In 1957, Triumph introduced the TR3A line. The new TR3A was seen as an improved version of its predecessor, the TR3, in both design and engineering. The sporty new "3A" had formidable speed potential, topping out at over 105 mph. It featured a considerably larger grille complete with its own badging. The wider eggcrate style of the new grille earned it the nickname of "widemouth" from Triumph enthusiasts. The TR3A came equipped with a multitude of options, including wire or steel wheels and a selection of exterior colors to choose from, as well as recessed headlights and a locking trunk lid.

As with many British marques, Triumph and especially the early TRs became familiar in competitions from club to international level. At the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1960, all three cars finished and in 1961 they placed ninth, eleventh and fifteenth to take the team award. The model was also well supported for SCCA categories.

The TR3A pictured here was purchased in 1987 following a complete frame-up restoration by the previous owner. The former owner had restored the Triumph with the intention of racing the car when he had finished and his modifications included a pair of Weber 42DCO8E carburetors for increased performance. In addition, a custom Moto Lita wood steering wheel was added. The eight-spoke racing rims with chrome spinners complete the TR3A's sleek appearance. This example also comes equipped with the desirable electric overdrive and an alternator replaces the original dynometer.

The current owner, a Pebble Beach award-winner and professional restorer, has driven the TR3A less than 500 miles since 1987 and has concentrated on making mechanical and cosmetic upgrades.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1960 Triumph TR3A

The car shown here sold for $12,650 (including buyer’s commission) at Christie’s auction at Pebble Beach on August 16, 1998. A TR3A can be expected to sell for $13-16,000 in good original or restored condition. In this case, the non-original wheels take away slightly from the value of the car, but the engine upgrades should increase its performance.

About 58,000 TR3As were built between 1957 and 1961. With production numbers like these, they can not be considered rare, but they give drivers an experience that is still sought after today.

Later TR3As such as this one featured better brakes. Since a stock model produced only about 95 horsepower, any engine enhancements such as the Weber carburetors on this car should be welcomed. The car weighs 2,200 lb. and could make good use of a boost in engine output.

The TR3B that followed this model contained some improvements in the transmission, but no significant changes in appearance. The value of a TR3Bs is only slightly more than that of a comparable TR3As.

The TR3A is more powerful than the MGA and not as expensive as the Austin-Healey 3000, making it a good choice for enthusiasts of ’60s British sports cars.

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