The Triumph TR3A Sports Car

                                                     Triumph TR3A

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TR3A On The Track

                                                  1961 Triumph TR3A                                                                                     Here is a stirring sight. This classic racer was                                                                    driven by Jeff Snook during a Group 5  Sprint                                                                     Race at the 2015 Jefferson 500. White sets                                                                                       the shot off beautifully


     The Triumph TR3A sports car. In 1957, the TR3A was introduced, being targeted, primarily, at the US market. 

     It was, essentially, an updated version of the Triumph TR3, which included:

  • A very much wider and more attractive grill
  • Different headlights
  • Exterior door handles
  • A boot that locked
  • Sturdier bumpers
  • A complete tool kit, which was an optional extra on the TR3

     The TR2, TR3 and TR3A all used the same 1670 cc engine, with wet liners, from the Standard Vanguard and Ferguson tractor, which was bored out to 1991 cc.

     An interesting benefit of this was that, in farming communities, such as those in Australia, many of the engine parts were the same as those in the farms' Ferguson tractor.

     In 1956, the TR3 was the first production car to include disc brakes on the front wheels, and this feature was continued in the TR3A.    

     This made its breaking ability quite formidable, and as such increased its popularity on autocross circuits.

     The designation "TR3A" was not officially sanctioned, and therefore the car did not display such a badge, nor was it referred to as such in any sales literature.

Technical data                                      TR3                        TR3A

Production:                                     1955-1957             1957-1962
Output:                                               13,377                    58,236
Engine: cc                                             1991                       1991
Cylinder, bhp:                                     4, 100                      4, 100
Speed mph                                            105                          106
0-60 mph, secs                                    10.8                         11.4                                                                                                                                             Performance                                          TR3                       TR3A

0-30 mph                                          3.6 secs                    3.7 secs
0-50 mph                                          7.5 secs                    8.8 secs
0-60 mph                                        10.8  secs                  12.5 secs
0-90 mph                                        28.8 secs                   33.8 secs
Standing Quarter Mile:                     18.1 secs                   18.7secs                   Overall Fuel Consumption:               27.1mpg                    28.0 mpg                  

                                                1959 Triumph TR3A                                                                                   This exquisite roadster was discovered, next to a                                                               later model, at the Polhill Garden Centre Classic                                                                                         Car Show in Kent

                                                  1959 Triumph TR3A

                                                    Triumph TR3A

                                                    Triumph TR3A

                                                    Triumph TR3A

                                  TR3A seen at Brighton and Hove Sprint

                                                        1960 TR3A

                                                 1958 Triumph TR3A

                                                                                                   Full Screen

     It had a reputation for reliability, and for this reason three TR3A's were entered into the 1960 Le Mans 24 hour race.

     Although they did not win, all three completed the race, and were placed in ninth, eleventh and fifteenth positions.

     As with the TR3, the majority of TR3A's built were exported to the US (56,340), with only 1,896 for the UK market.

     It is worth noting that the TR3A was the third best selling TR, behind the TR6 and TR7. 

     This was probably influenced by the fact that, compared with the TR2 and TR3, it was, I feel, a much more attractive car in terms of visual appeal.

     However, by the early 1960's, the TR2's and TR3's, with their exuding elegance from the 1930's, were beginning to look dated.

     Furthermore, the competition was certainly not backward in terms of being forward thinking:

  • Jaguar - The XK150 was transformed into the E-Type
  • MG - The MG TF re-emerged as the MGA
  • Austin Healey - The 100-4 duly blossomed into the Big Healey

     As for the TR, the all new, redesigned Triumph appeared in 1961 in the form of the TR4. The legend continued.


     A 1957-62 Triumph TR3A, in very good condition, can fetch around £20,000/$32,000, whilst an example in excellent condition can command anything up to £30,000/$48,000.



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