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Triumph TR3 - Petrol Type

Due to the sad loss of an uncle who owned a 1959 TR3A, I have been given the task of trying to obtain some information on the car.

First of all, could someone please let me know what fuel type the car would use. Other than that, what would be the main things to watch when using the car. I have noticed a few drips of oil from the rear diff. Is this something that would normally use much oil?

Finally, if it comes to it, what would be the best way of selling the car - is there a club or register? The car is immaculate and was fully rebuilt in the 70's. What would be the approximate value. It has averaged from looking at past MOT's about 1,000 miles a year.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!



A 1959 TR3A in England would use the highest octane petrol you can find at any commecial petrol pump. Now that most countries have banned leaded petrol, you or the new owner will, at some time in the future, need to have inserts installed in the cylinder head for the 4 exhaust valves so as to operate on un-leaded petrol. I drove over 30,000 miles before I needed to have mine done. So it's a long way off in the future providing the valves are in good shape now and there was not much mileage on them since the head was last re-done.

There are a lot of things you need to watch for. Check all the fluid levels are up to the specified levels. Brake/clutch fluid, steering gear-box, at least 1/2" of 50-50% antifreeze/water after you remove the radiator cap and look down into the square rad fill box, oil level between the two lines on the dip-stick, same with the gear-box and as for the diff, you can take out the "fill-plug", stick your little finger in a bit and if you get a dab of oil on the tip of your finger, that's fine. If not, add some 90 weight oil till you get a dab an the end of your finger, then put the fill plug back in.

You can buy a Haynes TR3A to TR4 manual that will help with all this.

I have heard it said that a British sportscar that doesn't leak is because it's empty. They always leak a bit all over. I've also heard it said, "It doesn't leak, it's just marking its territory".

Why do you want to sell it ? You'll regret it someday. You asked for "advice" - well that's mine ! I bought mine brand new in 1958 and still have it. And every time I drive it, a feel that I'm 20 years old again.

The best club for TR's is the TR Register in Didcot. They are a great group. It will open your life to a whole new world of great friends. I've been a member since 1986 or '87.

The manager there is Chris Cunnington. Mention my name. Tell him I told you to get in touch with them..... not to sell it, but to join. They'll have all the answers for the questions you have.

If you have to sell it, it would be worth between 10,000 to 13,000 pounds depending on it's condition. Some of the club members would help you evaluate it depending on what they see when they see it.

Check with Bob Cornwell of the London TR Group. Bob's TR6 was imported from Canada.

Depending where you are in London, there's also the North London TR Group that meet in Chipperfield, Nr Kings Langley - phone Adrian Persaud in Slough on 01753-714935 or the Kennet Valley TR Group Richard Roberts in Caversham.

My advice again - Give it a try ! Drive it and have fun !

This BBS will also help answer your questions.

Don Elliott, Original Owner, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

Many thanks for your response Don. Believe me, the heart says keep it, the head says "think about it".

There is a garage to store the car in Newcastle upon Tyne, where it has lived for at least the past 25 years. I also have a '79 mini which has had extensive modifications to the engine. I haven't used this for over 4 years due to lack of time, and I don't want the TR to end up the same way.

To be honest, I would be happy if it went to a good owner, but will keep considering it, as I know it is something that would be missed!

Again, many thanks for your help.



This thread was discussed between 11/10/2002 and 14/10/2002

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