Increasingly Rare: 1960 Triumph TR3

Although never officially called it, this 1960 Triumph TR3 is loosely referred to a TR3A, as it was an update of the original TR3, and was introduced in 1957. We don’t get a lot of information from the owner about the car, but it is a car that could represent a worthwhile restoration project. You will find the Triumph listed for sale here on eBay. It is located in Washington, Pennsylvania, and is offered with a clear title. The owner has set the opening bid at $500, but there is a BIN option of $5,000.

The owner states that “what you see is what you get.” The body is largely complete, but the grille is missing. We get no indication of the condition of the floors or the frame. Likewise, we get no indication of the condition of the 1,991cc engine, but the owner does state that he hasn’t tried to start it. The car is fitted with a 4-speed manual transmission but does not have overdrive. We do know that the car rolls freely and that the drivetrain is complete, which is about all that we have to work with.

Given the general lack of information that we have on the car, you are probably wondering why it might be a worthwhile project. The TR3A was built between 1957 and 1962. Triumph built around 58,000 of them, which doesn’t make them particularly rare. However, fewer than 9,500 remain in existence worldwide. If the car is solid, then a restoration on one of these is incredibly straightforward. Good examples are selling for prices upwards of $20,000. Even at the BIN price, that leaves a fair bit of room to perform a restoration that makes economic sense.

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Comments

  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Another great Ebay ad. Curios about the fewer than 9,500 remaining in existence worldwide. Is that known from registrations?

    Like 2
  2. Had Two

    A large Oak tree fell over on the one that I once owned, helping to cull the herd…….

    Like 5
  3. Martin Horrocks

    I´m pretty sure this was officially sold as TR3A and superceded the TR3, at least in the UK, which never got the TR3B.

    Like 3
  4. Moparman

    Funny looking little car in a crude sorta way ,looks like a rough ride, makes you wonder why they even bothered with the little doors;)

  5. Fxdaarp

    Love the “owner hasn’t tried to start it”, a really bogus term that probably means”engine is seized or blown”.

    Like 1
  6. ken TILLY Member

    My Triumph had a badge on the bonnet that proclaimed that it was a TR 3A and as far as I can remember all of them had the same TR 3A badge. Maybe they were used only badged as such in South Africa.

    • Britcarguy

      I believe that your car had a specific “TR3A” badge that must have been unique for South Africa because there is no mention elsewhere I could find. It’s a surprise that a cost-conscious company such as Triumph would produce a special cloisonne badge just for one export country. There were different badges for early and late TR3s as indicated on page 19 of the TRA judging guide here, but no image of a TR3A badge: http://www.triumphregister.com/TRA%20Guide%20Binder%202004.pdf

      • ken TILLY Member

        Hi Britcarguy. You could be correct re the South African badging as I have just remembered another difference between my TR and all of the others in the club. Where all of the other cars had radiused corners on the body where the boot lid sat, mine had 90 deg. corners.

  7. RicK

    Back in the mid nineties I bought a non-running TR3A for $3500 that had been redone to a strong #2 condition in 1977 and then put away in storage. After I got it home I had the gas tank and carbs redone and it was a driver (did the brake cylinders too). Anyhow I drove it for a couple of years and in 1996 sold it for $6500 – that’s all it was worth then. Of course the price for decent TR3’s immediately began to spike upward much to my dismay. Would have kept it had I known

    Like 3
    • ken TILLY Member

      Hi Rick. Just about every interesting car I have ever owned only started to appreciate in value to a great degree the day after I sold it !!!

      Like 11
    • Robert L Roberge

      Oh, do I know that story. 1953 MGTD; $650, 1959 AH 100-6; $1800. Who knew?

      Like 1
  8. Coventrycat

    Enough of them show up at car shows every summer to make me think there’s at least a million of them out there.

    Like 3
  9. Jon Rappuhn

    I had a very good friend who was a Triumph dealer and while I don’t remember the badging, I know he sold them new as TR3A’s. That was here in eastern Wa.

    Like 1
  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    always liked the early ones…..

    Like 1
  11. Rex Rice

    I did my honey moon in a ’56 TR, Must have worked care here we are all these many years later.

    Like 3
  12. Jim Mac

    Officially all TR3’s were simply TR3’s. Standard-Triumph never called them A’s or B’s. Really, they are all TR2A’s.

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