Triumph TR3

The post war Standard-Triumph company, like most British automotive manufacturers of the era, found strong American demand for its products. Exports were critical to the survival of the English auto industry, and senior Triumph management understood that many thousands of returning American GIs had developed a particular taste for British sports cars, so plans were made for a new model line.

Heavily influenced by the prototype TR, the TR2 debuted in late 1953, followed by the TR3, which was introduced at the 1955 London Motor Show. Shrewdly filling the wide gap between MG and Jaguar, these cars enjoyed very strong popularity thanks to their performance, reliability, fuel economy and surprising durability, not to mention their rakish good looks. The TR2 and later TR3 variants quickly built an impressive string of prestigious European rally victories, including the 1954 RAC Rally. In America, the cars were embraced by racers as well and utterly dominated SCCA E-Production competition for many years. These remarkable cars were best described by noted writer Richard M. Langworth as being “…unsophisticated, wildly oversteering, occasionally airborne, but devastatingly effective.”

The TR3, which remains a collector favorite today, featured a number of external changes for 1956, including a dramatically revised and more prominent grille design and a more pronounced headlamp treatment. Mechanical improvements followed in late 1956, comprising enlarged carburetors and modified intake ports, which raised engine output to an even 100 brake horsepower, as well as the addition of a set of front disc brakes for greatly improved stopping power.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

100 bhp, 1,991 cc overhead valve inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 88".

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Triumph TR3