Classified Find: 1961 Triumph TR3A Project

If you’re looking for the pure British sports car experience, Triumph’s TR series is always a good choice. While the later 6-cylinder cars offer more power, the earlier 4-cylinder cars are lighter and a bit more primitive, which might not sound that great but actually adds up to a great experience. That being said, if you want some basic features such as door handles and locking trunk the TR3A or later cars are going to be your best bet. This 1961 Triumph TR3A is a big project but looks like a good one to take on. You can find it here on Barn Finds Classifieds in Rochester, NY with a $5,800 asking price.

Reader Jeff W purchased this TR as a project three years ago with plans on restoring it. At the time, the 2.0-liter engine was running but we don’t know its current situation. He acquired a lot of the needed parts to fix it, but he has one too many projects to tackle and he’s realized he isn’t going to get to this one. He also ordered a copy of the factory records from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, which offers a bit of the car’s history and all of it’s vital numbers.

Here’s a look at some of the parts that currently in the car. It looks like all the major pieces are here but in need of restoration. Replacement parts are readily available for these, so it might be easier to just replace many of these parts rather than restore them. It will really come down to your budget and how original you want that car. Given how much work is needed here, we would go the easy route and replace anything that needs extensive work.

This is going to be a big project, but these cars are truly special machines. There’s just something about dropping down into one of these low slung roadsters behind the massive banjo steering wheel and setting off with the wind in your hair.


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    I hate to ask, but does it have a usable frame under it?

    Like 5
    • Bob Reynolds

      You’ve got to be kidding,lucky if you get 1,500.

      Like 2
  2. redwagon

    If you have to ask ……. you cannot afford it. ;-0

    Like 3
  3. JMB#7

    Please define “usable” and then explain usable for what. Looks like a parts car to me.

    Like 2
  4. DLegeai

    Parts car at best, with few usable parts….I just don’t see anyone paying 6K for this, just saying.

    Like 4
  5. Johnny

    $6,000 for THAT when you can buy one in better shape and drive it. I like tinkering and fixing up old things,but this does,nt look like much to work with. Plus its not a bubble fender like the older ones . That are more valuable. I have a fender. Had one given to him in better shape.but theirs always someone who has more money then they know what to do with and will try to impress someone buy rolling out a wad of money. You,d be better off just start buying new parts and find one with a good frame with title or bill of sale . That can be liscened on the road.

    Like 2
    • Brakeservo

      What’s this “bubble fender” you refer to? I’ve owned a number of TR3s from the 12th one built to a very late TR3B but have never heard that term.

      Like 2
      • Little_Cars

        I was wondering the same thing and I’ve been around TRs since 1969. Could he be referring to a Bug Eye Sprite? Or maybe a TR2 with more “snout” up front? Johnny….do tell!!

  6. Little_Cars

    If I’m going to part with upwards of $6k to buy and transport this car, seller please try to use sharper photographs and not pictures of photos or shots off a computer screen. This is 2020 for gosh sakes!!! Last pile of TR3 I helped a friend dredge out of a Tennessee barn we paid $1500 for whole car and spares and the owner is still calling us five years later to take the rest off their hands.

    Like 1
  7. DonP

    This car is one where my Dad’s old comment holds true. “Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it”.

    Considering the visible rust, I’d bet the frame is in rough shape too. Sure, parts are readily available, but at $6K I expect a better starting point. Fully restored, it’s a great little car that can hold it’s value and travel at Interstate speeds all day. I’ve had mine since 1967 and rebuilt the engine for the 3rd time last Summer.

    But … there are a lot of TR series cars in garages and barns that are a better starting point at a far more reasonable price.

    Like 2
  8. Armstrongpsyd Doug Armstrong Member

    What do rust free TR3s in daily driver shape go for these days. Buying many new parts doesn’t seem to capture the idea of original very well.

    Like 1
  9. William Barlik

    More and more of cars in parts only condition are popping up as resto projects with unrealistic price the economy slows and market becomes flooded with way better opportunities, hold on to your cash and wait another couple months!

    Like 2

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