Pick of the Day: 1961 Triumph TR3A roadster

The 1961 Triumph TR3A offers a very British sports-car driving experience
The 1961 Triumph TR3A offers a very British sports-car driving experience

A Triumph TR3 was the first sports car in which I ever rode, and the most indelible memory is how the car was so low and the doors cut away so much that I could easily reach down and touch the pavement. Well, that memory and the one about the lovely driver, a friend of my mom’s named Brenda, was such that my 12-year-old brain was pretty much overwhelmed by the entire experience of riding along the New Jersey shoreline with a gorgeous blonde in a British sports car.

So naturally, the Pick of the Day holds a special place in my heart: a 1961 Triumph TR3A roadster painted Sky Blue and described by the seller as a rust-free original in superb restored condition.

The Triumph has a very low profile with it cutaway doors
The Triumph has an extremely low profile, especially with its cutaway doors

The TR3 was highly popular in its day, and a number of my friends drove used ones throughout the ’60s and ’70s. With its lusty 2.0-liter tractor engine (really) and buckboard suspension, the Triumph was totally down to earth and all about having fun. The TR3 also reigned as a most-traditional example of British sports-car motoring, and is considered by many purists as the last of the true British roadsters. That they have remained desirable collector cars is no surprise.

This 1961 TR3A was one of the final versions of the model, and it was sold alongside its replacement, the more-civilized TR4 designed by the great Giovanni Michelotti. As a last hurrah for the TR3, the sports car received a number of refinements, including improved seats and other interior upgrades.

The Triumph dressed in its foul-weather gear
The Triumph dressed in its foul-weather gear

“The ‘Sky Blue’ color paint is in simply stunning condition and the interior is also quite extraordinary with black seats and matching door panels, a lovely original steering wheel and original Jaeger gauges,” the seller, a classic car dealer located in Santa Monica, California, says in the ClassicCars.com listing. “The black-color soft top is new and the car has its original side curtains, original disc wheels and its original spare wheel with leather strap in its storage compartment.

“The 1,991 cc engine purrs quietly under the hood and the 4 speed manual transmission shifts smoothly through the gears – an absolute pleasure to drive,” the seller adds.

The extensive photo gallery shows that the Triumph is apparently in fine condition, which makes it moderately priced at $37,500 – the Hagerty price guide has this car at $39,000 in good condition and $54,500 in concours condition.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

4 thoughts on “Pick of the Day: 1961 Triumph TR3A roadster”

  1. My first Sportscar was 1959 TR3A that I absolutely loved. We had fun red light racing (and usually losing except to VWs) Hwy 1792 and Colonial Dr. while cruising through Steak&Shake and Frisch’s Big Boy in Orlando in the 1960s.

  2. My story, exactly. My 6th grade teacher, and her husband, took me for my first road rally up NC mountain roads and I have loved the “TR3B” for 66 years!

  3. Purchased my Tr3 in 1965, drove it all the way through high school and sold it in 1969. Paid 500 dollars for it and sold it for the same price. Still kicking my self in the rear end for having sold it. I can remember the warm summer nights driving home from cedar point with the top down feeling that warm summer breeze. Doesn’t get much better than that.

  4. Still drive my 58 TR3A with Offenhauser head on that Standard tractor engine and it has a deep throaty sound rumbling out of the stainless headers and exhaust. My mech was a purist and thought Lucas deserved better than …”Father of darkness”, and removed my electronic ignition for Lucas points on a Lucas distributor. She has an upgrade to a 5 speed which because the EPA has so degraded our gasoline has brought her back to 30 mpg, when in the 60’s 40 mpg was the norm. Her Lexus deep pearl white luminescent paint makes her catch everyone’s eye, and her racing wheels really make her menacing when she sits static at the Sonic on Friday’s. Still the most reliable vehicle I’ve owned, but thoroughly British! Which means you will fry in the summer, freeze in the winter, and get soaked when it rains, but it is still my favorite.

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