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Jigsaw Puzzle: 1959 Triumph TR3

1959 Triumph TR3

Disassembled project cars are not for everyone. Getting everything put back together right can be a real challenge and there is no telling how many parts have already gone missing. Still, I would really love to own a TR3. So, this one found here on eBay is seriously tempting because the seller is only asking $3,800 or best offer. Luckily, it’s located in Hershey, Pennsylvania so transporting it all out to Idaho would be more hassle than it’d be worth. A Triumph enthusiast in the area might want to take a look though because the body appears straight and the seller claims that the engine is good. If you are close then it would be easy to visit the seller and get an idea of what all is there. This undertaking could be a huge risk, but it could also be an affordable entry into TR ownership!


  1. JW454

    You would have to know a great deal about these to put this one back together. I’d like to try it but no space right now. Plus I’ve never worked on one of these before. On the other hand… That’s never stopped me in the past.

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  2. Horse Radish

    I have thought about this puzzle-mania frequently.

    I assume the seller has realized that it is beyond his means to put this back together.

    Now, how can you even begin to think that you will recover any of your investment, if you completely disassembled a car down to every nut and bolt.

    1. it would be a daunting task even for a professional to put something like this back together.

    2. to find a buyer, who is willing to try, has the knowledge and/or a carbon copy car as a template to reassemble, Let alone have the money (and willing to part with it ) asked here…

    3. Logistics. To transport the “basket case” any kind of distance is a nightmare.
    Besides parts and bolts and little pieces lying around anywhere at the seller’s household, You would have to hire a separate helper in a distant city who is knowledgeable and willing to box all that stuff up.
    or be a local buyer.

    the ONLY feasible solution would be to sell it piece by piece.
    Which means years of listing or finding (possibly hundreds of) buyers who need those parts for their own project.
    Or selling it for a reasonable parts car price……

    At least I KNOW that I do not disassemble a car until I am ready to put it back together.

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  3. RickyM

    Sounds like the perfect challenge for Jamie! It would certainly keep him busy for a while…….

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Yes, it would! However, unfortunately, I have plenty of projects already and not enough time to do them!!!

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  4. Joe

    Horse Radish, Even with the disposable cash, a TR3 to copy from and having done restorations hindsight is 20/20. You have to be much younger then myself to take on a project like this. IMHO.

    Right now I am helping a friend restore a Sprite and a TD. At the same time. Yes he bought them in boxes and according to him he got a great deal. You do not really want to know what I think. When I explained last week the cost of restoring the gauges on the TD he thought I was kidding.

    My only worry is that He or I will die before these projects are done. Good news is we started with the car in the best shape and work on the other while we hunt parts for the stalledrokect, We have my TD as a model and I owned a Midget back in the day.

    Fun days are when he has 4 or 5 boxes for me when I arrive and he asks me to tell him where these parts go so he can label them. You have to love puzzles to even think of one of these projects.

    My experience is that it takes about four times the floor space to store a disassembled car then one you can drive into a garage.

    Good luck to the buyer.

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  5. Pat L

    I am currently restoring my ’48 MG TC that came if more parts than this project. And like a lot of you I’ve never done a TC before, heck I’ve never even sat in one! Okay, I’ve done my Morgan, TVR and others and will admit that there is a lot of head scratching but it’s totally doable. Half the “fun” is meeting other owners who are always ready to help or offer their cars to look at (many times). To me, restoring a car is 80% of the “fun”, driving it is the other 20% . Pat

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  6. Horse Radish

    I just read part of the Q & A on the bottom of the E-bay listing !

    The seller actually thinks he will sell this as is.
    The added traffic from “barn finds” must have really played with his mind !!
    If he does sell this as is, then the buyer is even more insane than the seller.
    They can share a cell at the loony bin !
    “Packing and shipping is the responsibility of the buyer…”
    “it can be containerized..for shipping overseas.”

    We had something similar done with a complete (although fragile and very rusty car, that was ready to snap in half).
    Luckily everything was still on the car and the seller offered to use his company forklift to load the container and tie it down free of charge, or else consider dishing out another $1000 for that..(as the seller is clearly mentioning, that he will NOT do that.)

    FINAL BILL : $4500 door to door , with customs, shipper and 10 other people in-between holding their hands out !! (skimpering on everything possible)

    THE BUYER, if he agrees to it , MUST BE ABSOLUTELY CLUELESS !!

    How much is one of these running and driving in decent shape ?
    MUST BE less than $10, 000 , what this whole song and dance will be at the end , for an disassembled basket case with stuff missing !

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  7. julian

    Owner seems to have run out of money.
    It’s a TR3a with external door handles.
    Body is off chassis and has been properly braced.
    Most bits we can see are VERY good by UK standards – where it is wet and salty!
    We can’t see the chassis – to see if it is rotted or has been “dinged”.
    Triumphs are not complicated because everything bolts together. Mechanically they are very tough.
    It will take time, but this is a very easy rebuild for anyone mechanically minded.
    And any missing parts are available from Moss or some other US supplier, who have a better range of spares than in the UK. (because most of them were exported.

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  8. seth

    This car belongs to a friend’s brother. When it was taken apart to do the body work it was documented. He is a car person and has several complete cars already done. Worth looking at. Always fishy when you get a request for overseas shipping. I smell some sort of scam. Someone in the know would not expect you to put in a container for free. I am sure that a smart buyer want to inspect before buying

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  9. Pat L

    I agree with you all, it is not worth the issues and cost around shipping it. But this is not to say that someone with a trailer and truck are not with in driving distance. At least when you buy it this way, nothing is hidden is it? No hidden surprises when you go to take it apart, this to me is a real bonus. But is it all there… ya that could be an issue. But even when I restored a few cars it was “all there” but not all stuff was usable anyways. As to the price, well in the state it is in I’d not pay any more, that is for sure. As for will the car be worth what you put in to it at the end, no probably not we all know they never are. But most of the enjoyment is in the building of it.

    Like 0

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