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If you’re in the market for a perky two-seater that begs to be driven, this TR mer­its se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion says Rob Sco­rah

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

This TR3A of­fers as many top-on/top-off op­tions as any con­vert­ible – it comes with a de­tach­able hard­top as well as a new-look­ing soft-top on the car’s orig­i­nal roof frame. The gen­eral ap­pear­ance of the lit­tle two-seater is good.

It has ob­vi­ously been the sub­ject of an older restora­tion (alas, un­doc­u­mented) and the red paint­work is good, with­out swirl pol­ish­ing marks or faded pan­els. There are some small chips around the lower edges and a chip through to metal be­low the near­side rear in­di­ca­tor. But panel fit is good: doors hang squarely, and bonnet and boot gaps are even.

The chrome, badges and other bright­work are in good or­der, with no pit­ting or dis­coloura­tion, though the bootlid hinges have shifted slightly off their rub­ber gas­kets. There are a cou­ple of small dings to the rear whee­larch shields.

The in­te­rior has a used but cared-for patina. The beige leather seats re­tain their shape and sup­port and the red pip­ing still looks smart. How­ever, there is some slight dark­en­ing to the outer bol­ster of the driver’s seat. The rest of the cock­pit is good – es­pe­cially the dash­board – though the trim has worn and split where the door meets the body. Car­pets are good, if a bit stained in places, and the floor be­neath them is solid. There is a milk­i­ness at the top right hand cor­ner of the wind­screen – per­haps de­lam­i­na­tion – but it doesn’t re­strict vis­i­bil­ity.

The soft-top is sup­ple and clean. It un­but­tons from its studs eas­ily and folds neatly. The skele­ton frame folds down eas­ily too, though the end of one of its can­vas straps is slightly frayed. And there are a few scuffs to the ends of the frame.

The en­gine bay was painted as care­fully as the body and K&N air fil­ters are the only non-stan­dard item. The wiring is a lit­tle un­tidy but hoses and leads look good and the new-look­ing plas­tic parts are nei­ther cracked nor heat dam­aged. Clips and screw-heads are all cor­ro­sion-free. There are no signs of leaks from the en­gine, which starts promptly and idles smoothly with a bit of aid from its choke. The oil pres­sure sits mid-gauge and the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture stays rea­son­able.

The 2.0-litre four-pot feels re­spon­sive and the el­bow space pro­vided by those low door tops is wel­come when you’re tug­ging the large steer­ing wheel. Steer­ing is typ­i­cally vague around straight-ahead but you still feel con­fi­dent di­rect­ing the car.

The gearchange is pos­i­tive, the box is whine-free and the dash-mounted over­drive en­gages smoothly in the top two gears. The brakes (discs on the front) pull it up in a straight line and the Toyo 165 R15 tyres still have a lot of life in them.

The price is sim­i­lar to other good-look­ing ex­am­ples, but some offer bet­ter his­to­ries. There may be room for a lit­tle ne­go­ti­a­tion against the lack of pa­per­work.

Chrome is in ex­cel­lent nick and paint­work is good; stone chips are few and far be­tween Tidy en­gine bay looks stan­dard aside from K&N air fil­ters

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