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Triumph TR3 and TR3A (1955 - 1961)

Last updated 25 August 2013

Beautiful shape, quick and fun to drive
Like all early TRs, a demanding car to restore

Introduction

The Triumph TR line was all about evolution and refining of the breed – so although there was very little to distinguish the TR3 from the TR2 it was usefully improved. The new name gave more clues to the improvements than the oh-so similar styling, but behind the new egg-crate grille covering the radiator-cooling intake was a more powerful engine, developing 5bhp more than its previous incarnation, thanks to its bigger SU carburettors. In addition to that, a Le Mans-type head available, which upped the power to a handy 100bhp.

However, the main development came to the TR3 in 1956 when it became the first British car to be fitted with disc brakes, made by Girling, as standard. Further improvements weren't long in coming. For 1957, the styling was updated to include a full-length grille and – finally – external door handles. This model was known as the TR3A, and remained in production until 1962. Sales of the TR3 picked up as a result of the improvements, and the USA became an important export market as it took notice. A short-lived US market only TR3B version appeared in 1962, powered by the 2138cc engine – it remained for sale after the launch of the TR4.

Next: Specifications
 

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