Article No.1: Blue

Welcome to our first ‘Article’ – a blog illustrating the ins and outs here at Carn Bosavern Garage, based in St.Just, Cornwall. Ranging from details on a full restoration, to the intricasies of an engine rebuild, we take a look at both current and previous restorations on vehicles such as MGA’s, MGB’s, plus Triumph TR2’s, TR3’s and TR4’s. We will also give an update on our current stock of classic cars for sale and used cars for sale.

In this article we take a feature look at ‘Blue’ – a stunning Triumph TR3A we restored for a customer in Croydon. This TR3A has since featured in the TR Action magazine, as well as on the TR Register stand at the 2020 London Classic Car Show.

Originally a Californian export, this matching numbers 1959 Triumph TR3A underwent a full nut and bolt restoration to the customers own specifications. We worked with the customer at length during the restoration, so that the end product was a stunning high-spec vehicle.

Being an ex-California car, after being stripped down to a shell the chassis was simply sand blasted and painted, with no welding required whatsoever. It was then built up with all new suspension/braking steering components. This consisted of upgrades such as polybushes, upgraded coil springs, Spaxx shock absorbers, negative camber vertical links, circumferential Al-Fin brake drums and also a front anti roll bar.

The body was stripped down and new floor panels, inner sills and outer sills were fitted. The doors, wings, bonnet and bootlid were blasted, etch primed and primed. Gravitex stone chip was then applied to the inside of the panels, as well as underneath the arches and inside the doors/wings. The body was taken back to bare metal, coated in Jenolite, etch primed, primed and the whole vehicle painted in Powder Blue.

The original engine was stripped back to a bare block. The head was sent off and converted to unleaded fuel, with the block machined and an upgraded rear crankshaft oil seal fitted. The engine was rebuilt and upgraded to 2198cc using the 86mm pistons from the later TR4 engines. Various new parts fitted in the engine rebuild included an oil pump, valves, guides, crank regrind, chain and tensioners, as well as an uprated water pump. The stainless steel 4 branch exhaust manifold, known to give off a lot of heat, has been ceramic coated by Zircotec with the ‘Performance White’ finish, giving the best thermal barrier available. Coupled with heat shields to the carburetors and alternator, this prevented any potential problems installing this stainless steel exhaust system.

Once the body arrived back from the paint shop, it was fitted to the rebuilt chassis with a new fitting kit. New parts being fitted to the exterior include all new chrome work, lights and upgraded stainless steel bumpers. The engine was fitted on new mounts with a rebuilt TR4 gearbox and an A type overdrive unit. After the engine and gearbox were fitted, we started to detail the engine bay.

The customer really wanted to enhance both the performance, reliability and aesthetics in the engine bay, so requested a very high spec. The cooling system included a quad-core aluminum radiator, Revotec electric cooling fan, silicone hoses and finished off with Evans water-less coolant. Other upgrades in the engine bay included a TR6 2-speed wiper motor, a full CSI electronic ignition kit with sports coil and a performance ignition lead set in matching blue colour.

In the cockpit, the floor panels and inside of the doors were protected with Silent Coat sound proofing. A new navy vinyl trim kit was fitted and all new cappings covered. Deluxe navy wool carpets and matching leather seats were installed, with the newly covered dashboard built up with all new switches and reconditioned gauges.

The car was finished off with navy mohair weather gear and 72 spoke chrome wire wheels with 185/70/15 tyres. Other upgrades fitted throughout the restoration included a high performance Clayton heater, bespoke drivers wing mirror, a 12V charging point and K&N air filters.

After over 100 miles of local test driving, we delivered the car to the customer in London.

Since delivery, Blue has been to various shows and meets, with the proud owner a member of the London branch of the TR Register. Several years on the car is still in the same immaculate condition it left us in, which is a testament to the owner. Their vision and passion for the project helped revive, and in turn create, a truly one off TR3A.