I bought my TR3B from Tony Nixon in June of 2000 with the odometer reading 82,337. It's got pearl paint with tiny metal flakes that sparkle in the sunlight. It looked great with no rust and apparently good mechanical condition. I found the car with the help of Paul McBride, a member of the Kansas City Triumph Club.
Tony told me that he became the third owner of the car in 1971. He used it every day. He briefly raced the car and he had the engine rebuilt in April of 1975 when the mileage was 62,830. Some body work done in the summer of 1976 and some major front end mechanical and paint work including sandblasting the frame in the summer of 1983. All of the work was done by British Motors. A receipt labeled final check to Bill Long on TR3 restoration indicated work done in the summer of 1985.
The first thing I did was install seat belts - a promise I made to my wife. The second thing I did was replace the glass pack muffler with a standard Triumph muffler.
In August of 2000, just two short months after I bought the car, a 35 cent pin in the clutch mechanism sheared! With some big time help from Paul McBride, we pulled the transmission out and rebuilt the clutch in my garage.
I cannot say enough about the helpfulness and generosity of the KC Triumph Club members. They have always been there to help me when I have needed them. We have an annual tune-up meeting during which we help each other with advice and tools (including use of a car lift) to make any job easier.
Since my adventure with the clutch, my car has repeatedly surprised me with the mischievous tricks it can do. In June of 2003, the steering gear box had to be rebuilt and again in March of 2005. It seemed to always need new spark plugs, so I installed an electronic ignition in April of 2004. In June 2006, my car quit in Lee's Summit. I had it towed to Gary Gunninger's shop, Euro-Asian Motors in south Kansas City, where Gary replaced my fuel pump. In February of 2007 Gary rebuilt my entire engine after a broken ring lodged on top of the third piston and my car was again towed away.
But, all’s well that ends well. Gary has done several other minor repairs, keeping me out from under my Triumph and allowing me to drive it with confidence knowing that it will always get me home. Triumph cars do not have the best reputation for reliability, but with talent and perseverance you can overcome their shortcomings.
My TR3B has always looked good; now it also drives good. It's 48 years old with 91,655 miles on it and I am very proud of it. This car reminds me of the fun I had owning a TR3B in the mid 60's. I drove my first TR3B to Dallas twice, Chicago three times, even nimbly through Manhattan, NY traffic.
You see, you can go back in time!