• Hi Guest! Being a Paying Supporter is NOT a requirement to participate at BCF. However, subscribing will help ensure we can continue to serve the LBC community for years to come. If you enjoy BCF and find our forum a useful resource...Please consider supporting us by **Upgrading**
    (PS: Subscribers don't see this banner)

TR2/3/3A Commission and Engine Number


Jedi Trainee
I'm about to purchase a TR3 but I noticed that the commission number plate is screwed on instead of riveted and looks new. The car has been restored. Also the engine number precedes the commission number by more than 3,000 units. It is said to having been rebuilt. Am I right in assuming that the commission number may not indicate the correct vintage of the car and that the engine may or may not be original to the car?

Mickey Richaud

Staff member
Country flag
Welcome to the forum!

The commission number will tell the year of the car, and the engine number normally will not be the same. Usually, though, the engine number will be larger than the commission number, as engines were supplied to other cars as well as 3's. About the only way to be sure the car comes with the engine it was "born" with is to apply for a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate: https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/archive/heritage-certificates

This will give you date of completion, where it was sent, body and interior color, and what equipment it came with, along with the engine number.

Good luck with the purchase, and be sure to post pictures!


PS - If you can, get hold of Bill Piggott's Original Triumph TR book. Pretty much the definitive resource.

Geo Hahn

Country flag
A lot happens in the life of a car - actually some strange things even happened at the factory.

If an owner replaces a commission plate they really should save the old one. Also, most people would use rivets to attach a replacement. That said, a new plate and screws may not indicate a problem.

There are documented production changes that can offer clues as to whether a particular commission number 'fits' with the appearance of the car. But that is strictly negative proof, i.e. it might rule out a number but is not proof a number is the original.

Engine numbers can vary quite a bit vis a vis the commission number. For example, my TR4 has an engine number that is 6500 less than the commission number but the Heritage Certificate confirms this is correct.


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
I think you said it just right, frankfast. "May" indicate. Using screws shows a sloppy restoration to me, and in most cases the engine number is slightly higher (a few hundred) than the commission number. But Geo is quite right, there are exceptions, and the only way to be certain is to get a copy of the build record. (BMIHT sells certificates suitable for framing, VTR sells simple copies that are cheaper.)

BTW, welcome to the asylum!


Jedi Trainee
Thanks. I found out that the commission number plate is not the original but will obtain the original with the sale. I don't understand why they didn't replace the original during the restoration. The engine number may be closer to the original commission number. I'll eventually get a Heritage Certificate for the car.
I've only had photos of the car but it's been inspected and is sound. I'll be looking for lots of info from you guys once it's delivered. Thanks for the help.

Geo Hahn

Country flag
Thanks. I found out that the commission number plate is not the original but will obtain the original with the sale. I don't understand why they didn't replace the original during the restoration. The engine number may be closer to the original commission number...

Are you saying the two commission plates (original and repro) have different numbers?

Usually the plate gets replaced just for cosmetic reasons in which case the numbers would be the same. The good news there is that raised type on the plate blank means it is possible to restore a worn original TR3 number plate (not so with late TR4 plates).


Jedi Trainee
No, the two commission numbers are the same. The old plate was replaced for cosmetic reasons but was installed with self tapping screws instead of being riveted. The engine number does precede that commission number by more than 3,000 units so I assume it's not the original although there have been exceptions to sequencing. Eventually I'll get confirmation through a registry.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Tullamore TR6 TR6 Commission and Engine #s Triumph 5
RJS General TR Commission Number Plate Triumph 13
M TR4/4A Commission plate info Triumph 5
Scotsman TR4/4A Commission Plate interpretation "key" Triumph 3
M TR2/3/3A 2nd commission [vin] number??? Help. Triumph 12
CJD TR2/3/3A Odd Commission number Triumph 16
T TR4/4A Tr4a commission codes Triumph 16
M TR4/4A More Commission Number Questions. Mine is nowhere to be found! Triumph 6
C TR6 Commission Plate? Triumph 4
T TR2/3/3A Commission Plate Number Stamping Triumph 21
J TR6 Commission number question Triumph 2
C TR2/3/3A Commission plate attachment Triumph 21
Rut TR4/4A 1967 commission number decoding Triumph 16
J TR4/4A Odd Commission Number Triumph 16
B TR6 Commission Plate Triumph 2
smaceng TR6 Information Needed on 1970 TR6 Commission Number / Plate Triumph 6
K Value of an early Commission Number Triumph 5
Marvin Gruber Commission Number for 57 100-6 Austin Healey 8
H Commission Plate Numbers & Letters Triumph 8
HerronScott TR4/4A TR4A original commission plates? Triumph 9
W Commission plate Triumph 5
Stinger TR4/4A TR4A Commission Number Question Triumph 8
CJD Commission Plates Triumph 20
Geo Hahn TR4/4A TR4 / 4A Commission Number Plates -- LBS or KILOS? Triumph 23
Tr3aguy TR2/3/3A Commission Numbers TR3 Triumph 46
STL_Joe Help Deciphering the Commission # Triumph 5
B TR2/3/3A TR-3 COMMISSION NR & OD? Triumph 4
Marvin Gruber TR4/4A TR4A commission number Triumph 28
E commission # vs steering box# Triumph 8
M TR5/TR250 TR250 Commission Number Triumph 4
A Unusual TR Commission Numbers Triumph 7
D Commission Number? Triumph 20
jjbunn Commission # question Triumph 14
MadRiver MG Commission Numbers MG 2
T Commission Number = Date Ranges Triumph 4
White79MGB TR2/3/3A TR3 Commission Number Triumph 6
A TR4/4A TR4A commission tag paint and trim codes Triumph 5
Mark_Gibson Code Underneath the Commission Plate Triumph 12
R TR4/4A 1965-1966 TR4A commission number? what year is it? Triumph 8
D Is my engine JUNK? Spridgets 4
S Engine or Tachometer Odd Problem Austin Healey 7
K TR2/3/3A Rebuilding an Engine?..New Cam Sprocket & Gear...1/2 Price Triumph 0
G TR6 Engine Cutout, Black Smoke, Large Backfire Triumph 7
J TR2/3/3A TR3 engine cylinder top clearance Triumph 22
D TR2/3/3A Engine shakes as it is accelerated. Triumph 26
D Land Rover engine swop. Rover / Land Rover 0
BoyRacer Rover 3.5L (Buick 215 c.i.) Engine Swap Austin Healey 15
Kolecki TR2/3/3A engine assembly cam timing issue Triumph 8
Pool Dad 1960 TR3 engine serial number Triumph 14

Similar threads