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Sale price: £25,000.00 make an offer

Car location: Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Sale type: Fixed price listing

Technical specifications, photos and description:

Manufacturer: Triumph
Model: TR3A
Year: 1961
Type: sports/convertible
Doors: 2
Color: Blue
Mileage: 5,557
Seats: 2
Engine: 1,991
Transmission: manual
Fuel: Petrol
Power: 100
Drive side: Right-hand drive
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Current customer rating: current rating for this car (2.1) based on 211 votes




For sale. nbsp;an extraordinary and exceptional TR3A. one of the lowest mileage TRs extant.


A classic sports car for the long distance driver who isn't in the business of dirty paws and roadside running repairs.  




Superbly restored. as a first class driving machine. not as a concours originality contender. This is a TR for the owner who expects to be able to jump in and belt across Europe at the drop of a hat. confident of safe arrival in a car fit to park in the most exalted company.


It is not a TR for the DSUO tooth-sucking nit-picking originality rivet-counter who drives his car like a precious relic.


It's a go anywhere and get there. regardless of the weather. nbsp;sort of car. A real TR.




Those who know me. Alec Pringle. will realise this is not my own car – it belongs to my good friend Neil in Lincolnshire. who rescued the car 3 years ago and completed its rebuild. Neil is a technophobe. first rate mechanical engineer but not exactly a computer buff - hence my listing this on eBay for him ! The description is all my own work. not Neil's. please feel free to glance through my feedback for confirmation of my eBay approach.




TS 77XXX would. I think. have been built around mid-1960 by the commission number - the Heritage certificate lists its shipment to Boston USA as 10th May 1961. but not its actual build date. noting “April 1961 (not recorded)” by way of guesstimate. In contrast. the Massachusetts title of 1999 guesstimates 1959 as the car's date.




On delivery the car was evidently Pearl White with red interior.



DVLA preferred 01/04/1961 as date of first registration. so we'll stick with that for convenience.



As I understand it. the car was purchased new by a US serviceman. as so many TRs were back then. It was used for only a relatively brief period and some 3000 miles before tragic fate intervened. and the TR was left in the barn where it had been parked. There it remained standing untouched for around 35 years.



1999 saw the TR rescued and title transferred to the second owner. remaining in Massachusetts. Mileage on title is noted as 3025 actual. The TR must then have received at least some minor attention as its odometer recorded around 60 miles in the next few years before the car was exported back to England in 2006.  




The importing English owner sold on the car. the second UK owner Graham bought it and commenced a restoration project in 2007. largely dismantling the car. Remarkably. he found an almost rust free original rhd bodyshell to replace the damaged and somewhat rusted original tub.




The original chassis having been found sound. requiring but minor fettling. was blasted. galvanised in some fashion. and painted.



Numerous original Stanpart components were sourced at great trouble and expense to replace cosmetically deteriorated existing fitments. It was at this point that I first came across the car. and helped source some of the ‘unobtainium'.




Graham's business circumstances changed unexpectedly – the proverbial ‘once in a lifetime' commercial opportunity. he was (and with great regret) not going to have the time to complete the rebuild of a model he'd lusted after for years. and my chum Neil purchased the 3A in 'kit form' in 2010.




Neil is a long time 6 cylinder TR enthusiast. he couldn't resist the challenge of completing such an extraordinary low mileage sidescreen car – he had the requisite skills. the time. and the funds to be able to do a proper job. And he did !


The objective was to rebuild the car as a pukka Grand Tourer. more or less standard spec but with great care and attention to mechanical and electrical detail. Toolkit and spares confined to the spare wheel compartment. boot and rack for luggage. breakfast on the Dover ferry. lunch in Paris and dinner in Monaco . . . . and no need for close encounters with any recovery service en route. thanks a bunch.




The TR finally returned to the road in 2011. It not only looked splendid. it drove as Neil put it “like a new car should”. It was then ‘run-in' as a new car.




Typically. Neil last year drove the TR to Classic Le Mans. amongst a squadron of TR6s – the lone 4-potter kept pace with the PI 6-bangers with ease. cruising at 90mph through mixed weather . . . . . a proper TR continental baptism.




Neil drives it like he stole it. even so fuel consumption on the CLM trip was just 33mpg. oil and water consumption nil.




Since then it has seen only occasional use. That. I might add. not through choice but as a result of unforeseen demands of business and family issues.




437 YUC has been recently MoT'd. straight through pass of course. no advisories.




Neil enjoys rebuilding as much as driving. and having completed and enjoyed 437 YUC. he is now hankering after a last fling at rallying before he gets too old. But limited leisure time will not permit driving multiple classics for the next few years.


Hence one incredible TR3A looking for a new home . . . .


To consider the car in more detail . . . .



Chassis is the original. as mentioned above. undamaged it required only cosmetic refurbishment.




The original body wasn't that bad. but the opportunity of a first class original rhd body at relatively modest money was a coincidence too good to refuse. hence the purchase. The current body tub being the replacement. outer panels being the best of the two shells. it is of course all original Stanpart. There is no spare bodywork. it all went for repair to be used on other people's TR rebuilds.




Repainted in proper period cellulose. the body has also been comprehensively rustproofed. need I add. Neil preferred blue to the original white. so blue it now is. Being cellulose. any future minor damage can be treated as local repair and blown-in invisibly. something which is not possible with modern paints.




Chrome trim is largely new original. the bumpers are the excellent Harrington stainless steel product.   




Interior is entirely refurbished. new trim and carpet throughout. cockpit and boot interior. Original red was replaced with black. to Neil's taste. As you can see. polishing and hoovering are not his thing. let alone bulling up the car for sale . . . . !



Seats are not original. they are rare Mk1 Midget items rebuilt to match the TR. and a great deal more comfortable and supportive than Stanpart issue ! The original seats. presumably badly recovered when the car was brought out of storage back in 1999. are with the car – and have unusually rot-free frames.




Weather equipment. nbsp;hood and tonneau. were new – OE type vinyl.  hoodsticks refurbished and the sidescreens have been completely refurbished too. Neil did fit the hood. and fettled it to fit properly after testing in the rain - it hasn't been on since. if it rains he drives faster and it goes over the top . . . . . erecting the hood just for a photo seemed too much like hard work !!



Chassis running gear is original wherever possible. Steering assembly was of course replaced with rhd. properly rebuilt. The lhd original column and box having since returned to the USA. All consumables. bushes etc were renewed of course. along with the shockers. front Spax replacing OE spec.




Wheels are good - used. refurbished 60-spoke 4. 5" wires replacing the original 4" steels. fitted with new 165/15 Nexen tyres which suit the car admirably. impressive ride comfort and traditional handling quality.




Brake system completely rebuilt of course. lines renewed. cylinders rebuilt. new front discs.




Electrical specification largely as original. but for the new Autosparks loom being fitted with relays as appropriate instead of Triumph's inadequate fusing. new narrow belt alternator conversion replacing dynamo for reliability. new hi-torq starter replacing the original starter for the same reason. and new H4 headlamps for night vision.




Everything works. and works properly. The engine and fuel system are of course prepared to cope with modern fuels.




The engine has been stripped completely. balanced. and scrupulously rebuilt – but with remarkably little component renewal being required. The original piston rings were immovably stuck. so bores were honed and a new set of original Stanpart pistons of standard dimension fitted. Bearings are all original . . . . .




A Phoenix stainless manifold replaces the original cast item. along with a matching stainless exhaust system.




The original radiator has been replaced with an uprated alloy version and large electric fan. to better cope with hard driving in sunny summer Europe.




Carbs rebuilt of course. requiring no more than new seals. gaskets and suchlike. and the original deteriorating petrol tank has been replaced on safety grounds by an alloy tank.




End result. standard cam and fully balanced engine. as yet hardly run-in. a car which will potter at ten in traffic as comfortably as it will top the ton on the autobahn.

The gearbox is a replacement. Neil hates ‘crash first'. so commissioned the legendary Roy Talbot to build him a judiciously uprated. all synchro. A-type TR6 overdrive box - which should be bombproof behind the wetliner 4. Mated to the engine via the original (spring) clutch. “light as a feather clutch and seamless overdrive changes” as Neil observes.




Rear axle is the original. which required no more than cleaning and relubricating.




Throughout the restoration first Graham and then Neil sought to retain what was still in first class order. and wherever possible and reasonable to replace only with original Stanpart. However. this TR was always intended as a driving machine. not an icon of originality nor yet a trailer queen. The upgrades noted above are there to enhance driveability and reliability.




It should be noted that Graham is a professional engineer. mainly involved with American vehicles. Neil is an amateur enthusiast with decades of TR and competition experience. well known in TR circles. Both chaps knew just what they were about. and utilised appropriate specialist input as and when required. The end result is a credit to all concerned.




We've all seen concours cars that look better than anything that ever left Canley. and with a few honourable exceptions they are not driver's cars. and are usually sadly devoid of any patina. YUC does at least retain a degree of visual cosmetic patina. and the driving experience is pure nostalgia. a 1950s sports car as it should be. neither an asthmatic relic nor yet a modernised hotrod.  a car that drives like new.




This is different. a car that looks like it left the assembly lines not long ago. and drives like it too. 53 years old and doesn't look or feel as if even 3 years have passed since it drove out of the dealer's showroom . . . . . But then it has covered less miles in half a century than most of its contemporaries managed in their first year.



Don't ask how much it cost. A heck of a lot ! Neither Graham nor Neil were in the business of building a bulging file of invoices with which to terrify the wife and provide grounds for divorce . . . . . and I doubt that either would wish to add up the hundreds of hours of their own skilled time.




Having recently examined the car in some detail. the only faults I noted were slight rubbing to the paint. top of the nearside scuttle. a result of the sidescreen having vibrated at speed; the ‘self-canceling' indicator needs adjustment. typical sidescreen trait that the control head rotates rather than cancels the flasher.   The latter can be solved with patience. the former with a touch-in of the several litres of paint which will come with the car. And as my wife reminds me. a few minutes and a gasket shim to level the shut line of the front of the bonnet. and a clean round the boot rack mounts !



The TR is of course right hand drive. but the bulkhead permits an easy changeover to left hand drive if required. and the original lhd dashboard will accompany the car along with the original seats.


There is ample scope for some enthusiastic minor cosmetic detailing to keep the new owner busy on winter evenings. but diy mechanical expertise should not be required. The car should require no more than a routine service and maintenance regime for many years yet.


Viewing and inspection is of course welcomed – Neil lives close to Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. His garage has a 4-post ramp enabling a proper inspection.


Questions are welome too. I'll do my best to respond promptly and accurately.


Collection from Gainsborough is not a matter of urgency. subject of course first to an appropriate deposit. and cleared funds payment in full before collection.


Assistance with delivery may be possible. please contact to discuss if relevant.


Payment may be in cash. or by bank transfer.


Meanwhile. there is a more extensive collection of some 120 detail photographs available for perusal on Photobucket – just click on the link below.


http://s1059. photobucket. com/user/trvanishingpoint/library/Neil%20TR3A


This car is advertised exclusively on eBay. it is not advertised elsewhere.


There is a Buy it Now price of £25K. available only until such time as someone places an opening bid. thereafter the auction will run its course – as you would hope and expect.  


Folks travel many miles in good faith to inspect a car like this. Neil and I won't be wasting their time by pulling it off eBay. this is a genuine auction. Please don't waste my time by asking for any other sort of deals.


Bear in mind that unlike a traditional auction. eBay does not involve a hefty buyer's premium - the £25K Buy it Now price. for example. amounts to little more than £22K hammer price at an average Floggit 'n' Scarper Classic Auction charging 10%+VAT ; the starting price equates to less than £18K hammer . . . . . And a traditional auction does not afford the luxury of comprehensive viewing and inspection. let alone road testing. Caveat emptor rules OK.


For the sake of completeness. photos below of the original seats and the original lhd dash which will come with the car. and finally the 1960s oil filter removed when the engine was stripped.



Ghastly non-original seat covers. presumably robbed from some other old TR back in the 1990s. but minimal rust. I'd guess mice had made the most of the originals ?



The original lhd dash. which also remains with the car against future requirements.



The filter. which shows how clean the original oil was ! Hastings was one of the noted US performance component companies in the 1960s. well respected in racing circles.



Extra final afterthought . . . . the sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed the absence of body tags. Neil acquired YUC in the midst of house moving. the original plates were put away safely. very safely. so safely he couldn't find them when the car was finally registered and returned to the road. He's turned house and garage upside down. and finally found them - but won't tell me where this super safe hiding place was !! They are now ready for the new owner to refit . . .



Please remember. auction ends  -  Sunday 9 June 2013 21:05:41 BST

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