Triumph TR3A GT Special

I was contacted recently by Larry Kavanagh of Fairview Park (mob 0488 401 956) who advised that he had recently acquired a very interesting vehicle with which he is seeking some help with both information and parts. After talking with Larry and reading the information that he does have about the car, I found both the history and the restoration project very interesting and well worth sharing with TSOA.

First, a brief history of what we know – one Lance Ridgway purchased an accident damaged TR3A in 1961 and proceeded to convert the car into a full bodied GT car complete with gull wing doors, using a square steel tube framework and full aluminium body shaped b y John Webb in his after hours time at the Elfin factory.

The car featured in the June 1963 edition of Sports Car World and we have a copy of this article complete with photos of the car showing its stylish fastback design and Lance Ridgway holding up one of the gull wing doors. Apparently, these were yet to find a permanent means of support given that gas struts were not commonly available at the time.

Lance sold the car to Dr Geoff Ward in 1963 and was raced and used for hillclimbing with mixed results – it was simply known as a Triumph GT. A Dr Ross Benger was next to own the car, before it was re-acquired by Lance Ridgway. During the period of this second term as owner, Lance had the fast back fixed roof removed and converted the car to a roadster, complete with small racing windscreen and roll bar.

Since that time the car has had several owners including the Kuchell family in the Barossa and a Steven Rowley of Williamstown. Larry Kavanagh now has what remains and judging by the photos, it is in need of some TLC. Lance is determined to get the car back to pristine condition and perhaps back on the track for historic demonstrations, regularity events and hill climbs.

Larry is keen to talk with anyone who may have information about the car, memories of events that it has been seen, photographs etc. Also, as there are many TR3A parts missing, he is keen to source parts to complete the job. If your shed is anything like mine, where odd bits and pieces of Triumph models that I have played with over the years are collected, and you have messed with the early TR’s, then you may have that missing bit.

Larry’s contact number is mob 0488 401 956 and he will be keen to talk with you.

Roger Lange, Competition Secretary

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