Tri­umph TR3

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Chris Hope

ENGINE 1991cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 165bhp (ap­prox) TORQUE n/a MAX­I­MUM SPEED n/a 0-60MPH n/a FUEL CON­SUMP­TION n/a TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, five-speed man­ual MoT 12 months from sale ODOME­TER 3312 miles

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

These sidescreen TRs had a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing raw and rugged in pe­riod, but the var­i­ous mod­i­fi­ca­tions made to this ex­am­ple’s run­ning gear mean that it’s in a dif­fer­ent league. It’s a cu­ri­ous mix of old and new, with fuel in­jec­tion and a five-speed gear­box but a fly-off hand­brake and chain­op­er­ated door re­leases. It’s also fe­ro­ciously quick, with mas­sive torque and scalpelsharp throt­tle re­sponses. The sus­pen­sion’s rather harshly sprung, so the lack of seat­belts make you tighten your grip on the steer­ing wheel on un­even roads. Not the eas­i­est car to drive, then, but huge fun.

BODY­WORK CHECK

The cream paint does lit­tle to dis­guise the var­i­ous im­per­fec­tions, and while it won’t win any con­cours awards, it is fun­da­men­tally sound, hav­ing been the sub­ject of a full body-off chas­sis restora­tion five years ago. Sur­face cor­ro­sion has struck both the sills where they’ve been caught by the doors, plus the in­ner edges of the ‘mouth’ where the egg-crate grille sits. There’s also some very mi­nor dis­coloura­tion around the rear whee­larches, plus pit­ting to the chrome wind­screen sur­round. It’s clearly been used and en­joyed more than shown off.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

The red leather with white pip­ing looks ex­tremely invit­ing. The springy seat squabs are at odds with the rigid back­rest, but the seats them­selves aren’t un­com­fort­able and trans­mit a lot of the con­tact the car has with the road through the driver’s back­side. Close scru­tiny re­veals a few small scuffs on the leather-trimmed dash­board and some dis­coloura­tion to the car­pet­ing around the trans­mis­sion tun­nel ow­ing to ul­tra­vi­o­let light dam­age.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

This car’s pre­vi­ous owner has opted for a We­b­con elec­tronic fuel in­jec­tion set-up, which uses a crank sen­sor, dis­pens­ing with the distrib­u­tor al­to­gether. Like­wise, the glove­box lid is just for show and ac­tu­ally hides an ECU. The usual anti-freeze has also been re­placed by Evans Water­less Coolant. While it’s not stan­dard, the mod­i­fi­ca­tions ap­pear to be well-ex­e­cuted (and there are the in­voices from Rev­ing­ton TR show­ing ex­actly what’s been done) while the in­ner wings and bulk­head ap­pear to be free from rot.

THE CCW VIEW

This is without doubt a mon­ster of a car; open up the taps and it fully as­saults the senses, the engine do­ing its best to drown out the wind noise as you hur­tle along. And yet, while it has its cos­metic im­per­fec­tions, it’s clearly been spoilt rot­ten where it counts, as ev­i­denced by the bill for an eye-wa­ter­ing £33,000 among the in­voices in the ser­vice folder. This is per­haps not the ul­ti­mate sidescreen TR, but it surely can’t be all that far off.

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