1959 Triumph TR3: Revving up History

1959 Triumph TR3: Revving up History

Engine Inline 4Horsepower 100 hpTorque 117 lb-ftEngine Location Front, longitudinalDrive Type RWDRWD Weight 2,155 lbsTransmission 4-speed manual

The 1959 Triumph TR3 was a groundbreaking sports car that captured the hearts of British automotive enthusiasts with its affordability, speed, and sleek design. Born out of the post-World War II British automotive industry, the TR3 was the result of the Triumph Motor Company’s ambition to meet the rising demand for affordable sports vehicles in the 1950s.

Source: Hagerty for agents

Initially launched in 1955, this revolutionary car swiftly captured the hearts of British sports vehicle enthusiasts owing to its reasonable price, impressive speed, and elegant aesthetics. Its robust build and potent engine were crafted to endure the demands of high-speed driving, rendering it a preferred option among racing enthusiasts. As time passed, it retained its status as a cherished classic, with its timeless design continuously igniting the passion of new generations of racing aficionados.

The origins

Source: MotorTrend

The TR3’s story began in the early 1950s, when a talented team of designers, led by the visionary minds of Walter Belgrove and Arthur Ballard, embarked on a mission to craft a sports car that would redefine the driving experience. Armed with determination and creativity, they meticulously developed the TR3 prototype in 1952, unveiling an alluringly sleek and aerodynamic body boasting a long hood and a distinctive short rear deck. Under the hood, the TR3 prototype housed a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that roared with 90 horsepower, promising an exhilarating ride for enthusiasts. What made the prototype even more remarkable was its avant-garde independent suspension system, which revolutionized handling and stability on the roads. Triumph’s management was thoroughly impressed by the prototype’s ingenuity and promptly authorized the production of 300 automobiles. Thus, in March 1955, the official debut of the Triumph TR3 took place at the prestigious Geneva Motor Show, where it instantaneously captivated the hearts of onlookers and garnered widespread admiration. The production version of the TR3 came with several enhancements, showcasing a more powerful engine generating 100 horsepower, a refined four-speed manual gearbox, and interior exuding elegance and sophistication. The TR3’s sporty styling and exceptional performance quickly earned it a devoted following on both sides of the Atlantic, becoming a sought-after choice among sports car enthusiasts. As time progressed, Triumph’s commitment to excellence led to further refinements and introductions of new models. The TR3A, in particular, featured a wider front grille, improved brakes, and a larger fuel tank, enhancing its appeal and performance even more. During the 1950s and 1960s, the TR3 was consistently astonished by its exceptional performance and irresistible charm. It established itself as a strong competitor in prestigious racing events, notably the revered 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it showcased its racing prowess. Not limiting its appeal to the racetrack, the TR3 even graced the silver screen in Hollywood’s glitz and glamour, making memorable appearances in iconic films like “The Fast and the Furious” and “The Italian Job”.

The 1959 model year

Source: Richmonds

In the 1959 model year, the TR3 received further technical advancements, a refined interior, and subtle design changes. Under the hood, it now featured an improved 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine producing about 100 horsepower, coupled with a smooth four-speed manual gearbox. The independent front suspension system contributed to the car’s agile handling and responsive steering. Inside, the 1959 TR3 offered a more luxurious experience with high-quality leather seats providing ample support for spirited driving. The redesigned streamlined dashboard featured an easier-to-read instrument cluster. Modern conveniences like an adjustable steering wheel and a heater made driving more comfortable in colder weather. Design-wise, the 1959 version featured subtle updates, such as a new mesh pattern on the front grille, slightly higher relocated headlights, and new rounded taillights, giving it a more modern appearance while maintaining its classic British sports car charm. Despite its technical advancements and refined interior, the 1959 TR3 remained true to its lightweight and nimble nature. Its sturdy yet lightweight steel body, weighing just over 2,000 pounds, combined with the advanced suspension system, made it a joy to drive on winding roads and twisty tracks.

Did you know?

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The 1959 Triumph TR3 was used as a camera car during the filming of the iconic movie “Ben-Hur”. The automobile was modified with a camera mount and driven by stunt driver Yakima Canutt during the famous chariot race scene. 

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1959 Triumph TR3: Revving up History

Engine Inline 4Horsepower 100 hpTorque 117 lb-ftEngine Location Front, longitudinalDrive Type RWDRWD Weight 2,155 lbsTransmission 4-speed manual

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