The Triumph TR Cars – Triumph TR3

This post is a follow up to a previous post about the Triumph TR2.  The Triumph TR3 replaced the Triumph TR2 in October 1955.  The Triumph TR3 was not a drastic change from the TR2.  The same 4-cylinder 1,991cc engine was used; however, the engine power was increased from 90 horsepower to 95 horsepower by enlarging the inlet ports and the use of larger 1 3/4 inch SU carburetors.

On the outside, an matrix type grill was added along with some stainless steel beading along the fender/body shell joints.

Note the Matrix-Type Front Grill and Stainless Steel Beading

The later Triumph TR3 cars were among the first cars to be fitted with disk brakes as standard equipment.  The TR3 cars built between October 1955 and September 1956 had drum brakes, while the later cars up to the end of production in September 1957 had disk brakes.

The Appearance of TR3 is similar a TR2 Except for the Grill

The performance of the TR3 was not an improvement over the TR2., in fact a case can be made that the TR3 cars were slightly slower than the TR2. 

As with the Triumph TR2, the TR3 was given a distinctive hood emblem.  This emblem is shown below.

Triumph TR3 Emblem

 The Triumph TR3 was actively rallied and raced by the Triumph factory.  The picture below shows five TR3s that were awarded “Alpine Coupes” for having unpenalized runs in the 1956 Alpine Rally.  The three cars on the left side of the photo are the works team cars.  The car on the left (SRW 991) was driven by Tommy Wisdom, the next car (SRW 991) was driven by Paddy Hopkirk, and the third works car (SRW 410) was driven by Maurice Gatsonides.

Coupe Winning Triumph TR3s at the 1956 Alpine Rally

The three Coupe winning rally cars shown in the above photo were raced at Sebring in 1957.

Paddy Hopkirk near the Top of the Stelvio Pass in the 1956 Alpine Rally


Bernard Consten Driving a Works TR3 to 3rd Overall in the 1957 Liege-Rome-Liege Rally

The TR3 was produced from October 1955 to September 1957 during which a total of 13,377 cars were manufactured.  This was about 50% more than the number of TR2s that were produced.  About 90% of the TR3s were produced for export, so they are out there, but it is not common to see a Triumph TR3 these days.

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14 Responses to The Triumph TR Cars – Triumph TR3

  1. Kirby Palm says:

    Well, I just happened across this page, which I realize is more than a year old. But I do have a couple of questions/comments. First is the front grille on the TR3. Every car you show has a narrow grille with the turn signals on the bodywork beside the grille, but I’ve found photos online of TR3’s with a wide grille and the turn signals — in approximately the same location — incorporated into the grille. What’s the difference?

    Second is that hood badge. Your photo shows red to the left, black to the right. I’ve also seen photos of blue to the left, red to the right; blue to the left, white to the right; and one with the word “TRIUMPH” within the swath across the bottom, with the T and the H at 45 degree angles on the corners. All said “TR 3” at the top. Any significance to the different badges?

    • Hi Kirby,
      Thanks for your interest in the Triumph TR cars. The front grille on the TR3 is a somewhat narrow grille with the turn signals on the bodywork beside the grille just as you described. The other type of grille that you described is that of a TR3A model.

      I am not familiar with the variations in the badges that you are referring to, but that is interesting and I will see if I can find an explanation for those variations. In the meantime if you find out please let me know as well. If you have pictures of those hood badge variations, then I would appreciate seeing them.


  2. Troy says:

    Hi, I was wondering about those double folding windshields on that first tr3. What are those called and do you know if they are available anywhere? My father just picked up a 58 tr3a and I want to convince him to change out the windshield with that style. Thanks

    • Hi Troy,
      I don’t know where those windshields are available. As far as I know, they were not available from the factory and those shown on the image of the first TR3 are aftermarket items. Hopefully someone will provide you with a source for the windshields.


      • Joe Pierce says:

        Those folding windshields….I think that they are the Brooklands and should be available from The Roadster Factory or Moss Motors, both of which do a great job with Triumph parts.

        Joe Pierce

      • Peter Point says:

        With regard to the “double folding windscreens” on the TR3, they are called “aero screens” and were available to order from Standard Triumph through its network of appointed Triumph car dealers. The so called “Booklands” aero screens were a popular after sales aero screen available for any open sports car. These were sold by a supplier that had no specific link to the Standard Triumph factory or its appointed dealers. The Brooklands type is different in many respects from the genuine “factory” Triumph aero screens. The correct ones were made to bolt directly onto the TR 2 or TR 3. All TR2 & TR3, up to chassis number TS60000 (I think?), had 4 removable dome covered chrome bolts correctly positioned on the skuttle into which the factory aero screens could be flush-fitted for use, etc. No modification was required. The Triplex safety glass of the factory type is much higher than the the Brooklands type. I have a pair of the extremely rare Standard Triumph aero screens. The Triplex safety glass carries a date stamp showing the year 1955.

      • Hi Peter,
        Thank you very much for the informative comment about what I have been referring to as the “Brooklands” windscreens. I did not know that there was an official Triumph dealer installed option. I had assumed that they all were after-market units.
        Steve McKelvie

      • Peter Point says:

        Hello! I would like to add a few bits of information on the original “STANPART” (the official branded TM name that appeared on packaging & parts stickers for all original factory or Triumph dealer supplied Triumph TR2/TR3 service items, replacement parts, options & the like) that follow on from my previous comments on the difference between the factory fitted/Triumph dealer supplied STANPART aero screens (spelling alternative: aeroscreens) for the TR2 & TR3 and those Brooklands aeroscreens available through mail order in magazines & offered by specialist stores. The Brooklands aeroscreens are sometimes mistaken for the “correct” original STANPART items. I believe that the Brooklands type was introduced in the 1960’s & remains available today and is sometimes marketed by specialist Triumph parts dealers in the UK & US as the original-type areoscreen for the TR2 & TR3. This is misleading and simply won’t do for TR owners who appreciate originality. I believe that a member (Ken Mumford?) of the TR Register in the UK had a limited number of copies of the original type factory aeroscreens re-manufactured in the 1980’s or 1990’s and available for sale at the time. Original STANPART TR2/TR3 aeroscreens are sometimes offered for sale on e-Bay and/or the Internet. I recall an original pair being bid to approximately $5,000 some 9 or 10 years ago on e-Bay and, most recently, a pair offered individually on e-Bay or the Internet at $1,500 for one or $3,000 the pair. I am lucky to have a pair of original STANPART TR2/TR3 that I acquired in the 1970’s.

  3. had a 59 tr3 loved that car

  4. Darryl Hurter says:

    Hi Steve, I live in Durban, South Africa. The Triumph Sports Car Club of South Africa celebrates it’s 40th birthday this year. Would you like me to send you images of some of the interesting Triumphs.
    We have a Jabbeke replica among others. Our recent National gathering took place in April and I have many photographs taken at our Show Day. I share your interest in Racing Triumphs and discovered your great site yesterday.
    Best Regards

    • Hi Darryl! I always like to get images of interesting cars, so yes please send me some of your photos and I will post them on my website. My email address is: shanna12 at comcast dot net

      • Darryl Hurter says:

        Hi Steve,
        I have sent 2 photographs. You acknowledged the first one but not the second. Subject is ‘Skills test’. Did it get to you? I also have permission to send images of the Jabbeke replica and will be getting pictures of TR 3s racing in South Africa in the 70s.

      • Hi Darryl, I got the second photo and sent you a private email yesterday with a question about it. Please keep the photos coming.
        Steve McKelvie

  5. Quality posts is the secret to interest the people to pay a quick visit the site,
    that’s what this site is providing.

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