Tarp Trap: 1957 Triumph TR3A

1957 Triumph TR3A

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A TR3 is on my bucket list and I’ve had a few bargains slip through my fingers. I’m not sure if this is one of them though. It has been parked under a tarp for the past 8 years. The only thing those tarps are good for though is trapping in moisture so the rust can work its magic from the inside out! This one is also missing its title, so I’m having a hard time seeing the upside here. Still, the idea of doing some elbow dragging does make this project tempting. All the parts are available and this is a body on frame design so the restoration wouldn’t be too hard. Right? It’s located in Burlingame, California and is listed here on craigslist for $6,500.

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  1. Terry J

    Had one 40 years ago. Edge of town was a new subdivision going in and a street had been built, perfectly round circle about 50 yards in diameter. I got that TR3 going around, faster and faster until it was in a 4 wheel drift. POP! POP! Huh ? What was that? Drove back home and pulled into my driveway…tinkle tinkle tinkle. Got out looked it over….I was popping spokes on my wire wheels. FUN little car, and pretty fast too. :-) Terry J

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  2. Bruce

    Nice car. Might be worth the asking price if there were more pictures included. Might have to think about picking this one up and restoring it.

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  3. Rick

    Pretty sure that’s a ’58 (or later) ’57 was still a small mouth

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    • Jim

      Large mouth grille started in September 1957 at TS22014. “Year” was always a little sketchy because many places ended up titling them by the year of sale for that particular car. Official “Model Year” wasn’t really a thing with most British manufacturers like it was with your Fords and Chevrolets.

      The year on the title on these ends up being a little vague depending on the circumstances of when and where each individual car ended up first. Commission number is the only real guide you can go by when trying to figure out which left-handed muffler bearing you need to satisfy the concours judges. And even then “first in-first out” inventory control was not even remotely enforced at the factory as they were reaching into a bucket of parts on a Friday afternoon.

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  4. Jesper

    Wath a shame, to leave it like that, forgotten in the corner. Why not put it in the garage behind??
    And under a tarp, it was better only cover up the cabin, so the car can get air.

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  5. Roger Owen

    They are known as TR3A in the UK, The TR3 looking more like the TR2 at the front end. At this price, I’d be tempted to snap it up. Wrong side of the pond for me though.

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  6. Peter R

    deleted by author – clearly somebody thought it was a deal. I owned a ’60 TR3A back in the day – one of my favourite memories – now I’m not sure I could get in or out of one

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  7. Brian MitchellMember

    this is a little better than mine looked when I bought it in 73, although mine was shiny and running. Parked it in 74 for an overseas assignment. Started resto in 80 when I returned, finally finished in 2007. What????? 27 years isn’t the norm for a restoration? Don’t rush, do it right. (Actually ran outa $$$ a cupla times.) It’s been a lot of fun over the last nine years and has captured a bit of show hardware too. California car? $6500? Running or at least engine free? Why not? My insurance company values mine at around $30K and it’s not a concours car. Lots of potential and, did I say, FUN! Not at home so can’t add a pic.

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  8. Sebtown

    I owned a 58 in the mid 60’s and have lusted for one ever since. With retirement only weeks away I’m a player for the right TR3, unfortunately this one isn’t it.

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  9. brakesevo

    Front end much too new for a ’57 unless it was damaged and repaired with newer parts at some point in it’s life. The fastest tractor you’ll ever drive!

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