short-lived TR2 formed the basis for the enormously successful TR3, which in turn set the stage for the iconic TR series of sports cars that followed.
The TR3’s shape evolved directly from the TR2, carrying over the earlier car’s curvaceous wings, inset headlamp pods, and a dramatically cut-down cockpit that was akin to a Jaguar XK120 in miniature. It was revised in 1957 (unofficially becoming the “TR3A”), gaining a full-width alloy grille and other subtle changes. Performance was also quite brisk thanks to the torquey twin-carb inline-four, rated for 100 horsepower in later iterations, giving the TR3 sufficient grunt to outpace its rivals from MG handily. The TR3 earned Triumph a place as a fixture of the British sports car industry, with millions of loyal enthusiasts worldwide.
Offered here is a desirable later-production 1960 “TR3A,” pleasingly restored in the classic livery of British Racing Green over a tan interior. It is the subject of an attractive driver-quality cosmetic restoration, with good quality paintwork and detailing. Since its restoration, it appears well maintained and remains delightfully appealing, being well-suited for regular exercise in club-level events, rallies, or weekend excursions in the countryside. Exterior brightwork and trim are in excellent condition, including the bumpers, alloy grille, and chrome wire wheels. The wheels wear Vredestein Sprint Classic radials, which give it the proper stance and looks, paired with modern, surefooted handling.
The tan upholstery provides a pleasing contrast to the dark green paint. Seats, dash, door cards, and cockpit rails are trimmed using authentic-style materials. The cockpit is in good overall condition, displaying some indications of regular use, including light soiling of the carpets and imperfections of the seat cover fit. Instruments and switchgear are authentic, period-correct items, and it retains the original banjo steering wheel along with a walnut AMCO shift knob. The top, covered in proper tan vinyl, stows neatly behind the seats and features a matching boot cover.
Lifting the bonnet reveals Triumph’s robust little twin-carb OHV four. This car’s engine bay is orderly, with driver-level detailing and signs of use and maintenance. It has been updated with a spin-on oil filter adapter for ease of service, and the carbs are topped with correct AC pancake air filters. The engine runs well, sending power through a factory four-speed gearbox and on to the rear wheels via a newly serviced driveshaft. Suspension and undercarriage components are similarly tidy and orderly, with signs of road use in keeping with this car’s usable character.
Lightweight, elegantly simple, and with punchy performance, the TR3 is the quintessential classic British roadster, and this fine example is ready for its next enthusiastic caretaker.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 6752
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