THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1962 Triumph TR3B owned by John Scarola
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
The TR3, built from 1955 to 1962, has captured the hearts and minds of British car enthusiasts for decades. This popular model was to be replaced in 1961 by a new version, the TR4. But, as the story goes, the manufacturer was so worried about the new roadster’s U.S. sales that it updated the old model and sold it for an additional year as the 1962 TR3B.
Over the years, these Triumphs have attained a loyal following, with perhaps no one more dedicated than Scarola, who picked up his roadster from a New York showroom more than 50 years ago.
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
“I purchased my car on May 22, 1962 in Manhattan,” Scarola says. “The total price was $2,655. When I first saw the car, it was in the auto dealer’s showroom window. The bright, fire-engine-red color caught my eye, not to mention the rounded fenders and the low-cut doors. It looked a lot like the smaller version of the older Jaguars. At the time, I could have purchased an Austin-Healey for $1,000 more, but the TR3 was my first choice.”
“This was my first car and over the 50 years I've owned it, it still gives me a lot of pleasure driving it,” Scarola says. “I took it to Florida on three round trips, also on skiing trips to the Catskills and Vermont. The present mileage is 178,000 miles, which includes the two years the odometer did not work.” Scarola has refurbished the four-cylinder engine and the body. He’s kept the original bill of sale, the owner’s manual, hand crank, a T-shaped tool to open the hood and other accessories.
The NADA Guides places a “high retail” value of $38,300 on a TR3B.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“When I'm driving the car,” Scarola says, “so many people come up to me and tell me of their experiences with TR3s. They get joy telling me how nice my car looks and the memories it brings back to them. It also makes me feel it is all worth caring for a fifty-year-old car. Basically, I was the only person to drive the car. Maybe this is why the car is still here and in good condition. Driving the car with the top down on a beautiful sunny day is a real joy.”