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TR2/3/3A Waking up a 1959 TR3A

Suncoaster

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It may be more accurate to say the TR3A will be regaining consciousness rather than using the phrase "waking up".

The TR entered my life in December of 1959 and was a daily through high school, college, and my early working career. I'm afraid it suffered much abuse and neglect at my immature hands before getting a homemade "freshening" in the late sixties which included a TR4 engine & transmission and a very amateur paint job. It was again used on a regular basis as a second car until 1989 when it went on jack stands in the garage.

Fast forward to the present: Last Wednesday, I met with Gary Hatifield of Hatfield Restorations in Canton, Texas. We agreed for his shop to restore the TR to a "nice driver" condition. Unfortunately, his operation is backed up until around December or January so work won't begin until then. I asked if he wanted a deposit to draw against until more funds were needed and he said that won't be necessary as he maintains an adequate amount of working capital. He'll send a bill (along with pictures) every two weeks during the resto process. The car will retain its original Powder Blue color.

I've begun get my parts list together so the parts I know will be needed can be accumulated between now and next winter. I plan to order the interior from John Skinner after having read many very positive things about his company.

Human nature being what it is, after the car gathering dust for 30 years, I am of course now wanting the car back ti its original condition next week! ;)

I will try to keep everyone posted on progress once the work gets started. Oh, the TR's commission number is TS414376 L.

Best to all,

Rick
 

DavidApp

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Hello Rick

Great that you are getting the TR3A back to life.

Are you the original owner?

J. Skinner does a great job with his interior kits.

David
 

M_Pied_Lourd

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Hi Rick, I look forward to the updates! Good luck with the project.

Cheers,
Tush
 
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Suncoaster

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Hi, David and MPL -

David I'm _almost_ (or rather my late father is) the original owner. Dad bought the car in December of 1959 with 2,200 miles on it. The original owner complained that the ride was too rough given his medical condition - or, at least, that's the story we were told back then. The tires were still so new that they had the nubs of the "tits" that used to come on the treads of new tires. Dunlop Gold Seals, IIRC.

At any rate, the car quickly became "mine" as long as I kept my grades up (I was 15). Heck of an incentive for a high school sophomore!

Can't wait to get it back on the road!

Rick
 

mrv8q

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Interesting, mine was bought new on December 26, 1959: I have the original bill of sale.

Comparing our commission numbers, Triumph sold a lot of TR3s in 1959!

Good luck with your “awakening”.
 

sp53

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I am still coming to consciousness myself, but I would add, be as clever as a serpent and as soft as a dove when dealing with your restoration shop. A restoration demands extreme skill levels and long hours and the 2 are often juxtaposed.
steve
 

CJD

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I am still coming to consciousness myself, but I would add, be as clever as a serpent and as soft as a dove when dealing with your restoration shop. A restoration demands extreme skill levels and long hours and the 2 are often juxtaposed.
steve

+1. I am very excited about the restoration!

That said, be very certain to review all work done between checks. I have had more than one friend lose their entire car during restorations, with what was left being tied up as evidence for years. All shops start with good intentions. Once a business has financial troubles, all the good intentions go out the window. Wasn’t it Reagon who coined the term, “trust but verify!”
 

STeve 1958

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I agree with John. I bought my car from a lady who had just gotten it back, after a four year litigation with a restoration shop. They charged her $30,000 and got maybe half done. Then during the litigation the car got dented four times. When I got it flames were coming out of the exhaust pipe. The one thing that seemed to have been done well were the brakes but now they are failing. So, one step at a time, one system at a time, no blank checks.

Steve
 
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Suncoaster

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SP53, John, and Steve -

All very good points , thank you all for bringing them up. I really like the admonition to review all the work done between checks. I'm only 45 minutes away from the shop and have been told visits are welcome at any time. That said, the shop has an excellent reputation & has been in operation for 30 years. Like John mentioned, "Trust but verify".

Thanks again, y'all may have saved me some misery.

Rick
 

ckeithjordan

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The every-two-weeks/twice-a-month billing works well. I had the drivetrain (motor/gearbox/OD/differential) rebuilt, along with other items, at Macy's Garage in Ohio. On the 1st and 15th, I'd get a detailed invoice describing the work done, with a parts listing and hours spent on each task and by whom, along with 2-3 dozen photos, showing the work done in that previous period. If there were any questions, I get an email or call from Mark Macy. It was exciting watching the progress. I joked with fellow TR owners that I had a collection of the most expensive photos!

Obviously, Macy's has a national reputation, so I was comfortable with the process. Now, I have a well-running, virtually new (mechanically), 62-year-old TR3!

In your case, I'd take advantage of the frequent visits to check on progress. I would have, except that Dayton is 700 miles from KC!
 
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