1957 Triumph TR3 Ex Works Rally Car

Superb history and ready to tackle any challenge

Situated within the same building as the service division, on the Birmingham Road, Coventry, the Standard Triumph Competition Department occupied roughly a third of the shop floor area. Under the stewardship of Ken Richardson, the Triumph Competition Department was a force to be reckoned with until the firm’s new owner, Leyland, took the decision to unceremoniously shut it down in 1961 despite eight years of relative success. The ‘bean counters’ won.


The rally cars, as Ken Richardson always maintained, were run as near to standard as possible and the cars, which were hand-built with soul, were reliable, and the drivers were stars – a special breed.

Built on 2nd April 1957, TRW 736 is one of the three famous ‘TRW’ Works rally cars that were prepared and registered by Standard Triumph to contest in the 1957 European rally season. Whilst Ken Richardson championed the ability of a standard TR3, it didn’t stop the competition department from breathing on TRW 736 with special equipment options such as an overdrive gearbox that operated through 2nd,3rd and 4th gears and other purposeful rally tweaks to ensure TRW 736 could take on any challenge.

The first works outing for TRW 736 was at the 1957 Tulip Rallye where the car, driven by John Waddington and William Cave took top team honours placing 1st in the GT class beating Paddy Hopkirk in fellow team car, TRW 737.

The TR was then entered in the notoriously long, rough and fast Liege-Rome-Liege Rally where rallying tour de force Bernards Consten and Pichon achieved 3rd overall after a gruelling battle. This was the best result ever by a Works Triumph TR. The other two team cars finished 5th and 9th  overall which was enough to also clinch the Overall Team Award.

In 1967 TRW 736 was sold via Salmon’s Garage, Leicester who had bought the car directly from the factory in 1964. As with many ex-Works triumphs, the car was sold just as a used  road car with no real note of its history. One subsequent owner even kept the car as his daily driver for several years, during which time he refreshed it with a new coat of paint and ‘updated’ steel wings, a TR3A valance and new sills.

TRW 736 would remain as a road car, with little known about its history, until the 1980s when its rally career was finally realised. Having passed through just four owners since its purchase from the factory in 1964, it was John Sykes – owner of TR Bitz – who set about gathering together some of the correct, period items for the restoration, whilst it was the subsequent owner who would undertake an exacting three year restoration to its original Works specification. This work was completed by  TR Enterprises, and the aim was to build a safe and competitive car for modern historic events.

Due to its quiet life as a road car it was remarkably original. The chassis was sand blasted and only needed very minor repairs, as did much of the body.  Finished in its factory colour of Apple Green, internally it was fitted with  a six point Safety Devices roll cage. The suspension was fully rebuilt, along with the rear axle, which was fitted with a plate type LSD.

The engine was completely rebuilt, with a steel bottom end, 87mm pistons, a fast road head and a custom-grind Piper camshaft. It was fitted with a competition exhaust manifold and SU carburettors aligned to a tuned inlet manifold. A lightweight, high output alternator was also incorporated, along with high torque starter motor. The gearbox is an uprated four synchro type with an A type overdrive with uprated propshaft. A long range fuel tank was fabricated with a Facet fuel pump (with an additional spare). A dual circuit brake assembly was also installed.

This famous TR was completed in time for the 2012 Liege-Rome-Liege where it finished 2nd overall. Today, it is presented with an impressive history file, and represents one of the most well documented of the Works TRs. There is a wealth of correspondence from previous owners as well as the Works drivers. Also present is original documentation from the Liege – Rome – Liege and Tulip rallies and a wealth of period images. Furthermore, there are invoices on file showing recent expenditure with TR Enterprises.

This is a golden ticket to all the top road and race events around the world; indeed, TRW 736 has most recently completed the 2021 edition of the Mille Miglia and comes fully prepared for its next rally with current FIVA, FIA HTP Papers and Mille Miglia Registro card. This is rare opportunity to acquire an important, well sorted Works competition car with a well-documented and rich history.

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