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Texas Roadster: 1961 Triumph TR3


As a confirmed Triumphaholic, I’m always interested when readers send us TR finds. This 1961 TR3A was sent in by Matt K., and it looks like a great candidate for a full restoration, although I’m not too sure about the buy-it-now price. Listed here on eBay for a buy-it-now of $6,500, but with regular bidding below $1,500 (more realistic), this TR is located in Winnsboro, Texas.


I remember those aftermarket rear corner bumpers from a catalog somewhere–were they AMCO? The white showing back through the degradation of the green paint certainly is an interesting look. This part of the car looks pretty solid, although a shot of the trunk floor shows some corrosion at work.


Although the picture quality isn’t terrific, you can see some rust through on the sills and rear fenders. While replacement and patch panels are available, the fit usually leaves something to be desired. If you take on a car like this, be sure to reinforce the body if you pull it off the frame, or it’s almost impossible to get everything to fit back correctly.


I have never seen a more unusual steering wheel fitted to a TR. I’m guessing this is a Grant or similar drag wheel. No overdrive switch and no “O” at the end of the serial number unfortunately means no electric overdrive on this car. The floors will probably require replacement to be fixed properly based on the rust holes.


I wish there were details about the engine–at least whether it is seized or not. The 1991cc wet-liner four-cylinder is known to be a robust engine, but requires a little more skill to rebuild correctly due to the wet-liner design. I don’t think this car is worth the buy-it-now price, but who knows what it may go for in the regular auction? What do you think it’s worth, and would you take it on?


  1. bcavileer

    I think 1500 is about right… needs everything. Parts are thankfully available but the stuff is not the quality of the original. This is the one TR i still want to do. Having restrored Heralds, Spitfires, a 4 and a 6 and owned a new 7 in 1975 the 3 is the only one I havent played with yet. Sure is tempting! The original Old English White is the right colour too…

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    • Julles

      It would be tempting at $1500. not at his BIN price. Besides, you haven’t had Triumphs until you have had a GT6+ and a Stag. Both are classic beautiful designs and a lot of fun to drive.

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  2. Norman Reyome

    Good Grief…… It will be a Triumph to the man that fixes this up and makes it roadworthy…..

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  3. brakeservo

    Let’s see, bodywork – $10,000. Paint & Chrome – $10,000. Rebuild engine, trans, brakes etc, – up probably at least $10,000. Then there’s interior, top, tires, hmmm, probably another $10,000. Stuff you didn’t anticipate, gee at least $5,000 and now we’re at $45,000 not including purchase price.

    But the good news is it will probably be worth at least $25,000 when done!!

    Sounds like something the government can take on!!

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  4. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Wow, so much negativity! While I won’t argue with some of the numbers here if you are contracting for the work…don’t any of you guys do this stuff yourselves? I couldn’t afford any of the cars I have if I hadn’t done the rebuilding/replacing myself. Sure, I can’t chrome anything, but there’s not that much to do on a TR3 anyway. There are reupholstery kits available, you can learn to paint a car, and rebuilding an engine is a good way to learn by doing. I realize that doesn’t work for everyone, but I didn’t know anything when I started either…just read a lot of books (yes, this is pre-internet), got a lot of help when I joined car clubs, and wasn’t afraid to ask a lot of questions. Just an opinion–don’t intend to offend anyone.

    Like 1
  5. erikj

    Jamie, Thanks for putting that out there!!!!!!!!!!! I here that all to often. Yes this car is overpriced,but If you look at this project and have a comment,please don’t talk about this and that that will cost x-$ at shop prices.go look for something better or best-learn how to do some of the work yourself.better yet. spend some money and get one in good shape or restored. Sorry, a nerve popped. LOL

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  6. DT

    maybe Cal-custom

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  7. Rex Rice

    I had one of these when I got married, but it hadn’t been under water.

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  8. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Peter R. tells us it’s on eBay again! Buy it now is down $2,000 at $4,500!


    Like 0

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