Car in the Lobby: 1960 Triumph TRS

Wednesday 24 April 2024

If you’ve ever visited our Motorsport UK HQ, you will know that we are lucky enough to welcome in a variety of wonderful wheels, kindly offered up by their owners, which are proudly put on display in our lobby. 

Don’t forget to take a snap if you do visit us and use our hashtag #carinthelobby. 

Our lobby is currently home to the incredible 1960 Triumph TRS, and our team were lucky enough to catch up with owner Steve Roberts during the recent Bicester Heritage Scramble… 

“I’ve had the car just over four years, it’s a Triumph TRS Le Mans race car and only four were ever made,” commented Roberts. “In 1959 ,Triumph had raced TR3S at Le Mans but they hadn’t finished the circuit, when Michelotti joined Triumph and came up with a new design, made using the TR3S chassis and a Sabrina engine.” 

The Sabrina engine was of an entirely new twin cam design, boasting lightweight alloy castings throughout and twin choke SU carburettors. The Sabrina could reach 150bhp and was designed with mass production in mind.  

“This car raced at Le Mans in 1960 and 1961 and finished both times. In 1961 this car actually won the Team Prize, so it did win a trophy and placed 11th overall.  After Le Mans the TRS went to America and did some racing, I believe it did Sebring and then it was retired and left in a barn in Virginia for around 40 years. Someone knew of the car as there was only four of them built, a German restorer had actually restored one of the other cars. He spoke to the owner and purchased the car in 2008, took it back to Germany and spent two years restoring it. Then it appeared at Le Mans classic in 2010, he had it for another ten years and then I purchased it off him. 

“I really wanted a car that had some historic significance. Even if it had done just one lap of Le Mans, I would have been happy, but the fact that it raced twice and finished both times – and it’s the only one of the four cars that still has the Sabrina engine in. The Triumph is designed for the racetrack – it doesn’t have a speedometer so you have to drive off of the revs, it’s got no fuel gauge, so you have to use a stick for the fuel, and the switches on the dashboard are actually off a WW2 fighter plane.  

“I’ve had such fun in this car, I’ve done so many events. I feel like I was the custodian of the car.”