1957 Triumph TR3 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Chassis Num: TS15928L
Engine Num: TS16314E
Sold for $59,400 at 2012 Gooding & Company.
The Triumph TR3 was introduced in 1955 and was a development of the successful TR2. The TR3 had an increase in horsepower through redesigned carburetion, the option of an occasional rear seat, and (beginning in 1956) front disc brakes.

This TR3 was purchased new from British Continental Motors by Henry Fischer of Bedford, Massachusetts. When purchased, the owners added nearly 4300 worth of options above the agreed $2,500 base price. Among the options included the newly available rear seat, the sporty wire wheels and a heater and tonneau cover.

The Fischers retained the car for 4 decades. In 1996, the Fischers sold the car to Randy Aagaard of Salt Lake City. In 1998, the car was sold to Michael Jacobsen of Virginia, only to be repurchased by Mr. Aagaard 12 years later. The current owner purchased the car in early 2011.

This car is fitted with an inline four-cylinder engine displacing 1991cc and fitted with twin SU carburetors. The engine produces nearly 100 horsepower which is sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox. There are hydraulic front disc brakes and drums in the rear.

In 2012, this car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. It had a pre-auction estimated value of $45,000 - $65,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $59,400 inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2012
Chassis Num: TS19396L0
Engine Num: TS20038E
Sold for $55,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company.
After a failed attempt to take over the Morgan Motor Company, Standard-Triumph began work on building its own sporting roadster that could compete with MG in the United States export market. A prototype TR was created, followed by a restyled TR2 in late 1953. Power was from the Standard Vanguard-derived 1991cc 'four.' The TR3 appeared in 1955 and dominated American SCCA E-production events. For 1956, upgrades for the basic TR3 included a dramatically revised frontal treatment and mechanical updates, including larger carburetors and modified intake ports that boosted engine output to 100 bhp. Front-disc brakes were another welcome change.

This TR3 is an original left-hand-drive export model destined for Germany. It was built on June 21st of 1957 and came with factory installed equipment including a heater and instruments calibrated in Imperial units. It was later imported to the United States and has a known history that dates to August 1974. The car has been a concours level restoration and finished in Pear White as originally finished with the factory-fitted Blue Vynide upholstery replaced by blue leather with cream piping. There is also blue Wilton wool carpeting.

The car has earned First in Class and Best in Class at Ault Park and Louisville in 2009. Best in Show honours were earned in 2010 under Triumph Register of America scrutiny, and in 2011, it earned that organization's Gold Certificate by scoring a near-perfect 99.3 out of 100 possible points.

The car has traveled just 1,300 miles since the restoration work has been completed.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2013
The Triumph TR3 was produced from 1955 through 1957 with a total of 13,377 examples being produced. under the hodd was a four-cylinder 1991 cc engine.

In 1957 the Triumph TR3A was introduced as a replacement for its predecessor, the TR3. The 3A featured improved design and mechanics, resulting in a top speed of 105 mph. The TR3A was a reliable vehicle; this was proven in 1960 during the grueling Le Mans 24 Hour race where three cars were entered and finished, placing ninth, eleventh and fifteenth.
The vehicle featured a four-cylinder, 95 horsepower engine. With an overall weight of the vehicle tipping the scale at 2200 pounds, meaning horsepower to weight ratio was excellent. Throughout its life span, larger brakes and a engine modifications were introduced.

The TR series has been a familiar scene in racing competition and club events ever since their inception. Modifications such as Weber carburetors and improved transmissions are a favorite for many competitors and SCCA contenders.

During its production run, lasting from 1957 through 1961, around 58,000 examples were created.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2006
An extremely successful sports car, the Triumph TR4 was produced in the U.K. by the Standard Triumph Motor Company from 1961. With a top speed of 110 mph, and costing around £1095, the TR4 became one of Triumph's best-loved cars thanks to its low cost of entry and capable open-top sports capabilities. The TR4 was stylistically quite a departure from its predecessor the TR3 and seemed to be just the car to bring the company into a brand new era.

Based on the chassis and drivetrain of TR predecessors, the TR4 was codenamed 'Zest' during development. Sporting a modern Giovanni Michelotti styled body, the new design was a big change from the classical cutaway door design of the earlier models, and allowed for full-sized doors with roll-up windows rather than side-curtains. The shapely tail end allowed for a spacious trunk, something that wasn't the norm for a sports car. A total of 40,253 TR4's were built during its production span.

This would be the first time that an adjustable fascia ventilation was utilized in a production vehicle. Other advanced features included a 'backlight' option; a specialized hard top that consisted of a fixed glass rear window with an integral rollbar and a detachable, steel center panel. This would be the first time there ever was such a roof system on a production vehicle. The Porsche 911/912 Targa would be introduced in the next 5 years, and this type of roof would eventually become a well-known option.

Replaceable, the rigid roof came with an easily folded and stowed vinyl insert and supporting frame called a Surrey Top. There has been confusion in the past with the entire hard top assembly mistakenly referred to as a Surrey Top. The rigid top and backlight assembly is listed as the Hard Top kit in original factory parts catalogues and the vinyl insert and frame are offered separately as a Surrey Top. In an attempt to stay ahead of the competition Triumph introduced modern features like wind-down windows to appeal to the important US market. Some dealers were concerned that buyers wouldn't fully appreciate these modern amenities, so a short run of TR3As or TR3Bs were produced in 1961 and 1962.

Triumph used the pushrod 4-cylinder engine that was based on the early design of the Ferguson tractor engine, but increased the displacement from 1991 cc to 2138 cc by increasing the bore size. Other updates and modifications to the manifolds and cylinder head allowed for some improvements, which resulted in the TR4A model.

For the vehicles earmarked to compete in the under-two-liter classes of the time the 1991 cc engine became a no-cost option. Select cars were fitted with vane-type superchargers since the three main bearing engine was susceptible to crankshaft failure if revved beyond 6,500 rpm. Superchargers allowed a TR4 to pump much more horsepower and torque at modest revolutions. Supercharged and otherwise performance-tuned, a 2.2-liter I4 version could produce more than 200 bhp, while a standard engine produced 105 bhp SAE. Like its predecessors, the TR4 was fitted with a wet-sleeve engine so the engine's cubic capacity could be changed by swapping the cylinder liners and pistons, for allowing a competitor to race under different capacity rules for competition use.

Other modifications from previous models included a wider track front and rear, a slightly larger standard engine displacement, rack and pinion steering and full synchromesh on all forward gears. The optional Laycock de Normanville electronically operated overdrive Laycock Overdrive could be picked for 2nd and 3rd gear, in addition to 4th, which effectively gave the TR4 a seven-speed manual close ratio gearbox. Initially the TR4 sported 15x4.5' disc wheels though optional 48-lace wire wheels could be ordered painted the same shade as the vehicles bodywork, in a matte or polished chrome finishes, or stove-enameled (matte silver with chrome spinners). The 155x15 bias ply was the most typical tire for the TR4. American Racing alloy; magnesium and aluminum wheels were offered in the U.S. at one time in 15x5.5' ox 15x6' sizes. The correct size radial-ply tire for the factory rims was 155x15, and only available from Michelin for an extravagant amount, was a problem when original owned opted for 60-spoke wire wheels. The standard 185x15 radials were much too wide to be fitted safely and as such, many owners had new and wider rims fitted and their wheels re-laced.

Thanks to Californian engineer Kas Kastner and his main driver Bob Tullius, the Triumph TR4 had quite a few racing successes in the U.S. under its belt. The TR4 won the E Production national championship in 1962. After this the SCCA reclassified the car to D Production, and the class title was won by Tullius in 1963 and 1964. Kastner and Mike Cook (who was in the advertising department at Triumph in NYC) convinced the Triumph Company to produce three new TR4s to race in the 12 Hours of Sebring race in 1963. Starting in the fall of 1962 the vehicles were prepared in California before flown to Florida for the endurance race in March of 1963. Kastner was Service Supervisor for the company in California at the time. Behind the wheel were Mike Rothschild and Peter Bolton from England, Bob Tullius, Charlie Gates, Ed Deihl, Bob Cole, Bruce Kellner and Jim Spencer. The vehicles finished overall 22nd, 24th, and 35th of 65 entrees, and in the 2.5 GT class the TR4 scored 1st, 2nd, and 4th.

This would be the start of the Triumph Competition Department that Kastner would head for numerous years and used to market the TR4. A privateer TR4 finished last in the '64 Sebring 12-hour race the following year. In 1966 Kastner returned to Sebring with four carefully prepared TR4As, three of which would finish winning the class. That same year Bob Tullius threw a piston in the most highly tuned vehicle, and didn't finish. The 1965 SCCA D Modified Championship was won at Daytona, driven by Charlie Gates against Ferraris and other prepared racecars.

During the mid-sixties the TR4 proved to be a celebrated rally car in the UK and Europe. As late as 1991 the TR4 continued to win an SCCA class championship and be raced in vintage sports car events. It was a common occurrence to see the TR4 in Australia hill-climb events, circuit racing events and various club rallies. 3 TR4s factory sponsored Team Triumphs were entered in the Canadian Shell 4000 rally. These models were apparently constructed with gussets on the chassis members and aluminum body panels to keep the car light as well as strengthen it. These engines were prepared by Kastner in NY after import and also fitted with lightweight magnesium wheels. Unfortunately they didn't place well in the rally, but the surviving models have proved to be quite valuable today. Neil Revington, proprietor of Revington TR in the UK owns one of these cars. Various replicas continue to be campaigned by privateers in vintage rally events throughout Europe.

The TR4A with IRS or independent rear suspension was the successor the TR4 in 1965. There wasn't much difference between the two models except for the rear suspension, which used trailing arms and a differential bolted to the redesigned chassis frame and a few minor updates. It is estimated that around 25% of TR4As not equipped with IRS were instead reverted to a live axle design like the TR4, which was adapted to fit the new chassis.

With only forty-three models ever produced, the most rare production TR4 model is the Dové GTR4. Rebuilt as a coupé by specialist coachbuilder for the Dove dealership in Wimbledon, London, and most conversions were based on the TR4 model, though the sales brochure pictures a TR4A version of these cars. Harrington Motor Bodyworks, who were well known for their construction of the Harrington Alpine, which was a similarly converted Sunbeam Alpine, did the convertibles.

Powering the Dové GTR4 were engine with period extras like a heater in the water jackets, which assisted in early morning starts. Optionally offered in the sales catalogue was some conversions fitted with fully balanced motors by Jack Brabham Motors of Laystall Engineering in London. Using the same materials found in the originally equipped standard TR4 were two jump seats behind the drivers seat. Some models featured a wood-rimmed wheel with riveted perimeter and auxiliary lamps under the front bumper bars. The glovebox lid featured a metalized identifying sticker with 'Dové' proudly displayed. Another 'Dové' logo was found on the rear deck to the left below the lid. To fit the new roof like, the side window glasses were specially shaped with a flat top edge. Custom fitted options included tinted swing-down see-through acrylic sun visors. Each model was customized individually and no two models were the same.

The Dové GTR4 was an attempt to fill the GT category for Europe, which is why the French nomenclature sported an inflection at the end of the word Dové. The Dové had pretty decent acceleration from 80 mph to 100 mph when compared to the standard model. The Dové carried a hefty price tag of £1250, nearly as much as a Jaguar E-Type. Today nearly a dozen Dové GTR4 are thought to still be in existence today.


By Jessica Donaldson
It was 1952 and the Triumph TR1 was debuted to the automotive world at Earl's Court Motor show. The original body-style remained quite similar through the next few versions made with little to tell the models apart from the initial launched one except for rear body styling. The Type 20TS; or TR1 was constructed on prewar Standard chassis and sported a dual-carb version of the Standard Vanguard engine. The initial show car featured a more rounded, traditional look that featured an exposed spare tire.

The Standard-Triumph Company eventually brought on Ken Richardson to develop and create what eventually became the TR2. In the summer of 1953 the first 'off-tools' TR2s were produced. In time, the model received its own purpose-built chassis frame that incorporated front suspension that had initially been developed for the Mayflower. The 2088cc Vanguard engine was developed further into a sturdy 90hp under a 1991cc 2-liter engine. The back end of the car was revised to now provide a trunk along with an enclosed spot for the spare tire. Richardson tested a prototype TR2 on a closed stretch Jabbeke highway in the spring of 1953 and achieved nearly 125mph in 'speed' trim and around 105mph in 'street' trim.

The TR3 could by easily recognized by its 'small mouth' grille in 1955. The opening is still small, but the grill itself is no longer far recessed, but instead nearly flush with the front valence. A total of 17,000 units of this model were produced. Three years later Triumph opened the grill up to increase air flow and the TR3A 'wide mouth' was introduced. This model ended up being the most popular of TR2/TR3 series at 58,236 units.

For 1956 the TR3 model was debuted with numerous continual developments, updates and minor changes to both the body and mechanical specifications. The TR3 came with a wide-mouth grille, a trunk with lock, more stable bumpers, updated headlamps and an additional 5 hp. The TR3 went through two phases. The first of these phases involved 1955 and 1956 models that were different from the TR2 by a flush-set eggcrate grille. Though they were still twin SU's, larger carbs were introduced and added 5 hp which bumped the 2.0-liter four-cylinder 95. 5 hp came by an interim switch in cylinder heads after the original 3,300 engines from the introductory 'LeMans' casting to a 'high port' design. Modified ports were also added to the TR3.

The second phase of the TR3 began with 1957 models which eventually became the first series-built British cars with standard front disc brakes. The Triumph Company also updated and improved the rear drums and substituted a sturdier back axle, still leaf-spring. Independent front suspension continued with coil springs and double wishbones. GT Kit was all an all new feature aimed at rallying's Sport and GT classes. This GT Kit option delivered the factory liftoff hardtop and outside door handles.

In 1958 a TR3A version was introduced and featured the handles as standard, which bowed for '58 wearing a somewhat ‘Detroit-inspired' 'wide-mouth' grille plus a truck handle that locked, updated headlamps and less obvious bumpers even more sturdy. Sales were much better now and Triumph was behind the scenes working on a much more stylish sports vehicle that would appear in 1961, the TR4. The TR3A featured an upsized 2.1-liter engine in 1959, though very few were installed. A total of 58,000 TR3A models were sold while U.S. distributors stalled importation of the TR4 successors and instead, a U.S. – market only introduced was TR3B model. A total of 3,331 of these models were produced, and most had the TR4's 100-hp 2.1-liter engine and all-synchro gearbox.

By 1961 Triumph found itself overwhelmed with a variety of TR3A's due to overproduction and misjudged market demand. The Triumph's U.S. distributor wasn't 100% sure of the new TR4 and chose to dispose of leftover TR3As. This resulted in the TR3B, which featured nicer appointments and the TR4's new all-synchro gearbox. All except 500 models received the 2.1 engine.

By 1961, production of the TR3 was largely ended and replaced with the TR4, which was similar mechanically, but featured much more modern styling and plenty more comfort features. The North American market received around 3,331 of TR3B's in 1962, most of them having a larger 2138cc engine, built largely to TR3A specs, and all models came with all-synchro TR4 transmission. Total production of the TR2-3B production was less than 80,000 models. Several TR engines powered versions of the Morgan sports vehicle. A few cars, such as the Swallow Doretti, Warwick, (Vignale) Italia and the Peerless shared basic TR2-3 running gear. .

The TR3 generation was retired in October of 1962 after seven years of a remarkable product.

By Jessica Donaldson
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