Triumph TR2 and TR3A to Compete at Chateau Impney

Wednesday 13 May 2015

A 1955 Triumph TR2 that is one of only five works Triumphs in existence and a class-winning TR3A are both hoping to make their mark at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb this July.

The 1991cc Triumph TR2 (PKV693) competed in the 1955 Tulip Rally driven by Gregor Grant, the well-respected founder and editor of Autosport Magazine. An experienced competitor, Gregor’s racing career saw him compete in multiple rallies and hill climbs, including partnering with Stirling Moss in the 1952 Lyons-Charbonnieres Rally in a Jaguar XK120.

The car was originally part of a works team and was the factory’s 4th spare car in the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hour race where the factory team performed well, achieving respectable 14th, 15th and 19th place finishes.

The Triumph TR2 then passed into private ownership for almost 50 years before Bristol-based car dealer and Triumph enthusiast Neil Fender and his business partner Guy Broad purchased the car 15 years ago. Today the car still boasts many original features including the engine but enjoys more brake horsepower than it did in period due to modern-day internal components.

The pair were keen to continue the car’s racing heritage and reacquaint it with its Le Mans roots and have since taken it to the Le Mans Classic on three occasions – mostly recently finishing 14th out of 84 cars in 2014. The TR2 also came 5th in the 73rd Goodwood Members Meeting and raced in last October’s FISCAR Inter-Marque challenge at Castle Combe as part of the British Bulldogs team, where 12 teams of three battle it out for the team prize in a 30 minute race.

The TR2 will be competing in the Pre-1961 Sports and Racing Cars up to 2200cc class at Chateau Impney, with Neil at the wheel on this occasion.

Neil’s business partner, Guy, will also be at the event, but will be competing in his father’s Lister Jaguar in the pre-1961 Sports and Sports Racing Cars over 2200cc class.

Stirling-based Cliff McKinnon will also be flying the flag for Triumph in his 2.3 litre TR3A (2999F), which he’s owned for 45 years. The retired design engineer has recently spent some time re-spraying the bodywork ahead of the Hill Climb and is looking forward to making the journey to the event.

A member of the TR Register, Cliff is a seasoned competitor who regularly took part in the British Hill Climb and Scottish Championships during the 1980s before a hiatus that lasted until five years ago. Most recently he won in the closely contested Triumph-only class at the Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival, beating a TR4, three TR3s, a Spitfire and a GT6 with only a split-second difference between his time and a fellow TR3A in second place.

Cliff will be taking to the course at Chateau Impney in the Pre-1961 Sports and Sports Racing Cars over 2200cc class facing seven Jaguars as well as an Aston Martin DB Mk III DHC and Lotus Buick. His hill climbing experience means he isn’t fazed by the challenge the newly extended 1,000-yard course will present.

Photos courtesy of Neil Fender and Guy Broad and John McCrae 

  • Cliff McKinnon in his Triumph TR3, Chateau Impney Hill Climb, Droitwich
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