Description

The Triumph TR3 is a British sports car produced between 1955 and 1962 by the Standard-Triumph Motor Company of Coventry, England. A traditional roadster, the TR3 is an evolution of the company’s earlier TR2 model, with greater power and improved braking. Updated variants, popularly but unofficially known as the “TR3A” and “TR3B”, entered production in 1957 and 1962 respectively. The TR3 was succeeded by the Michelotti-styled, mechanically similar Triumph TR4.

The rugged ‘sidescreen’ TR, so named for its employment of removable plexiglass side curtains, was a sales and motorsport success. With approximately 74,800 TR3s sold across all variants, the model was the company’s third best seller in the TR range, behind the TR7 (111,500 units) and TR6 (94,500 units) models.[7] The Triumph was campaigned in races, hill climbs, and rallies across Europe and North America, with several outright, team, and class victories to its credit.

In 1957 the TR3 was updated with various changes including a full width radiator grille and this facelifted model was commonly referred to as the Triumph “TR3A”. However the cars were not badged as such and the “TR3A” name was not used officially, as is evident from contemporary sales brochures. The “TR3A” was built between 1957 and 1962.

Although the facelifted TR3 is often referred to as the TR3A, it is badged as “Triumph TR3” The “TR3A” was a minor update from the TR3. The updates included the new wide front grill, exterior door handles, lockable boot handle and came with a full tool kit as standard (this was an option on the TR3). The total production run of the “TR3A” was 58,236. The TR3A was so successful that the original panel moulds eventually wore out and had to be replaced. In 1959 a slightly modified version came out that had raised stampings under the bonnet and boot hinges and under the door handles, as well as a redesigned rear floor section. In addition, the windscreen was attached with bolts rather than the Dzus connectors used on the early “A” models. It is estimated that only 9,500 of the original 58,000 built survive today. The Triumph TR3 is the first production car to include standard disc brakes, which were continued on the “TR3A” facelift. The car was known for its superior braking ability, making it an autocross favorite. The “TR3A” is often seen in vintage and production racing today. The “TR3A”, despite being over 50 years old, is still competitive in the E-production class of SCCA (Sports Car Club of America).

In June 1977, Road & Track magazine published an article titled “Driving Impressions: TR3A & TR250” in its 30th anniversary issue. It published a 0–60 mph (97 km/h) time of 12.0 seconds, power output of 100 bhp (75 kW) at 4800 rpm, observed kerb weight of 2,090 lb (950 kg) and fuel consumption of 28 miles per imperial gallon (10 L/100 km; 23 mpg‑US).