1963 TR3b

One of the things to look for, when gauging the quality of a restored TR2 or 3, is, in my opinion, the quality of the fit between the front cowl and the front wings. This seam should be straight and the stainless beading should fit in the seam nice and closely. No gaps should be apparent. This is a non-trivial matter on a TR since these panels are nearly always bashed, split and/or stretched. The temptation to reach for the bondo is almost overpowering when dealing with this panel fit. High quality work here is a good indication of the quality of the rest of the restoration.

You will note that I am still using the original leather door cappings. One of them is quite stained and could be replaced but I never have figured out how to work the leather smootlhly over these cappings. If you know how to do it, please let me know.

I am sorry I don't have a picture of the engine bay of this car. It is, I think, very correct and original(down to the dates on the Lucas fusebox). The car is finished in Spa White lacquer with red interior(using many of the original panels), overdrive and wire wheels. The wires were not originally fitted but I couldn't resist.

I bought this car from a fellow who had disassembled it about 20 years ago. He intended to restore the car but, basicly, only got around to having the frame cleaned and painted and the body dipped. Nearly all of the parts were neatly stored in his garage and many were wrapped in 1970's newspapers(quite a time trip). It is quite correct and original and the speedometer reads 63,000mi. I even used the original fasteners on this one. Very nice metal with only a few rust pinholes on the trunk lid.

The few repro parts I had to use came from either Moss Motors or the Roadster Factory. I would recommend both firms highly with, perhaps, a slight nod to Moss.

TR3b's are interesting Triumphs. The TR3 series of cars was replaced in the early 1960's by the TR4 series. This was, at the time, considered to be a much more modern car(after all, it had wind up windows) and, as I understand it, a number of U. S. Triumph dealers were concerned that the TR4 wouldn't sell in the American market because of its modernity. These dealers evidently convinced the manufacturer to build additional production runs of the TR3a. Standard-Triumph had, of course, retooled its production line to make TR4s and therefore, contracted out the assembly of the final lots of TR3a cars to the Forward Radiator Company. I am not sure whether it was because the Forward Radiator people didn't know what parts to put on the cars or whether Standard-Triumph was just exhausting its final production runs of TR3 components and told Forward to use whatever was available, but these cars contain a unique mix of Triumph parts. For example, mine has a 2138cc(TR4) engine, a full synchro(TR4) gearbox and TR4 front brakes. Other TR3bs have the 83mm engine, three synchro gearbox and TR3a brakes. Trim components, particularly lettering and badging are notorious variables. Sometimes you might see old style lettering on the front cowl, or no lettering. These cars were produced under two separate serial number sequences starting with, I believe, TSF and TCF. About 2,100 were made in total.

These differences were noticed by the U. S. enthusiast but Standard-Triumph denied that they were, in fact, making a separate model TR3. The Americans gave the car the "b" model designator first and, I understand eventually the factory did agree that it was, in fact, a different model.

Restoration photos