1958 Triumph TR3A Works Rally Roadster

©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Standard-Triumph entered four Triumph TR3As for the 1958 Monte Carlo Rally. The cars carried near-sequential registration numbers: VRW 220 for Paddy Hopkirk/Jack Scott, VRW 221 for John Waddington/Mike Wood, VRW 223 for Maurice Gatsonides/Marcel Becquart and VRW 219 for Annie Soisbault/Tish Ozanne.

Poor weather delayed Waddington in VRW 221 — this car — and he was excluded from the event before reaching Lyon. However, excluded parties could continue to Monte Carlo to compete in the Driving Tests on the promenade at the end of the rally. This detour was rendered worthwhile when the Waddington/Wood car finished 3rd in the standalone event.

In April, VRW 221 was driven in the Circuit of Ireland Rally by former Works Jaguar and Ecurie Ecosse driver Desmond Titterington. Brian McCaldin was the co-driver. Titterington secured 2nd behind fellow Ulsterman Hopkirk, ensuring a welcome 1-2 finish for Standard-Triumph. Later that month, Ron Gouldborn assumed driving duties of VRW 221 for the Tulip Rally and — ably assisted by Stuart Turner — scored a class win and 10th overall.

In the Rallye des Alpes, VRW 221 finished 8th overall and 3rd in class. The car’s final Works outing was the Tour de France, driven by Australians David McKay and David Lewin. The car ran strongly throughout, and was running 15th overall on the final night before brake problems caused them to crash into retirement on the final day.

Sold by the Works in 1959 to former driver Ron Goldbourn, a succession of owners ensued before VRW 221 entered long-term ownership with Martyn King, who sensitively restored the car, taking great care to preserve as many original components as possible.

VRW 221 remains a highly significant car. Thought to be the only one of the ’58 Monte Carlo cars surviving, it retains its original engine and period rally spotlights, and is eminently eligible for the myriad historic rallies and tours currently operating worldwide.

Paul Hardiman

Paul Hardiman - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Paul is descended from engineers and horse thieves, so he naturally gravitated toward the old-car marketplace and still finds fascination in the simpler things in life: looking for spot-weld dimples under an E-type tail, or counting the head-studs on a supposed Mini-Cooper engine. His motoring heroes are Roger Clark, Burt Levy, Henry Royce and Smokey Yunick — and all he wants for next Christmas is an Alvis Stalwart complete with picnic table in the back and a lake big enough to play in.

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