1959 Triumph TR3A
Triumph’s TR3 is considered by many to be the quintessential sports car—low slung, firm ride, no-nonsense cockpit and providing a unique wind-in-your hair, throaty exhaust-in-your ear driving experience. Whether competing on the track or driving down the road, it didn’t get any better than this.
This TR3 is a 1959 model, finished in Signal red with a black interior. It is the most popular color combination that looks particularly nice on this model car. The paint is in good condition, shining brightly, with only one chip evident near the left headlight. The chrome is nice, with minor pitting, as befits a car that was built almost 50 years ago. The underside of the car is clean with a strong, rust-free frame, complemented by the replacement at some point prior to painting of the inner and outer rocker panels. Probably at the same time there was a repair done to a corner of the driver’s side floor pan. Little if any body filler was detected and there is no evidence of rust-through on the body.
The seats are upholstered in black vinyl with white piping, and they are in good condition with no rips or tears. The carpet is black but showing its age and at some point will warrant replacement. The top is white and the windows are generally clear and rip-free. This car has a white boot cover and a white tonneau, both of which appear serviceable and rip-free. And, of course, the TR has a set of white side curtains with plexi-glass windows.
The cockpit of this TR3 is welcoming to the driver, providing plenty of leg room as you settle behind the large steering wheel that was a Triumph trademark with this model. The instruments all work, as does the safety equipment—lights, wipers, horn, and turn signals. This is a car that is ready to take out on the road.
Of course, what makes these cars so much fun is their driving characteristics, and this TR starts right up and runs strongly right up to redline. Likewise, the non-overdrive transmission shifts great, both up and down through the gears. The car stops well, giving the driver a sense of control and security. As would be expected, this TR3 corners flat and grips the road well with its Michelin XZX tires (165 SR 15) that have virtually no tread wear showing.
For those who have driven TR3s, this is a car that exemplifies all you remember about them. For those who have not, this car provides all the seat-of-the-pants thrills you could hope for. Cars in this condition are becoming very hard to find and rare to see. Whether taking a trip on a winding mountain road or just across town, this is a car that will put a smile on your face as well as everyone who sees you.