One owner, 21,000 miles from new 1959 Triumph TR3A Roadster Chassis no. TS44436L Engine no. TS45184E
Lacking a sports car capable of competing with those of rivals MG and Jaguar, Standard-Triumph engaged in a hurried design and development programme that culminated with the display at the 1953 Geneva Motor Show of the prototype TR2. Simply constructed, practical to own and offering 100mph-plus performance at a bargain price, the TR2 was an enormous success both at home and abroad so it was only to be expected that its successor would represent evolution rather than revolution. Introduced in October 1955, the TR3 was, indeed, little different from the TR2. Changes to the Standard Vanguard-derived 2.0-litre engine boosted power from 90 to 95bhp but the most obvious difference was the adoption of an 'egg box' radiator grille. The engine developed 100bhp courtesy of a new cylinder head by mid-1956; then in August Girling front disc brakes and the stronger Phase III Vanguard rear axle were standardised. Cosmetically revised but mechanically indistinguishable, the TR3A was phased in during 1957. New front-end styling featured a full-width grille incorporating sidelights/indicators, and for the first time there were locking door and boot handles plus an improved interior.
This left-hand drive Triumph TR3A was purchased new from a main dealer in Denver, Colorado on 13th March 1960 by an esteemed American scientist. The car was a gift for his wife Carol, who would use it to attend law school. First registered in the scientist's name, so as not to spoil the surprise, the Triumph remained registered to him until he passed away on 4th May 2003. The title document was then transferred to his wife's name on 29th December of that same year. By this time the lady owner had retired from being the Assistant District Attorney of Colorado, 'being extremely respected and a fine woman'.
In the early 1970s it had been decided to make this then superb example - always cherished by its owner and maintained to the highest standard - into a show winner. The car was carefully stripped to the bare bodyshell and reassembled after every original item had been cleaned and detailed; it was then refinished in beautiful Iris blue. New weather equipment and interior trim to the original pattern trim was installed. For the last 40 years the Triumph has been maintained in that condition, and apart from regular servicing has required no further work. The history file contains photographs of the car taken during the 1960s and others taken after 1976, as well as paperwork verifying its singular history.
This has to be one of the most original Triumph TR3s in existence; it looks almost to good to be true and driving the car is said to be a wonderful experience. It comes with full weather equipment and all its original tools, and is duty-paid in the EU.