Live Auctions

Barn Stored for 40 Years: 1960 Triumph TR3

This 1960 Triumph TR3 has been locked away in a barn for 40 years after last being registered in 1980. The car looks every part like the barn find the seller describes, and while it does have rust, it also seems complete enough to justify taking on the bodywork. The TR3 has long been a favorite among sports car enthusiasts and British car fans alike, and has emerged as a collectible classic that doesn’t have a ridiculously high cost of entry. Bidding for this TR3 is under $2,000 at the moment, and it’s listed here on eBay with no reserve in Newfane, New York.

Out in the daylight, the TR3 looks quite attractive sitting low on wire wheels with a matching red interior. The body looks good overall, but you can see where the seller has noted the presence of rust, which is in the rockers and lower fenders. While this will warrant repair, it doesn’t look all that bad, especially for a vintage car residing in the snow belt. In fact, I’d bet it would have been even rustier if it hadn’t gone into long-term storage in the early 80s. The TR3 looks complete, with most if not all trim accounted for, and a soft top that appears salvageable from a distance. All lenses and chrome pieces look to be intact as well.

The interior brings more good news, with no major signs of disassembly or rodent damage (though it’s impossible to assess from afar just how bad that may or may not be.) The dash and all switchgear remain intact and the bucket seats and door cards look perfectly usable as-is. The seller doesn’t describe any major issues inside the cabin, and overall, this is a much better picture of health than I was expecting for a car that’s been off the road with its windows down as long as this TR3 likely has. If you do find a missing component, the seller’s listing includes a picture of a large pile of spare parts that will be included with the sale.

The engine appears complete but the seller has not attempted to turn it by hand or otherwise prep it for starting. The TR3 does roll, but aside from quickly inspecting to see if the frame had any rot-through, no other major inspections were performed. So, you are taking a gamble that the rust isn’t any worse than what you can see from the outside and that the engine isn’t frozen. Fortunately, the no reserve listing should keep the price down, and few cars have as loyal and as passionate of a following as a Triumph TR3 – meaning spares and advice should be in generous supply. Summer’s coming, and it doesn’t get much better than a TR3 for top-down cruising.


  1. Solosolo ken tilly UK Member

    It’s actually a TR 3a not a TR 3. The 3 has an open mouth feeding the radiator with air and the 3a has a wide grin as per this one on offer. Otherwise I think they were just about identical.

    Like 1
  2. Derek

    Ooo, what’s that sitting next to it (apart from “mostly missing”)?

    • Solosolo ken tilly UK Member

      Looks like some type of tractor. IMO.

  3. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    At the edge of Lake Ontario…right around the corner. They never use salt up there, do they. Perhaps it was only driven in the summer.

  4. JohnfromSC

    OK, I’ll be the one to say it. Nice to see the original barnfind picture, but please wash it and clean it if you want to sell it.

    The only valid exception I know of is a guy around me here who found an original 70 Chevelle 454, 4 speed in a barn that he trailers to local shows in ” as found” condition including the original grime. It draws crowds, half of whom say “cool”, the other half who say ” Gee, clean it up and drive it.” And that’s his objective, because it’s not for sale.

    This one is for sale, and cleaning would help show what’s underneath.

    Like 1
  5. William Bussler

    If you can do 90% of the work yourself you can restore this for about $25,000. And when your done you’ll have a beautiful car worth about $25,000. Maybe a little moe if you’re good. But the fun factor is worth a lot more when these are done right.

    Like 1
  6. hugh anger

    Yes, this is a TR3 A and as previously stated the TR3 had a small front mouth with small grill often called an egg box grill. Wish I could take this gem on but old age prevents that. I hope it has another life.

  7. Kenn

    Unless restoring to concourse condition I fail to see why it would take $25K to restore this, assuming doing 90% yourself.

    Like 1
    • SSPBill

      Agreed. I keep a GT6 running with NAPA parts on a college man’s budget. I would argue I improved the reliability too. Most of a resto budget will be spent on those wire wheels.

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