Triumph TR3 | A Family Heirloom
Updated: Jun 17, 2021
This Triumph TR3 is a family heirloom that has been in Leigh Scatchard’s life since 1972. Her father bought is for $600 and kept it until 2013 when he sold it to Leigh and her husband Bruce for 1 penny. Bruce has done a frame up restoration on the car and it is gorgeous. Hear the story about Leigh’s childhood memories of the car and how Bruce did a frame up restoration to bring it back to better than original condition.
It's been around most of my life. I used to sit on my front lawn and listen for my dad. I could hear him coming through the neighbourhood. You know, you can feel the gears and the brakes. You feel very much at one with the road.
Hi folks and welcome to Center Lane. I'm Bruce Hitchen. Today we're going to take a look at this gorgeous 1962 Triumph TR3. Now the car belongs to Bruce and Leigh Scatchard and it's been in the family for close to 50 years. Now, if you like this video then please subscribe to my channel and click the bell to be notified of future episodes. Now we're going to talk to Bruce and Leigh about the car.
The car came into my life in 1972. My father purchased it for $600 off a friend who came into his life in 1968 for about $400 he acquired this car. And selling it to my dad was a regret of his later on. It's been around most of my life. I remember my father picking me up from my various schools, going on dates with the car. I used to sit on my front lawn and listen for my dad. I could hear him coming through the neighbourhood because the car is really loud, and I could hear when he was coming down the streets. I could count the stop signs when he was coming and being picked up in the TR was quite nice.
So it's more than just a cool car to you, it's really a memory from your youth right. Absolutely.
How did it end up in your hands?
Well I think, really a downsizing move. They needed space in the garage and I think he wanted to make sure that the car was cared for moving forward. And I have three other siblings. I think we were all an equal choice to receive the car but we were the only ones with a garage so it sort of started off as that. And Bruce has an interest in cars and fixing up. And so for a penny, my dad gave us the car, although he kept it for about five years because he couldn't let it go. And then we had it moved out here.
When you guys got together, I mean, I guess this car was around. What kind of condition was it in?
Well all through the years, Leigh's dad, Mel kept it in good running order so it was always running it was always ready to fire up. You know when we got married almost 25 years ago. You know our plan was to drive away after our wedding but of course it rained so we weren't able to do that. But you know it's never been restored and so there was a lot of rust and you know all the rubber was disintegrating and...
Was it always your plan to restore the car or were you just thinking of making it, keeping it drivable?
We just actually wanted to get it nice enough to get collector's plates but you know, it needed a lot of work to get to that point and so we started taking a few things apart to fix that up and you know. And I had a friend that also owns Triumphs that knows a lot about it and was a bad influence and encouraged me to keep going and take saying, oh you can't leave that, you got to take it apart. And pretty soon it was disassembled into as many pieces as you could get.
So Bruce, did you have the knowledge to do all this work or did you learn a lot along the way?
No, I absolutely learned a lot. I mean, I'd always worked on cars, on my own brakes and stuff, but never done anything like this and I really didn't have any intention of. You know, I think when I started thinking, no way I'm doing a frame-off restoration. You know, I had a good friend, Greg that had restored Triumphs and he was a big help. I joined the Triumph Club to get some extra advice so I definitely learned a lot.
What kind of surprises did you come upon?
We had it media blasted and as soon as you did that you know the metal that looks okay before, you know that it would go right through it so there was a lot of welding that that needed to be done to weld up all the rust. So everything was media blasted and then all the weak parts were replaced with new metal.
Your dad, he must have been intrigued about the process and wanting to keep up to date on it I guess?
He was very curious and every now and then we had to make an emergency phone call and ask about a certain part and; where he got this and what does he think. But he was definitely, he was helpful. When he came out for his visits he was getting in there you know helping him rip it apart he didn't have any qualms about disassembling the entire thing.
Were you guys on the same page in terms of doing this work to the car and making it as good as possible?
I know, I was nervous when the car seemed to be in so many different pieces and boxes and all this pieces of tape and my parents were coming to visit I was really worried about how my dad would react. But he was fine, he was fine with it. I think he could see the end goal, where I couldn't. That was a big fear of mine that I'd either get busy and either forget to put it back together or just never get back to it so that was actually a fear that you know you've seen so many projects and where they were someone take the part yeah. So I was a little bit worried about that.
I imagine it's a real sense of pride for you?
Yeah absolutely, yeah it's uh, we're really pleased with it. Had no intention of ever restoring a car and when I did it, I swear I'd never do it again and now I'm actually shopping for another car to restore. It is a big feeling of satisfaction.
So it's a two liter, four cylinder with dual SU's so produces about 100 horsepower. Well we pretty much stripped it down to everything. Removed the motor, transmission, rear end, the body right off the frame. Had everything media blasted, cleaned up and then slowly reassembled again. All new wiring harness just because we were worried about you know, 60 year old wires causing fire, that sort of thing. So we cleaned up the trunk, put carpet in. This is the uh the top and the side curtains we keep in. It still has the original crank so you could actually start the car with the crank. Oh cool! Not that I ever have but. The interior, I just ordered off eBay so all leather came completely with assembled seats and I sent my old rails in and they he wrapped them. So they did a nice job. You know we still have the original roof that that's been with the car for years. There's a few suppliers that provide reproduction parts so you can get almost everything.
Oh, I think he's absolutely thrilled. I think he waffled at the idea of giving up the car but he didn't really give it up, it's still in the family. So whenever he comes to visit he picks up the kids from the school. There's a few things that work better. There's no holes on the floor of the seats there so...it's not like Fred Flintstone.
I love it. I know all my siblings love it and their kids love it.
It's just, it's so nice to drive in and I see it in the back corner and it's just a piece of home. So certainly has high value for me.
Well we have to...Obey the instructions my dad gave us which was never to sell it without consulting my siblings. Yeah so we're hoping it will stay in the family. Either to one of our kids or to one of Leigh's brother and sister's kids.
You know, they have to learn to drive manual and learn how to take care of it and all that but hopefully one of them shows enough interest to be able to pass it along to them.