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The TR3b was a North American-only update of the successful TR3a, and was never officially available in the UK, although a few have since been re imported.Triumph never intended to produce another side-screen car after the TR3a, but initially the North American dealers displayed doubt about the all-new, sophisticated TR4, with its wind-up windows and full width bodywork. They feared that it was too modern, recalling the enormous number of TR3as sold in the late fifties. To appease the North American dealers Standard-Triumph decided to produce one last batch of TR3’s, in part to use up the supply of TR3a bodies that were still lying around the Canley factory. The TR3b was produced from March 1962 until October 1962; six months after the last TR3a had been manufactured in the previous October. The supply of bodies ran out shortly after the 3,331st TR3b had been completed, making this one of the rarest of the TR-family.
The TR3bs were produced by the Forward Radiator Company, using the same tooling that the parent company Mulliner had used to produce the TR2 and TR3. The first five hundred cars were virtually the same as the TR3a, the only difference being the TSF commission number and the gearbox - they all had the 1991cc engine coupled to the all-synchromesh TR4 gearbox. Although the layout of the gearbox remained the same, the extra space needed for the first gear synchromesh meant that it had to have a new aluminium casing which was not interchangeable with the non-synchromesh box .The TSF models are nice cars and very rare, but of greater interest is the TCF series.
The TCF-series TR3b is probably the nicest of the side-screen cars, and by far the most sought after. Fitted with the 2138cc TR4 power plant and all-synchromesh gearbox, it had the best combination of drive-train and was the only pre-TR4 with this combination. The gear ratios were changed to match the 2.2 litre engine which produced more torque than the 2 litre unit. The gearbox remote was also modified to reduce the play in the gear linkage. Most of the TR3a specification was unchanged including the overdrive unit and front wheel disc brakes, which had been introduced in 1957.
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