Triumph TR2, TR3, TR3A, TR3B
In 1952 the Type 20TS (often referred to as the TR1) was introduced at Earl's Court Motor Show. Built on a prewar Standard chassis and sporting a dual-carb version of the Standard Vanguard engine.
The car (TR2)eventually gained its own purpose-built chassis frame, which incorporated front suspension originally developed for the Mayflower. The Vanguard engine (2088cc) was further developed into a reliable 90hp, under 2-liter engine. The rear of the body provided a trunk and an enclosed space for the spare.
A prototype TR2 was run on a closed stretch Jabbeke highway by Ken Richardson in spring 1953, achieving close to 125mph in "speed" trim and around 105mph in "street" trim.
Total TR2-3B production was something under 80,000 cars. Also, several other cars shared basic TR2-3 running gear, such as the Swallow Doretti, Peerless, Warwick, and the (Vignale) Italia. TR engines also powered versions of the Morgan sports car.
TR3 : In the autumn of 1955 the TR2 was superseded by the similar looking TR3. The immediate point of identification was the egg-crate grille that now adorned the front nose of the car. The Triumph TR3 was a car built between 1955 and 1957 by the Standard Motor Company in the United Kingdom, during which time 13,377 cars were produced, of which 1286 were sold within the UK while the rest were exported mainly to the USA.
TR3 with small mouth grille pushed to the front of the nose
. TR3A 1959 with wide grinning grille
The obvious differences between the TR2 and TR3A included door handles and boot handles placed on the outside of the car for the TR3A, the grille expanded and was placed on the outside of the car. The rear of the TR3 changed with added warning lights. The TR2 at first had long passenger doors which scraped on the curb when the door opened. The doors were shortened. A cooling air cowl was added in front of the wind shield for passenger comfort. The overdrive switch changed from a knob on the dash to a switch that could be engaged and disengaged with the driverís little finger without letting go of the steering wheel. The carburetors increased from SU4s to SU6s. The rear end became more robust. In 1956 the front brakes changed from drum to disc becoming the first British series production car to be fitted disc brakes. The car was powered by a 1991cc straight-4 OHV engine which initially produced 95 bhp increasing to 100 bhp at 5000 rpm. The four speed manual transmission could be supplemented by an overdrive unit on the top three ratios.
TR3A : Officially there was never a TR3A model although it is known throughout the sports car world by this designation. Mechanically it was identical to the TR3, but it had a new wider grille that extended below the headlamps and incorporated the side lights. Other identifying features were external door handles, a feature that was decried by dyed in the wool enthusiasts at the time. A larger 2.2 liter engine was offered as an optional extra, but there seem to have been few takers for this option. From 1957 the optional extra hardtop was made in steel. TR2/3/3A models were upholstered in vynide cloth and the fascia panel was covered in a matching material (TR2/TR3), TR3A on was painted black. Two large round instruments directly in front of the driver housed the speedometer and tachometer. A panel in the center of the fascia accommodated the switches, warning lights and four smaller gauges for fuel level, engine temperature, oil pressure and ammeter. A large glove box and a grab handle were provided in front of the passenger.
Production of the TR3 largely ended by 1961. A small number (approximately 3,331) of TR3Bs were built for the North American market in 1962, largely to TR3A specification, although most of these had the larger 2138cc engine with all-synchro transmission. This transmission was added to the new TR4 Triumph.
One of the things to look for when gauging the quality of a restored TR2 or 3 is the quality of the fit between the front cowl and the front wings. This seam should be straight and the stainless beading should fit in the seam nice and closely. No gaps should be apparent. This is a non-trivial matter on a TR since these panels are nearly always bashed, split and/or stretched. High quality work here is a good indication of the quality of the rest of the restoration
Although the car was usually supplied as an open air two-seater, an occasional rear seat and bolt on steel hard top were available as extras.
SCCA Dixie Region