Two Ex-LeMans Triumph TRSs For Sale!

Pictured above you see the Holy Grail for any Triumph lover — not one, but two of the four factory TRS racing cars campaigned by the Triumph factory in the 1960 and 1961 LeMans 24-hour races. Both are now for sale due to the unfortunate death of Charles Runyan, the late proprietor of The Roadster Factory in Armagh, Pennsylvania. As of this moment there is no price on the two vehicles but the hope is that they are sold together. You can read the advertisement here on the TRF website.

This staged picture as the three TRS cars crossed the finish line in is actually from the 1960 race, where all three cars were running at the finish but did not complete enough laps to be classified in the official results. Note: the #25 car was held back in 1960 as a spare, while the #29 completed 249 laps. The cars were represented as prototypes for the next-generation TR (the TR4) but were actually fiberglass-bodied race cars with very unusual DOHC developments of the traditional wet-liner TR3 engine. You can read more about the “Sabrina” engines and how they acquired their name here.

In 1961, both of the cars being sold raced, with #27 finishing 9th overall and 4th in class behind three Porsches. #25 finished 15th overall and 6th in class (#26 split the two and is currently located in Europe, #59 was held back as a spare in 1961). The team as a whole took the Le Mans Team Prize, the trophy from which was later donated by the famous team manager Ken Richardson to be awarded at the Vintage Triumph Register convention every year for the best performing TR2/TR3. There’s a great vintage promotional video put out by Triumph detailing the cars’ performances here.

While neither of the two cars are running at the moment, the restoration of 926 HP was started to a very high standard some years ago. You can read about the progress and view pictures here. The car pictured above is still wearing it’s original paint from the 1961 race! I’ve seen and touched both of these cars earlier this year and they are both living history and priceless to any TR fan. I hope they find good homes — perhaps with one of you? I suspect they may end up going to Europe, but most of all I hope they are returned to trackworthy status by whomever ends up with them!

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    By the way, Charles’s estate is selling a bunch of other, less famous Triumphs and a few other cars; they are all accessible from the same link as the TRS cars.

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    • Russell

      There are so many “projects” on that web page … would fill BarnFinds … nice 1970 Lotus Europa in that “barn”

      4
      • Chuck

        And I thought I had too many projects.

        4
  2. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Very cool slice of history, theoretically without the kind of price tag which accompanies many other marques.

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  3. Scott Reinhardt

    I’ve been around both of these cars for decades as a long time TRF customer and Summer Party attendee. They’re the real deal and hopefully will be sold quickly to help settle Charles estate.

    3
  4. Mike

    For a second there, I read “926 HP” and thought it was the motor and not the license plate!

    10
  5. Gerry

    Neat! I snapped a photo of the engine in a TRS at the USRRC race at CDR in August 1963. Haven’t even seen a reference to a TRS since. If BF will give me the contact info I’ll post a scan of that photo.

    1
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Gerry, email sent in a moment.

  6. stillrunners

    cool…..

  7. Bryan W Cohn

    That is quite the collection of cars. The TR250, the TR5, the racing TR3 and TR4 all got my attention!

    The LeMans TR’s must be worth at least $75k each but it would not surprise me if they sold for more. Factory race cars, LeMans winner, 2 of 4. Surely the pair restored is worth $250k wouldn’t you think? Let me say it another way, I hope they are worth that kind of money, they surely are priceless to the historic racing world.

    And I agree their true value lies in Europe. Imagine all four cars being reunited at Goodwood for the Festival and Revival.

    RIP sir, you had impeccable taste in sports cars.

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  8. Ron Mabon

    929HP was a running, driving car back in the 1990s when Charles acquired it. I was an employee of Charles then, and first got to drive it out of the TRF building so we could do an outdoor photo shoot of the car. It is an amazing car, completely fabricated and hand-built by the Triumph factory competition team led by Ken Richardson. After Charles purchased 929HP, it was transported to several national Triumph car events where it always drew an incredible amount of attention from British car enthusiasts. This is the first time that these two TRS cars have been available on the market since the 1990s, and I hope that they end up with an owner who will give them the care and reverence that Charles did for 30-plus years.

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  9. Robert Slayden

    I believe it was the 929HP car that was owned by a friend of mine here in Nashville, Bill Clark. He bought it and ran it in vintage races in the 1980’s all over the east. I went with him to Road Atlanta one weekend when he competed there. The engine is really special. He sold the car to Charles Runyan. But I remember this car very well. Very cool car.

    1

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