I have driven several traditional British roadsters. From Healeys, MGAs, Morgans, my favorite driver’s car of the “cut door” British roadsters has always been and remains the TR3.
This has to do with combination of driver comfort for taller drivers, combined with the performance that the TR3 offers. These cars are capable of 0-60 mph times in a shade over 10-seconds and a top speed of more than 100 mph, quite fast for the era. The TR3 also handles well and has a period racing pedigree that includes events such as Daytona, Sebring, Monte Carlo, and even Le Mans. They offer this in a package that is fun to drive, simple and relatively inexpensive to maintain, and for the time being, somewhat affordable.
I have owned a TR3 and these cars are absolutely fun to drive. If you do not believe that they are comfortable, try one out before you tell me I am wrong. I am 6’4” tall and found the seats of the TR3 to be quite comfortable. The pedal layout is about perfect, and the rifle bolt accurate shifter is exactly where I wanted it.
Sure, the top is a bit of a disaster, and the side curtains are not very useful to see out of, or to keep rain out, but today a TR3 is for fair weather days, not the car you drive to work in the middle of a rain or snowstorm. On a sunny afternoon, on the right road the TR3 feels perfect.
Of the different generations of the TR3 my favorites are the small mouth pre-TR3A cars. These were built from 1955 to 1957. The style of these cars to me has that perfect British bulldog sports car look that the larger grill TR3A lacks.
Finished in factory correct maroon over a tan leather interior, the seller describes this TR3 as a nice older restoration, with chrome wire wheels and a new soft top. They add that the car runs and drives great, the paint has a few blemishes, and the interior is in nice condition.
The photos in the ad seem to back this up and the car appears to be a great driver’s car with no visible issues. The ratio of TR3s versus TR3As that I see for sale must be somewhere around 1 TR3 to every 10 TR3As, and this TR3 looks to be a nice honest car.
The other thing nice about a 1957 TR3 is that it is a car that is eligible for every driving event you can think of, from the California Mille on down. Being a 1957 model is the key here and I cannot think of a less expensive car for these types of events.
The one thing I did notice about this car is that it is a non-overdrive car. I would spend the money to change this as it makes the car not only good on two lane roads but also more than capable to drive at higher speed on interstates. It also adds a bit of versatility and tractability and makes the TR3, which is already a good car, a great one.
The asking price looks to be an exceptional value at only $21,500 or best offer and is one of those cars I almost did not post with the idea of buying it myself.
The market on these cars is, like most cars in the classic car market, moving up, so if you want one you might want get this TR3 quickly.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.