Pride of Own­er­ship

Nick Pol­litt’s TR3 has flipped over on the Nür­bur­gring and toured Europe. Now it’s head­ing for an­other tough test – the Pride of Own­er­ship award. We dis­cover what it’s like to drive

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

Tri­umph TR3

‘Iwas just look­ing for a nice TR3,’ says owner Nick Pol­litt, ‘then I found out what an amaz­ing his­tory the car has’. It’s a his­tory that’s tak­ing it to cen­tre stage at the Lan­caster In­sur­ance Clas­sic Mo­tor Show as Nick’s TR3, known as SWK, has made it through to the fi­nal stage of the 2018 Pride of Own­er­ship award. As one of the first TR3s made, this 1955 Tri­umph was grabbed by Tri­umph’s train­ing de­part­ment, where it was pulled apart and put back to­gether – not for the last time – by ap­pren­tices. Clearly they were well tu­tored, as SWK was then given over to Tri­umph’s PR de­part­ment, which dis­played it in a Coven­try cin­ema lobby. Ob­so­lete when the TR3A hit the show­rooms in 1957, SWK was sold to Ken Cooper, an RAF pi­lot, who took the car to Ger­many. The TR3 passed to a sec­ond RAF pi­lot in Ger­many, Tony Nether­ton, who flipped the car while try­ing it out on the Nür­bur­gring. Thank­fully, SWK was re­paired with the front end of a TR3A and re­turned to the UK to RAF Abing­don in 1959, where Nether­ton cam­paigned the car in a num­ber of sprints and hill­climbs. SWK’s where­abouts in the Six­ties and early Seven­ties are un­known, but the trail picks up again in 1975 where the Tri­umph is back in the own­er­ship of pi­lots, this time a Der­byshire glider club, chang­ing hands be­tween var­i­ous mem­bers, once over a game of Monopoly. The car ended up with Brain Lofts in 1988, who ac­quired the car as boxes of parts. Lofts re­stored it him­self, re­build­ing the en­tire ve­hi­cle and re­plac­ing the car’s front end with a cor­rect TR3 shroud. Need­ing funds for an­other pro­ject, Lofts sold it to Ed­ward Fitz­patrick in 1999. Us­ing it for con­ti­nen­tal tours, Fitz­patrick spent three times what he paid for the car im­prov­ing it. Af­ter 14 years of own­er­ship Fitz­patrick re­placed it with a Jaguar Mk2. One fur­ther owner and a brief stay in a Peter­bor­ough deal­er­ship later, Nick Pol­litt bought the car, re­con­nect­ing with child­hood mem­o­ries of his dad’s TR3. We were ea­ger to see how SWK per­formed on the road…

EN­GINE 1991cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 100bhp@5000rpm TORQUE 159lb ft@3000rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 105mph 0-60MPH 12.5sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 25-35mpg GEAR­BOX RWD, four-speed man + O/D EN­GINE OIL Cas­trol Clas­sic XL30 6.25 litres GEAR­BOX OIL Cas­trol Clas­sic XL30 0.85 litres AXLE OIL Cas­trol Clas­sic EP90 0.85 litres

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