Where’s The Rest Of The Story? TR3A Barn Find

b1

What a great “barn find!” I just wish the seller had told us “the rest of the story!” (apologies to Paul Harvey). With character like this, the blue TR3A is just begging to let the world know it’s tale. Right now it can be found in Labelle, Florida and it’s listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is opening at $5,000 and there’s no reserve.

b2

Right away, I noticed that at least the driver’s side front wheel has either been widened or they have used a TR250 or early TR6 wheel. I wish they had done that with all of the wheels; it adds a very purposeful look to the car! I believe the hardtop is a factory one, although it may be difficult to find a replacement rear window at a reasonable cost. I just wish we knew what the story was behind the car; how was it stored, how was it found? That adds so much to the lure of a barn find for me!

b3

It’s pretty easy to see that some previous rear body work has been done as the seller mentions, but I don’t see anything that really scares me anywhere near as much as the fact that the seller drives it to work occasionally on the 40 year old tires! No thanks! The seller also tells us though that there’s a small amount of rust in the driver’s side rocker panel and on one of the passenger side fenders. I think the rear one is not original for the car based on the red paint showing through, so perhaps it’s that one.

b6

As you can see from the underside of this car, it’s pretty darn solid! I’ve got some TRs that I wish looked this good underneath! That’s a brand new stainless steel exhaust system you see under there as well.

b4

No TR3 has a glamorous interior, and this one is no exception. That being said, I don’t see anything here that would stop me from driving it as-is. It looks well-worn and comfortable! There are some interior panels along with the spares coming with the car, so who knows, perhaps some are good enough to just install.

b5

And here’s the engine, also looking quite nice, although I wish folks would stop painting the engine compartment flat black on Triumphs; they never came that way. However, this is a great driver right now and could only get better over time. What do you think?

 

 

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Comments

  1. Bob Hess

    The condition of the frame makes this one worth buying (at a reasonable price)…..

  2. Brian

    This could make me a TR3 fan. Love the banjo steering wheel. Put some tires on it and drive.

  3. Fred w.

    Wow…now that’s an honest looking car. Reminds me of the ones I used to see in the high school parking lot in the 70’s. I’ll bet the students paid a couple hundred for them.

  4. Brian

    Haha well I just sold this car to these guys. Guess they’ve given up on restoring it. I liked it but didn’t have time to restore it so moved it on.

  5. ccrvtt

    For as tatty as the outside looks the engine bay and underside look spectacular. The frat boys at MSU drove these in the early ’60’s, at least the cool ones did. Very attractive resto candidate.

  6. Bruce Best

    I have owned and restored about 5 of the various TR-3 models and there is just about no easier car to restore. That is a good one and could easily be made into a great one. I really hope somebody does that. While not that fast TR-3’s TR-4’s and MGA’s are great fun to drive.

  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    wow wee….nice find….!

  8. ineffable

    See the round brass drain plug at the rear of the trany? It is an OVERDRIVE-fitted car, even if there is no switch visible on the left dash. Super desirable and incredibly fun to engage in 2nd gear at WOT. Once experienced, not easily forgotten. GLWS

  9. pperros

    Gone. Too bad.

  10. Dpeter1946

    As mentioned, that big brass nut on the Trans indicates an original OD car. Or one that has had a period correct a type OD added at some point. The original OD dash switch has been replaced by a toggle switch from the pix.

    And yes replacing the hard top rear window and trim is easily a $500+ job. Just for the parts.

    I have a ’62 Powder Blue TR3B in the garage on stands right now, so best of luck to whoever decides to get into it. But it is a good car, even by modern standards and will easily cruise at modern highway speeds (70+) all day with that OD. Just never, ever, ever, put the car in reverse with OD engaged … or you’ll hear a horrendous noise.

  11. Bobbi
  12. Kent Pearson

    Brings back such great memories of the ’60s. Had a red ’59. Called it the “Little Red Rooster” after the great blues song.
    That underside is unbelievable. Great find

  13. Britcarguy

    Expect to spend some time and money fixing the front apron. Lack of TRIUMPH letters and a concave grille indicate a bodge repair. All TR3A grilles are flat and you have to shape the surrounding metal around a new grille. Turn signal switch is misaligned. Otherwise, a good starter car. Overdrive is a big plus.

  14. Bill McCoskey

    Britcarguy is right, I ran one of the largest Triumph repair/restoration shops on the east coast back in the late 70’s, and we always had at least a dozen TR3s in for work. The front apron on these cars was custom fit on each car when new [before painting], and we realized years ago that removing a perfect original front apron from a parts car didn’t mean it would fit on another nice car.

    That factory hardtop is wonderful, provided you are not 6’2″ or taller, you won’t be able to get your head inside, once seated! But with the OD trans, and a solid body & frame, It’s no wonder the car is already sold again.

    Speaking of frames on TR2 thru 4 cars, who was the idiot at Triumph Standard that designed a sloping box frame [sloping downward towards the center of the car] and left the ends of the frame open to air & water? Frames would fill with water when the car was no longer being driven daily, and rot from the inside out!

    We had a parts car TR2, so rusty that the floors were gone and the frames so rusted out, that when both doors were opened at the same time, the front & rear body sections tipped towards each other, until the lower rear corners of the doors were touching the pavement!

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