TR 3: a Radiator grill like a Ferrari
The production of the TR 3 started in October 1955 with the commissioning number TS 8637. The appearance differed from the TR 2 with a forward mounted radiator grill and stainless steel wing moldings (the TR 2 had the moldings finished in the colour of the bodywork). In addition there was an emergency seat for a 3rd person and a fibre glass hard top could be ordered. The engine had increased induction inlets and instead of the 1-1/2” SU carburetor a 1-3/4” SU was fitted, increasing the performance from 90 to 95 PS. Then in August 1956 sensationally cars after number TS 13’046 were fitted with Girling disc brakes. The TR 3 was consequently the first British mass-produced car with disc brakes. A year earlier the Citroen DS 19 was first European car to be fitted with in-board disc brakes. Later on the rear suspension was strengthened and a GT-Kit comprising of outer door handles and a steel hardtop was presented to the public. The production numbers of the TR 3 doubled in comparison to the TR 2.
From October 1955 till September 1957 13’378 cars were manufactured.
TR3 A: The dollar grin
The production of the TR 3 started at Canley in the summer of 1957. It was exclusively sold in the USA at the beginning, then worldwide after January 1958. The design now had a full width radiator grill which incorporated the indicators. The headlights were set back approx. 2” (5cm). From number TS 22’014 the boot compartment and outer door handles were standard. The TR 3A was mechanically the same as the TR 3, although the official performance was now stated as 100 PS at 5’000 RPM. The production increased to more than 58’000 TR 3A’s. At the peak of production in 1960 almost 2’000 cars were leaving the Factory every month. Up till 1961 there were no visual changes, although under the bodywork there were improvements made to the Girling braking system.
From September 1957 till October 1961 58’236 cars were manufactured.
TR 3 B: An American Flower
The new TR 4 was announced in 1961. The Triumph dealers in the USA were of the opinion that the car was set up too comfortable for their sporty buyers. More over the price was considerably higher as the TR 3A. They appealed to the manufacturer to produce another classic series of the TR. The result was the TR 3B which started production in 1962. The first 500 examples (Commission No.TSF) were identical to the TR 3A. The following 2’831 vehicles (Commission No. TCF) were fitted with a 2183 cc engine (identical to the TR 4) and had a gearbox with synchronization on all 4 forward gears. Because of its rarity, and the interesting combination of chassis, engine and transmission, the TR 3B series TCF is much sought after.
From March 1962 till October 1962 3’321 cars were manufactured, all went for export.