1959 Triumph TR3a
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A nice (as the English might say) 'tidy; Triumph.........certainly one of the nicest compromises in an English sports car as exists.
An interesting history: was always in California until 1976 when driven to Wisconsin, sat in climate controlled garage until taken out in 2016, rebuilt and reconditioned (if I wrote 'restored' one might think it was a ground up, body off restoration...which it wasn't), rebuilt engine, transmission, overdrive, suspension, brakes, new clutch, new distributor....and has covered around 1,000 miles work was completed.
First the car.......went over the edges of the body, fenders, rockers, around the headlights, across the front panel with an inspection magnet, stuck everywhere. While I don't have X Ray vision, it would appear there is no trace of bondo filler anywhere. And then crawled underneath, photographed the chassis and floors, again, appears to be rust free. Then I photographed interior, weather equipment, dash, engine bay, trunk........looks great. NOT purporting it to be a major show winner but certainly quite nice for a local show.
Better still.........did a compression test, 150-155 psi in every cylinder, got it up to operating temperature and was still maintaining over 80 psi oil pressure. No smoke at cold start up or when fully warmed. Transmission is quiet and has good synchromesh action, AND (best of all) the overdrive kicks in and out without any delay or slippage. Feels tight and perfect.
What else? The disc brakes work well, steering is far better than average, all of the gauges and electrics work, has seat belts, wheels look almost like new (we converted this car to wire wheels and used all new hub adapters and chrome knock offs), expensive English made Avon radial tires, exhaust is quiet, most of the chrome is new, have I left anything out?
I drove it to work a few days ago, had a little burst over 100 mph, it felt solid, smooth, and with perfect directional stability. And with overdrive and wire wheels, sort of the 'ultimate' in a TR3A.
What makes these car such an excellent compromise is that one gets a very classic car, no running boards but cut down doors, lots of gauges across the dash, side curtains, vintage style yet with disc brakes (Triumph had them a decade before Porsche), the powerful 100hp TR engine, overdrive (offering 5 speeds), 110 mph performance, comfortable ride, roomy interior, the ability to fit back seat cushions and belts for two small kids, AND simple, reliable, and easy to service........just about ideal. And in this car's case, a really solid example.
There it is. Still has Mass inspection to October 2020, THEY passed it. And so did we.