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1956 Triumph TR3 Small Mouth Roadster - Old Custom Restoration

Make: Triumph
Model: TR3
Type: Convertible
Year: 1956
Mileage: 32,988
VIN: TS11948L
Color: Red
Cylinders: 4
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual
Drive type: RWD
Interior color: Black
Drive side: Left-hand drive
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: Canton, Georgia, United States

1956 Triumph TR3 Additional Info:


Further cleanout of surplus vintage cars and parts: Am 75 and time to let go of my extensive British car collection. This is a no reserve auction and the Triumph TR3 small mouth will be sold regardless of price, on or off auction. Please read the complete description so you will understand all conditions and any issues. I have a special one owner 1965 Triumph TR4A on another of my auctions at this time - don't miss it. Just found out that ebay will only post 24 photos now - another stupid ebay idea. I apologize for these limited ebay photos - if you need more I guess you have to ask me to send them to you. Unbelievable ebay stupidity. <p>

This particular auction is for an authentic original 1956 Triumph TR3 Small Mouth Roadster as shown. The main photo shows a TR3 in a beige color but it is not this car - it is only for comparison to show how this TR3 would have originally looked from the factory. Most of the photos show the car with the hood slightly open - it does lock down flat. I do not detail my cars for photo ops but do wash and clean them so that you and I can see exactly what is under years of dirt and grime. Nothing is hidden from view. I will answer all email questions. <p>


The small mouth Triumph TR3 roadsters are quite beautiful and have a distinct LeMans look. Purchased new by an Alabama attorney in 1956, it has remained with the his son in storage since he passed away in 1984, stored inside a garage on their 1000 acre estate. The attorney was having the car refreshed and lightly modified in 83 - 84 and had most of the chrome, bumpers and badging removed and the front fenders slightly widened about 1/2" to give it a clean, uncluttered and slightly bolder look, then repainted it in red lacquer. (That modification leaves a slight gap between the fenders and the sides of the hood as shown). I usually prefer box stock cars but will admit that the car looks very attractive with these changes. Unfortunately the owner passed away just days before the work was completed and he never got a chance to drive the car and his son had no interest in it and put it into storage. It was never even driven after the work was completed - the tires, which were put on in 1984 are still new with the mold nubbins still intact. It runs and drives with one exception - we used an external gas tank. The original tank, fuel lines and fuel pump may need work (may not). Am too old now to get into this, besides being filthy, dirty and usually frustrating work. It has not been driven down the road - it has only been driven quite a bit up and down my 800 foot long driveway and it will probably need some sorting out for the road. The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate shows that it originally was beige in color with a vermillion (red) leather interior and a fawn colored convertible top - just like the one in the main photo (shown only for comparison - this is what the car would have looked like when new). Built June 28, 1956 and shipped to the United States.

As of this writing Hagertys classic car values list the value for the 1956 Triumph TR3 smallmouth at: Fair: $13,000. Good: $23,000. Excellent: $34,000. Concours: $51,000. This is also a good investment as the value will probably increase over time.


The engine at one time has been replaced with a 1962 Triumph TR4 engine, serial # CT15568E as shown. Starts and runs extremely well with the key and dash starter button. Started it by feeding fuel to the carbs through an external fuel tank. Opted not to go through the mess of servicing the fuel lines, tank and fuel pump, if indeed that is necessary. Good high oil pressure when warm. No smoke or noises. Oil level is full and is crystal clear - and has not been changed with fresh oil. Idles well and has excellent response. Good healthy engine. Rear main seal leaks like they all do.


Transmission is probably the original - reading the gunked up serial number with a mirror looks like TS17722 but that was hard to read so may not be right. Goes through all gears very well. Brand new clutch master and slave cylinders were installed less than one month ago. Clutch works very well. Rear axle/differential serial # is TS76548, which computes to a late 1960 TR3 with Girling brake system. Smooth, no noise, grinding, clunking or other issues on anything. <p>


Nice, straight and solid. No accident damage anywhere. Inner fenders very straight and undamaged. Front sheet metal, fenders, grille surround all nice and original with no damage. Original items are the radiator, Lucas horns, correct date Lucas wiper motor, generator, starter, SU carburetors, Lucas voltage regulator, fuse box, etc. While refreshing the car the heater was removed possibly thinking they didn't need it in Alabama or it may have been leaking - so there is no heater. A brand new brake and clutch master cylinder was installed less than a month ago - at that time the pedal box, which was frozen, was removed, disassembled, rebuilt, greased and reassembled. One radiator hose has a small drip leak where it attaches to the steel down tube, which looks rusty so it may need a new steel water pipe.


Trunk bottom is solid but has a couple small holes up front near the bottom of the gas tank - one the size of a quarter and the other the size of a half dollar. Tire well is painted ugly but solid.


Triumphs were not exempt from rust issues but this one has escaped most of the severe rust problems that plagued many Triumphs (and other British, Italian and German cars) after 61 years on this earth. It does have some small isolated rust spots as noted and shown but they are limited and easy for an amateur to correct. The frame is very good and straight with only surface rust as shown. The inner rockers are the same - solid with surface rust. The outer rockers look to be the same - a bit hard to tell with the paint but they look and sound solid. There is some minor filler noted but looks to be more for surface leveling than severe rust. The door bottoms are nice and solid as shown. The rear fenders are very solid. The left front fender is solid but has a few small bubbles coming out on the very lower area - not sure if this is some rust or simply surfacing filler coming undone - the very bottom of the fender looks solid. Same for the right front fender but the very bottom on this one does have some rust holes in it. The floor panels are original and still pretty solid but have some areas that could use patching. The drivers side is pretty good except for a small 6" X 2" hole area at the seam where it meets the bulkhead as shown. The passenger side has been patched as shown many years ago and could probably stand to be repatched - or not. The hood does latch down with the Dzus fasteners - most photos are showing it unlatched with the hood slightly raised.


The car had no side curtains when purchased but I had a spare set as shown that go with the car - Very rough condition, but you may be able to do something with them - or toss them out. Lucas Tripod headlights are new replacements.


Looks great but is only just fair as it was repainted in 1984, covering the original factory beige finish. 33 years ago it was just an inexpensive lacquer paint job. It is still quite attractive but has many flaws such as cracking, scratches, etc and just being old. Very useable as it stands for having fun as a driver - or take it to another level/color change as you see fit.


The interior is in fair, old useable condition. The seats are not installed - they are just sitting on the floor. They had the bottoms refoamed years ago and plywood bases installed instead of the springs - they work and sit well. The seat tracks are in the trunk. Passenger seat back vinyl is ripped. The carpeting is new old stock - never been used but it is just inexpensive foam backed old carpet now. Door panels are good useable old aftermarket items.


Dashboard is pretty decent - vinyl covering lifting here and there but useable. Cardboard glove box is not there. Odometer shows 32988 miles but who knows. The steering head, turn signal, horn assembly are all there. Steering wheel is cracked - seen better days. It takes a gorilla to turn the steering wheel, so something in the steering will need fixing. Electrical will need sorting. Gauges are there but am unsure as to their functioning status as there are many loose wires on the back of the dash. What does work are the tach, ignition switch, starter button, windshield wipers, oil pressure gauge. Those are the only things that do work. (I am electrically challenged).

GLASS: Windshield is in good order and unbroken/uncracked/undelaminated.


The frame is good and straight with only the typical surface rust. The front bumper moounting brackets and tow bar brackets have been cut off on the very front/bottom of the front frame rails - evidently the car at one time was being towed behind one of his motor homes. Frame rails were not compromised and are in good straight solid condition. Not an issue.

TOP: There is no softtop but the top bows are there in excellent condition. The hardtop is a genuine factory Triumph steel top. Shallow dents on top, no hardware, no rear glass, some small rustholes on the inside sheet metal gusseting, not on the top itself. It is the bare shell sitting free on the car. A good restorable top.


Correct 48 spoke wire wheels (5). Tires are NOS (4) and have never been used - mold nubbin hairs are still on them - they are Centred 165R15 made in Brazil. Probably made in 1984. Not age checked and still may be useable for local off highway driving. Has 5th spare wheel, no tire. Right rear tire has a slow tube leak.


None. Aftermarket air conditioners are available if desired - the new units are excellent, compact and very efficient.


All suspension and braking mechanisms look to be intact with nothing missing. Brand new brake master cylinder, all 6 wheel cylinders and brake lines were installed less than a month ago. Good brakes. Steering works but is very hard to turn. Something is frozen somewhere.


Loud - needs new exhaust. Header pipe is probably OK but will need the rest.


The original ID plates are all good and unmodified. The vehicle serial number is TS/11984-L. Engine number is CT15568-E.


The car does have a proper Georgia registration in my name. This is all that is necessary to title or register it in most any State of the Union or to ship the car overseas. This is the responsibility of the new owner. Check your local DMV office TO BE SURE. There is NO TITLE. Georgia will NOT issue a title for any car older than 1975. Includes the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate and all of the bills from Moss Motors for the new parts.


An attractive LeMans style small mouth roadster that has had an amateur refreshing/restoration 33 years ago in 1984. All hydraulics have been newly installed. Can be used as a fun driver as it stands or refreshed in many ways while driving if desired. Runs and drives on an auxilliary fuel tank - original tank, lines and fuel pump are in place but we opted to bypass them not wanting to spend the time on that filthy job. May be a simple task, may not. There aren't a lot of TR3 smallmouths left. Personally I would repaint the car in it's original beige color, I get tired of red. Might even consider Maaco.


As always, it is difficult at best to describe something as complex as a vehicle and it is highly recommended that you personally inspect the car or have a 3rd party inspect it for you. If you elect not to do this you will have one of three outcomes after purchasing the car. #1. The car will be exactly as you thought it would be from the auction description and photos and you and I will be happy. #2. The car will be less than you thought it would be and you and I will be unhappy. #3. The car will be more than you thought it would be and you and I will be more than happy. I can accomodate anyone to show them the car. It is described to the best of my ability along with many good photos but it is the bidders ultimate responsibility to ensure that what he thinks he is getting is indeed one in the same and something he will be happy with. I have purchased and sold roughly 27 autos/motorcycles through ebay over the past 19 years and also many more over the telephone and have always had excellent results and complete satisfaction from the buyers but I do my due diligence and suggest you do the same.


I have shipped many cars to all parts of the world over the years and can assist the buyer with transport or completely arrange transport. The car is in a secure place at my home and it can be collected there. I can assist with loading.


Contact me if you have less than 5 feedbacks or your bid WILL be cancelled. A $1000 non refundable deposit via Paypal is due immediately after the auction closes. The balance is due within 3 days via a bank cashiers check or wire transfer. Full payment is to be made IN ADVANCE of collecting the car. IN ADVANCE, BEFORE YOU COLLECT THE CAR - This is an auction and you have plenty of time to inspect the car personally or have a 3rd party inspect the car - inspections are welcome and encouraged. Winning the auction does not mean that you now have the privilege of coming to inspect the car to see if you like it. When the auction is over payment is due at the close of the auction per these instructions. The car is at my home and can be left here for up to 30 days at no charge before collection. After that I have the option of charging a storage fee.


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