1960 TRIUMPH TR3AView vehicle description
For a car manufacturer whose last sporting car languished deep in its past, The Standard Motor Company took a distinct chance with its new TR sport car. MG and Jaguar and their respective North American sales successes proved to be the spur for it, and oh boy, didn’t the company just put its finger into the automotive pie and pull out a plum.
Utilising the rugged Standard Vanguard engine (here in 1991cc form to qualify for the under-2-litre sports car racing class), a basic separate chassis and Mayflower front suspension, the new car proved to be a prime mover: 100mph+, anyone? Buyers certainly agreed, and its low-cost/high-speed combo proved to be a veritable winner.
Success on the sporting field proved instant with success on the 1954 RAC Rally, and much, much more following in its footsteps. In 1955, the ‘2 became the TR3, with an egg-crate front grill and lo and behold, courtesy of some Le Mans testing front disc brakes! Two years later, the ‘3 became the TR3A, now with a full-width grille, external door handles and locking boot handle. Despite the release of the new-fangled TR4, a US-only TR3B followed in 1962.
It doesn’t matter however, which flavour of TR2-through-TR3 that you choose for each provides the same raw, rugged and spartan driving experience. Oh, and a top speed north of 100mph.
Today their driving pleasure remains undiminished, and we’ve got a truly cracking example of a TR3A here for you – a concours winner, nonetheless.
“This is a truly superb TR3A fitted with overdrive; they just do not get much better,” says vendor David Fryer. “It’s a genuine, matching-numbers, UK supplied car (originally supplied to Northern Ireland).”
The car was originally restored circa 25 years ago (there are photographs in our picture gallery, below), with the owner immediately prior to David having further work carried out in 2016. This included having it stripped of all opening panels and subjected to a full, high-quality bare metal respray. “All chromework, lights etc., were replaced with new items at the same time.”
David says he’s spent far too much money on the car over the years, but alas that’s always the way with the best classics. It has a number of upgrades including a rack and pinion steering conversion, alloy radiator, electric fan, uprated starter motor, electronic ignition, electronic fuel pump, sports coil, Gaz rear shock absorbers, unleaded head, TR4A inlet manifold and stainless-steel exhaust system, HS6 carburettors, a spin-on oil filter, and ethanol proof hoses and filter. All of which combine to make it significantly more drivable than an OE example.
It currently has a £35k valuation (included) from the Triumph Sports Six Club, which makes the estimate range (£22k-£26k) seem like a veritable bargain.
“This is a truly beautiful car throughout and has to be one of the lowest mileage, lowest owner RHD UK-supplied TR3As on the market. It won the ‘Best in Class’ category at the 2020 Malvern Classic Car show and I’m only selling as I’ve just bought myself a TR4!”
On the Outside
The Sebring White paint, applied during that 2016 bare metal respray remains in show-winning class condition and the colour really suits the TR3A’s sporty little profile, contrasting nicely with both the black tyres and other black trim items. Panel fit looks to be excellent with no evidence of any sag in those doors and the beading betwixt wings and body has been nicely finished.
Brightwork, most of it fitted new also in 2016, positively gleams. There’s a lot of it, so that’s a good thing and it lends the car a real visual bang. The wire wheels are a particular highlight looking superb when the car’s static and even better when it’s arrowing towards 100mph+ (ahem, that’d be 70mph, your Maj’s representative of the highway). They’re shod in relatively fresh Vredestein rubber, as is the unused spare wheel that you’ll find in that storage area hidden behind the number plate panel.
Up top, the convertible frame is in rude health as is the hood itself, side-screens and tonneau cover. All rubber seals remain in lovely supple condition.
Yup, she’s certainly a looker.
On the Inside
The cabin has been treated to a cheeky upgrade with a full black interior replacing the original Red Vynide interior. It is still settling in so remains in pretty much pristine condition; there are two nicks worth noting though, a one inch one towards the front of the driver’s seat and an ‘r’ shaped one on the outer bolster of the same seat. These a minor however and overall, it looks stunning.
Elsewhere, the chrome-ringed dials gleam in an excellent dashboard and carpets are relatively unworn (there is a dark mark on the upper right-hand-corner of the plastic insert on the driver’s mat, but a touch of back-to-black product should return this area to as new). A hardy protective rubber over mat is fitted in the passenger footwell. Lifting all carpets reveals superb rust-free Sebring White metal.
The original three-spoke Bakelite steering wheel is present, and even the wiring under dashboard is exceedingly tidy. Up top, the soft-top roof headlining condition confirms it’s perfect and relatively unused condition. The only thing requiring a bit of fettling is the gear lever shroud, which has come a little loose and needs resecuring.
“It has an absolutely beautiful underside from front to back,” says vendor, David Fryer. And he’s not wrong; check out the photographs of this car’s immaculate undercarriage in our photo gallery, below – it is superb. There’s not a single jot of corrosion anywhere near the chassis, instead it’s beautifully black and fully Dinitrol protected.
Okay, that’s piece of mind out of the way… now let’s get down to the driving. “It is stunning to drive,” adds David. “Lovely, peppy, direct and fun.”
For proof of the second of that above triumvirate, go to 4mins 12secs on our video below for a bit of exhaust fruitiness – now, imagine that at full chat. It is a lovely sounding little tyke.
We can confirm that it goes, stops and handles just as well as David intimates. Gearshifts are smooth; power progressive, and the overdrive works perfectly. Brakes too (remember discs at the front!), are sharp. The upgrades combine to ensure that this example performs head and shoulders above a standard example. The rack-and-pinion steering is a particular highlight.
Further to that, just pop the engine and you’ll find a concours level engine bay – it is tooth-brush-clean cracking. That famously rugged Standard Vanguard engine sits front and centre, with a gleaming chrome rocker cover and twin SU carburettors breathing through matching chrome pancake-style K&N air filters.
It is lovely with a capital ‘L’.
In the history file you’ll find a current MOT test certificate that runs until 18/05/2022, as well as a number of expired certificates from recent years. The original buff logbook is present, as is the car’s V5C registration document.
There are a huge number of invoices from the last few years proving David’s assertion that, “I’ve spent far too much money on it”. We won’t do him the disservice of tallying it all up but suffice to say that the Triumph has had considerable outlay, to get it into its current superlative aesthetic and driving conditions.
It's certainly well worth your time carrying out due diligence by flicking through our electronic gallery to see the breadth of works carried out. You’ll also find a certificate from the Standard Register, as well as rolling road dyno print out and a selection of photographs from the restoration process.
Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of this and other paperwork to support our claim that this car has been restored and then maintained to the highest of standards.
What We Think
You have three main choices when buying a classic car: 1. Buy the best you can. 2. Buy a fair to middling example. 3. Buy a fixer upper. If you can afford it, then no 1 would be our choice every single time. Trust us, it’ll most likely work out cheaper in the long run, while providing all the immediate aesthetic and driving satisfaction you require.
In terms of the Triumph TR3A, this car is a No. 1. As the owner says, “it’s as good underneath, as it is up above”. Further to that, it has some upgrades for enhanced driveability and presents exceedingly well indeed.
As such, we think this lovely example of the breed will go for somewhere between £22,000 and £26,000. For us, at either end of the spectrum, that’s not a lot of pounds and pennies given its condition and driving and ownership pleasures on offer.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of suppliers we work with regularly including finance and storage companies, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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- Location: The The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
- Seller Type: Private
- Odometer Reading: 26728
- Chassis Number: VIN - TS73157
- Engine: 1991
- Gearbox: Manual
- Steering position: Right-hand drive
- Color: White
- Interior: Black
- Estimated Price: £22,000 - £26,000