True Shed Find: 1960 Triumph TR3A

I’m not here to debate whether this is a barn (as the seller states) or a shed — either way this is a cool unearthed find that is now for sale for only $3,500. It’s located in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania and is listed for sale here on craigslist. Thanks to frequent finder Ikey H. for this genuine shed find!

If you have followed Barn Finds for any time at all, you know I’m the resident Triumphile on staff. One of the nice things about these relatively simple British body-on-frame constructed sports cars is how simple and robust they are. Despite the exterior rust that you can see in the sills and fenders, more than likely the frame is solid underneath. All parts needed to restore this car are readily available from several vendors and if you need an expert shop to do it for you those exist as well. A TR2/3/3A/3B offers a unique driving experience and will carry you back nostalgically to another time in a flash.

This particular car not only comes with the factory “hoodsticks” (top frame” but what I believe to be a factory hardtop; a fairly rare option. Even if you don’t want a hardtop for your car, it could be a valuable “sell-off” part to fund some of the restoration work needed. Or partially swap it for an overdrive transmission, because as far as I can tell this car doesn’t have one. It does look very complete and original though; the seller tells us they purchased it from the original owner!

What I think are two period map lights mounted on the passenger side have me wondering if this car was used for rallyes when new. Pace notes would provide vital clues to the navigator and sometimes rallyes would be run at night.

This should be a 1991 cc version of the venerable wet-liner Standard/Triumph four cylinder. Save the tractor jokes, please, this engine can be tuned to offer some nice torque and horsepower figures as well as being reliable. I hope someone buys this, joins both their local Triumph club (ask me if you need to get in touch with one) and the Vintage Triumph Register. Good luck and let us know if it’s you!

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Comments

  1. bobhess Member

    Looks like all the basic parts are there. If that frame is good it should be a good rebuild candidate. These cars are fun to drive and that “tractor” engine moves them pretty well. When they were first introduced they ran circles around almost all of the other sports cars.

    7
    • ken tilly

      I have owned an Austin Healey BN 1, a BN 7 with a V8 engine, MG TD, A and B, Triumph TR 2 and a 3 A and although the Healey and the MG B were more refined than the Triumphs, the 3 A with overdrive was the one that gave the most pleasure. If you ever get the offer to drive one, make sure you do as you will be very surprised.

      6
      • RJ

        I’ve had the same line-up, except a BT7 ( no V8) instead of the A. Never could find an overdrive for the TR until after the car was gone. The TD had a Volvo B20 – not a good idea, BTW.

        2
  2. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    A HS friend introduced us to the “power-to-weight ratio” concept when he settled speculation about his TR 3 vs another friends ‘65 Grand Prix wagon (389) in a 1/8 mile drag.
    The TR 3 won hands down every time.
    Colin Chapman showed the world that concept quite adeptly as I remember.

    3
  3. RJ

    Of all the cars I regret selling (most of them) my Black TR3A is at the very top of the list. Those people who knock them get their opinions from reading, not driving.

    6
  4. Glenn Arrigo

    I haven’t seen one break the bank yet, but still love them .

    2
  5. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    That interior appears to be upgraded or modified from original. Seems like there are twice as many instruments in the dash than came from the factory. The dash pad looks like something added later. I don’t see map lights, I see a period radio faceplate looking more like one from a 55 Ford. Probably couldn’t hear anything very well if that is a radio speaker. . .

    2
  6. bobhess Member

    Dash is stock. 4 small instruments for fuel, H2O temp, oil pressure and battery. The smaller knobs with the instruments are choke, pull starter, heater,wipers, one I can’t think of and the ignition switch with the light switch wrapped around it. Another one might be the dash lights dimmer. Neat little cars. Can’t get what’s on the passenger side but did have a radio that looked like that in my MG Midget.

    3
  7. Wray

    This is the seller. The 2 knobs on the dash are actually a vintage radio that was cut into the dash. The car needs floors and sills and much bodywork but is a worthwhile project. The hardtop glass is very good. The frame rearcross member is rusted.

    6
  8. Wayne

    The very first Brittish sports car that i drove was my teacher’s TR3B. Which was a whole different kind of fun from my Dad’s C1 Corvettes. It gave me a whole new appreciation for LBCs. I love the body style and would like to have one someday. (Too much going on right now to consider this one.)

    1
  9. Doug M.

    Looks like a bargain to me!

    1
  10. Richard Gugenberger

    Back in the 60s my neighbor had one just like this , drove it year round ,( upstate New York) so you can guess the sad ending that was instore for that TR3, always wanted one ,nice little cars !! There even was TV show where one of the stars drove a TR3 back in the late 60s!!

    1
  11. Frank Y Member

    I live about 30 miles as the crow flies from Bethel Park if any one has interest.

    2
  12. ccrvtt

    Peter Egan had one so that’s good enough for me.

    3
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      You’ve made the best point yet, ccrvtt!!

      2
  13. Ken Kittleson

    In 1986, there was a red-primered TR3 sitting topless behind the kennel where I occasionally boarded my dog in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. After inquiring a couple of times, the kennel owner gave it to me. I put a battery in it incorrectly with negative ground, and we finally decided to tow it the five miles home on the end of a log chain, me in the TR3 and my brother-in-law in my Toyota pickup. It had no brakes so my emergency plan to slow down was to throw it in gear and pop the clutch. Sure enough, a car pulled out in front of us, my BIL hit the brakes, I threw it in third and popped the clutch, and much to my surprise it started, right before I ran into my own truck’s back bumper!

    5
    • Britcars4me

      And then what? Don’t leave us hanging!

      2
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Yeah! What Britcars4me said!!

        1
      • Ken Kittleson

        Okay, if you insist. Got the free TR3 home with a minor dent in the snout, checked it over slightly (fluids, tire pressure), got the emergency brake freed up enough to slow it down slightly, and then drove it all over the neighborhood. I got a new starter from British Parts Northwest, installed it and got no response. The advice I got was to pull the engine, remove the flywheel, flip it and reinstall so the ring gear would have enough teeth to engage the starter. I felt my motivation slip away and sold it through the local advertiser paper for $500. A year later, I saw it in the same paper for $1500 and listing all the recent work done. Had to smile because it was on its way to being back on the road!

        5
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Awesome attitude,Ken-and thanks for finishing the story! 👍🏻

        4
  14. ewfieldscarnut

    Gone !!! …
    great deal .

  15. W E Coyle

    First car: 1959 TR3, major DOG

  16. Douglas Potts

    My aunt had a ‘63 TR3 when I was a kid. LOVED IT!!! We used to cruise around Amarillo, Tx with her driving, my grandma in the passenger seat and me between the seats and the trunk. The next year I was too big to fit in that little space so I just sat on the edge and held on to the luggage rack. Sadly she had it repainted and the bodyshop stole a ton of parts off it and she eventually sold it. I still have a profound fondness for these little Triumphs.

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