The Triumph TR3: A History

  1. Triumph TR history
  2. Individual Model Histories
  3. History of the TR3 model

The Triumph TR3 is a classic British sports car that has been delighting drivers since its introduction in 1955. It was the first model of the Triumph TR series, which went on to become one of the most successful and iconic sports cars of all time. With its distinctive curvaceous lines, powerful engine, and classic good looks, the TR3 has been a favorite of classic car enthusiasts for decades. In this article, we take a look at the history of the TR3 and explore why it has remained so popular over the years. The Triumph TR3 was a sports car originally manufactured by the Triumph Motor Company from 1955 to 1962. It was the first model of the TR series of sports cars and was designed by Giovanni Michelotti, an Italian car designer. The car featured a 2-liter four-cylinder engine with a maximum output of 95 horsepower.

It had a four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and a limited-slip differential. The car was praised for its balanced handling and excellent acceleration, making it popular among racing enthusiasts. The TR3 was also known for its distinctive design, which included a unique grille and wide fenders that gave it a bold and aggressive look. The car was available in several colors, including red, white, and blue.

It was also available with optional accessories such as a hardtop, overdrive, and wire wheels. The TR3 was successful in motorsports events such as the Monte Carlo Rally and the Mille Miglia. It became popular with enthusiasts and collectors alike, with many examples still being driven today. However, the popularity of the car dwindled as time went on and the model was eventually discontinued in 1962. Despite its discontinuation, the TR3 remains an iconic model in automotive history.

It is remembered for its distinctive design, performance, and racing success. The car is still highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Its unique design continues to be an inspiration to those looking to build or customize their own cars. The TR3's legacy will likely remain for many years to come.


The Triumph TR3 model was eventually discontinued in 1962, after a long history of production from 1955 to 1962. The discontinuation of the TR3 model was likely due to a combination of factors, including changing tastes in automobile design, an increased focus on safety features, and the introduction of newer and more advanced models. Since its discontinuation, the TR3 has become a sought-after collector's item.

This is mainly due to its status as a classic British sports car and its unique design features. Its iconic shape and aerodynamic curves have made it a popular choice for car collectors and enthusiasts. Additionally, its rarity has made it a valuable asset for many automotive enthusiasts. Overall, the Triumph TR3's discontinuation marked the end of an era. It was one of the last true British sports cars that would remain in production until the mid-1960s.

Despite its eventual discontinuation, the TR3 still stands as a classic icon of car culture.

Development and Design

The Triumph TR3 was first introduced in 1955 by the Standard Motor Company. It was a direct replacement for the Triumph TR2 and was designed to be an even sportier version of its predecessor. The TR3 featured a redesigned front grille, a more powerful engine, and a roomier interior. It was available in a variety of colors and had several options for trim levels. The engine of the TR3 was a 2.0 liter, four-cylinder, overhead valve unit with a power output of 90bhp.

This provided the car with a top speed of around 95 mph and a 0-60 mph time of around 10 seconds. The suspension system used on the TR3 included independent front suspension with coil springs, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, and telescopic dampers. The design of the TR3 was very much influenced by the 1950s American automobile styling. The grille was modeled after the famous Chevy Bel Air's grille and the headlights were taken from the Ford Thunderbird. The interior was made up of leather-covered seats, deep-pile carpets, and wood-veneer dashboard. The TR3 was an iconic model in its day and it had a lasting influence on car culture.

Its popularity even continued after it was discontinued in 1961 when it was replaced by the TR4 model. Today, the Triumph TR3 is still an admired classic car that is highly sought after by collectors.

Influence on Car Culture

The Triumph TR3 was an iconic car that left a lasting legacy in car culture. When it was first introduced in 1955, the TR3 was one of the first cars to feature a sporty design, with a sleek body and powerful engine. This combination was a hit with drivers, and it quickly became a popular choice for sports and touring car racing.

As a result, the TR3 enjoyed a long and successful career in motorsports, competing in races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Sebring 12 Hours. The TR3 was also influential in popularizing the use of independent suspension systems, which improved handling and gave drivers more control over their vehicles. This technology would eventually become standard on many cars in the years to come. Additionally, the TR3 is credited with helping to popularize the British sports car market, which had been relatively underdeveloped until the introduction of this model. The TR3 also had an influence on fashion and design. The distinctive lines of the car inspired many fashion trends, from bright colors to bold stripes.

The TR3 was one of the first cars to feature a convertible top, which made it even more attractive to buyers. This trend would eventually spread to other cars in the industry. Today, the Triumph TR3 is remembered as an iconic part of automotive history. Its influence on car culture can still be seen in modern vehicles, from its sleek styling and performance to its independent suspension system. It is an important part of British automotive history and will always be remembered as one of the most beloved models in history. In conclusion, the Triumph TR3 is an iconic model in automotive history that has had a lasting influence on car culture.

Its distinctive design, performance, and racing success have made it highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Despite its discontinuation, the TR3 remains an important part of automotive history. Development and design, influence on car culture, and discontinuation all played a role in its legacy, and it is likely to remain an important part of automotive history for many years to come.