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Although the car was usually supplied as an open two-seater, an occasional rear seat and bolt-on steel hard top were available as extras. The car was powered by a 1991 cc straight-4 OHV engine initially producing 95 bhp (71 kW; 96 PS) ,an increase of 5 hp over the TR-2 thanks to the larger SU-H6 carburetors fitted. This was later increased to 100 bhp at 5000 rpm by the addition of a ‘high port’ cylinder head and enlarged manifold.
The four-speed manual transmission could be supplemented by an overdrive unit on the top three ratios electrically operated and controlled by a switch on the dash. In 1956 the front brakes were changed from drums to discs, the TR3 thus becoming the first series production car to be so fitted.