The postwar Standard-Triumph company, like most British automotive manufacturers, found strong American demand for its products. Exports were critical to the survival of the English auto industry, and Triumph knew that returning American GIs had developed a taste for British sports cars, so plans were made for a new 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, the cars enjoyed strong popularity, thanks to their performance, reliability, fuel economy and surprising durability.
The TR2 and later TR3 variants quickly built an impressive string of prestigious European rally victories, including the 1954 RAC Rally. Meanwhile, in America, the cars utterly dominated SCCA E-Production competition during the 1960s. Noted writer Richard M. Langworth described these remarkable cars as “unsophisticated, wildly over-steering, occasionally airborne, but devastatingly effective.” The TR3A, which enthusiasts consider the most collectible early TR model, was introduced in 1958 and featured external changes including a much wider stamped aluminum “egg crate” grille and an improved cockpit design, among other detail refinements. The 100-horsepower engine of the TR3 was continued, providing a top speed approaching 110 mph.
This 1958 Triumph TR3A offered here was the subject of a full restoration completed approximately five years ago. In addition to a new top and side curtains, the TR3A was also fitted with a battery cut-off switch for ease of storage. Now equipped with new tires and remaining in excellent mechanical condition, the Triumph is also complete with a California historic license plate and documentation. Without doubt, it will reward its new owner with the thrilling driving experience typical of such delightful British roadsters.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
100 bhp, 1,991 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, dual SU carburetors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, front disc and hydraulic rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 88"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel