Triumph TR31955 - 1962
The Triumph TR3 is a sports car produced between 1955 and 1962 by Standard - Triumph in England. The facelifted variant, popularly but unofficially known as the TR3A, entered production in 1957 and the final version, unofficially the TR3B, was produced in 1962.
Although the car was usually supplied as an open two-seater, an occasional rear seat and bolt-on steel hard top were available as extras.
The car was powered by a 1991 cc straight-4 OHV engine initially producing 95 bhp (71 kW; 96 PS), an increase of 5 hp over the TR2 thanks to the larger SU-H6 carburettors fitted. This was later increased to 100 bhp at 5000 rpmby the addition of a "high port" cylinder head and enlarged manifold. The four-speed manual gearbox could be supplemented by an overdrive unit on the top three ratios, electrically operated and controlled by a switch on the dash. In 1956 the front brakes were changed from drums to discs, the TR3 thus becoming the first British series production car to be so fitted.
The suspension was by double A-arms, manganese bronze trunnion, coil springs and tube shocks at the front, optional anti-roll bar, and with worm and peg steering. Unlike MGs of the same period, the steering mechanism and linkage had considerable play and friction, which increased with wear.
The rear was conventional leaf springs, with solid axle and lever arm dampers, except that the (box) frame rails were slung under the axle. The wheels were 15-inches in diameter and 4.5 inches wide (increased from 4 inches after the first few TR2s), with 48-spoke wire wheels optional. Wire wheels were usually painted, either body colour or Argent (silver), but matt chrome and bright chrome were also available. The front disc or drum brakes and rear drums had no servo assistance.
The TR3's weight was significantly more than the Morgan Plus Four and the 356 Porsches, but not much more than the MGA and MGB. All except the Morgan, which shared the same engine, were substantially less powerful.
Under most conditions the car was very responsive and forgiving, but it had a some handling vices. The chassis, which was shared by the TR2, TR3, TR3A and TR4 had limited wheel travel. As a result, on very hard cornering, the inside rear wheel would lift, causing sudden over-steer due to the increased load on the outside rear tyre. This was particularly true with increasingly common radial tyres; the original TR2/3/3A suspension was built with older, crossply tyre designs in mind. The wheel lifting was more sudden than that of other cars, because it was caused by coming to the end of the suspension travel while there was still load on the tyre, so the load on the other (outside) rear wheel was a discontinuous function of cornering load, rather than just changing slope.
The TR3 is a true roadster, designed for sunny weather but with removable rain protection. It has a convertible hood (US top) that snaps on and off and removable side curtains, allowing very low doors with padding for the driver's arm to rest on. There are holes in the floor, with rubber plugs, so that the originally supplied jack might be used from inside the car, as did the Jaguar XK120. The optional heater was poor and the shut-off valve was under the bonnet (US hood). A third person could get behind the seats, if absolutely necessary.
13,377 examples of the original "pre-facelift" TR3 were produced, of which 1286 were sold within the UK; the rest were exported mainly to the USA. As of Q1 2011 there were approximately 826 licensed and 115 SORN TR3/3a's registered with the DVLA.
|Triumph TR3 B|
|1280 x 800 ... 135 KB|
|Triumph TR3 A|
|902 x 572 ... 79 KB|
|1280 x 888 ... 157 KB|