Philip Barnes writes:
<Reason for travelling was to look at '59 TR3 (comm.# TS47356). Car has
<very little rust; some on sides of spare wheel compartment, some on
<forward end of inner fenders. Lots of little dents on all panels,front
<apron is very rough. Trim, instruments, upholstery is out. Engine not
<running; car was last run 3-4 years ago. Asking price is $1500. Is this
<fair and more importantly do I want to spend several years making it look
Tough call. How bad is the rust? Surface rust or "English Lace"? Are the pieces
that are out of the car, trim, guages, etc. still around and included in the
price? How does the frame look? TR3 frames are very stout but the front sections
forward of the suspension mounts can get banged up from curbs and parking lot
bumpers. My '57 TR3 had been put into a curb bad enough to twist the lower arm
pivots and bend the arms.
Engine: does the engine still turn or is it frozen? Remember, this is a wet
liner engine, so if the bores are gone you may end up having to buy a piston &
Take another good hard look at the body. Tap the rocker panels below the doors
to make sure they aren't filled with bondo (mine were).
If you have the time, patience, and a good working area along with a good
selection of tools and a good handle on your own capabilities, this could bea
viable project. Parts availability, for the most part, is better now then when
the cars were new!
If you decide to tackle it, I recommend another thorough inspection, take a
magnet and screwdriver to look for bondo and more rust. Try and inventory the
car to see whats missing. Push on the price! The more missing pieces, the lower
the offer. You may be better off paying more for a better car.
Redondo Beach, Ca.
'54 TR2 '57 TR3 '62 Vitesse Convt. '54 Swallow Doretti '80 TR7 Spider
'64 Mini-Cooper 970S '71 Norton Commando '55 Chevy Bel Air Wagon