Bob Paul wrote:
>Following up on a helpful tip by another list member I contacted the
>Automotive Information Clearinghouse and purchased information on the TR2 and
>the TR3/3A regarding how many of these cars are left. I inquired how they
>arrive at their estimates and was given a faily convincing explanation. In a
>nutshell, all cars are issued a title at first sale, all titles are held
>'open' by all State MVDs (Motor Vehicle Departments) until notified by a
>wrecking yard that the car has been destroyed. They, ( the AIC) have access
>to all this MVD info. in an arrangement with each State and the insurance
>industry. The total number of each model is known and deductions are made
>from this total as wrecker's certificates are sent in. That running total or
>balance indicates what's left of that model. Sounds simple enough.
Here's part of the problem as also identified by several others:
The ability to specifically identify a TR-2 or 3 or 3A/B is often not
available via the title (assuming a title exists) because the
model isn't so identified. That leaves just the vehicle commission number
as the true identifier and I have serious doubts that the AIC
master list is that capable of such identification. I have seen VIN numbers
of TR-s represented in many different ways in the same state. For
example, if the TR2 VIN was TS1238L it might be in the computer
of a motor vehicle bureau as: TS-1238L or TS 1238L or 1238 (I;ve
seen that where they didn't have the TS included). Remember, prior
to 1980 there was NO standard for VIN numbers and each manufacturer
did whatever they pleased. Likewise, there was, therefore,
no standard way the VIN got recorded on a title (if, there even was
a title as I lived in NY state where there were no titles
before 1973... and any pre73 vehicle still doesn't have a title
in NY state as I understand.)
>Indeed, the question to AIC ought to be just how do they identify
>a TR-2 or a TR-3? If there computer files look for a perfect VIN match
within a certain range, then they probably overlook many actual TR2s/3s
because of the anomolies in VINs as recorded.
>I figured that this estimate could be very high, since lots of cars are left
>to rust in owner's back yards or are parted out by enthusiasts who might frame
>the title for the wall but not sent it to the MVD, hence those cars would
>never be removed from AICs master list, but would be 'gone'.
>AIC states ( they say this is NOT an estimate but a fact) that there are a
>total of 1,009 Triumph TR3 , 3As and 3Bs left in the United States !!!!
That is an absolute joke. See more below...
>According to the AIC there are only 311 TR2's left in the US. !! This is
>1,320 left out of the 83,500 cars made. This is less than a 2% survival rate.
>Is this possible ??
In my opinion...NO! Think about the following: Total TR-2 production
was only about 8000 units. Total of all TR-3s was about 75,000 (83,500
less the 8000 TR2s). If there are 311 TR2s, that is about a 4% rate,
yet of all the newer TR-3s, the AIC figure of 1009 represents barely
1% of the total. Now does it make any sense that the TR-3s would have
a lower survival rate? Frankly, I think the VTR roster includes
considerably more than 1009 TR-3s in its own records.
I don't know the exact number, but I'd bet we have almost 100 TR-2s and 3s
in our local New Jersey club alone...and we are in the northeast snow
belt area where the cars were exposed to the rigors of winter salt, etc.
There are several Triumph local chapters in California and I'd bet there
are several hundred TR2/3/3A/3B in that state alone.
>According to Bill Piggott of the Triumph Register in England, they have 1,110
>of the TR2/3 cars registered.
And the home country only retained about 10/15% of the total production.
>I was guessing about 25,000 TR2/3s left in the US based on the numbers from
>the Triumph Register.
I think that might be high, but we'll likely never know an accurate number.
I recall this question pertaining to the survival rate of Model A Fords
being discussed in the pages of Old Cars Weekly some years ago. They
estimated about a 10% survival of those pre-war cars (remember, many
prewar cars were scrapped for steel during WW-II). That being the case
I'd think the survival of TRs would be better...especially since we
have had enthiusiast groups for support of these cars for some time.
Linda and Bill Sohl -- Budd Lake, NJ -- firstname.lastname@example.org