Back to listings

1955 TRIUMPH TR2 Short Door

View vehicle description

1955 TRIUMPH TR2 Short Door


The TR2 is a rare car, only being built between 1953 and 1955. It does however have a strong following, typifying as it does the archetypal British sports car. It was attainable, affordable and is now backed by a collection of car clubs and specialists that will help keep it on the road.

The earliest cars had full-length doors which have a propensity to catch high kerbs. Later cars, or ‘short doors’ as they came to be known overcame this problem quite successfully.

Less than 9,000 cars were produced in total, with just 2,823 staying in the UK. Overseas markets positively lapped them up. Why we hear you ask? Well undoubtedly the fitment of a 90bhp 1,991cc four-cylinder engine helped.

This gave the lightweight sports car excellent performance. The esteemed Motor magazine timed a standard TR2 at a shade over 107mph, but of more interest was the car’s ability to sprint from rest to 60mph in a shade under twelve seconds.

When fitted with some modest aerodynamic aids and a streamlined metal roof, a modified TR2 was timed at almost 125mph, highlighting the car’s competition potential. Cars were therefore raced in the Mille Miglia, RAC and Monte Carlo rallies and the Grand Prix of Macau. There were also cars entered in the Le Mans 24-hours endurance race in 1955.

So, what else is so appealing about the TR2? Well, there’s the independent front coil spring set up which marries with the live rear axle to give sporting handling, yet not to the detriment of ride quality.

The Vehicle

We are pleased to be offering for sale an original right-hand drive TR2, a short door model from early 1955.

Dispatched new to South Africa, the TR basked in the warm sunshine for most of its life, before returning home in 2015. The gentleman who imported it had connections in the country and sourced a car with a known history.

During his ownership, he continued to improve the car adding such things as a new stainless-steel exhaust and fitting inertia reel seatbelts.

Our seller acquired the car earlier this year to add to his formidable collection of Triumph TRs. A long-time member of the TR Owners Club, he is somewhat of an expert on the marque.

He was attracted to the car not only by its excellent condition, its lifetime in a warm dry climate clearly helping, but also by its originality with just a few sensible modifications. These include a 6 bolt Girling rear axle, fitted for reliability and ease of maintenance.

The TR2 also has an upgraded overdrive gearbox for improved drivability and economy. Brakes have been upgraded too.

We believe the car is fitted with a slightly later engine, with improved parts supply and is easier to tune.

Our seller had intended to turn the car into a period rally car in which to take part in classic events, something this car is ideally suited to.

His focus instead is now to be directed elsewhere so the car has come to us to find a new loving home. We are quite certain there will be much interest in this rare car.

On the Outside

As well as being fully restored we believe in the 1990s, an invoice from classic car restoration specialists Spotless Knysna in the Western Cape, tells of bodywork repairs undertaken the year before the car was imported into the UK. It would appear that almost all of the car was resprayed.

The Triumph Racing Green paintwork still looks good, the car having clearly been cosseted since its repatriation to UK shores. Our seller feels that the body panels are likely to be all original and who are we to disagree. There are some cosmetic marks here and there, so take a look at our photographs or better still pay us a visit!

The car sports plenty of shiny chrome, as did most cars of the period, so best stock up on chrome cleaner to keep it that way.

Painted wire wheels complete that period look and each comes fitted with a Vredstein Sports Classic tyre, all with plenty of tread. Matching quality tyres are always a good sign of careful and considered classic car ownership.

The observant amongst you may also have spotted the front disc brakes, a worthy upgrade from the standard drum offerings.

The TR2 comes with all the expected weather gear. There’s a pack away hood, which looks ok, together with sidescreens which can be clipped on to the doors.

The car looks at its best without and there’s a tonneau cover, ideal for when parking up when out an about, affording as it does interior protection for items left inside and of course shelter from the elements.

On the Inside

The interior has been professionally retrimmed in black, with the seats being finished in black leather with subtle green piping. The result is quite stunning. Oh, and they are bucket seats, ideal if you do fancy a spot of racing or rallying, but equally cosseting should feel so inclined to have a blast on a favourite B-road.

We have mentioned the three-point seatbelts, a sensible addition we feel.

The dashboard instruments are all original we believe which is just as well as replacements are hard to source and rather expensive.

The three spoke wooden steering wheel completes the period effect and is a delight to hold.

Interior carpets are in good order, those fitted to the boot area are a little marked in places. The spare wheel well is in good order and houses a spare wire wheel with a brand-new tyre fitted.


We always include plenty of pictures of a car’s underside and that is most certainly the case here. It all looks in good order, with plenty of underseal for protection in evidence. Time spent on the warm African continent has undoubtedly helped to preserve the car.

Our seller has driven the car extensively during his ownership and reports that it drives really well. The engine pulls strongly, breathing through twin carburettors.

There is plenty of evidence of good maintenance and a plethora of new parts on display. The engine bay itself is quite presentable.

History Highlights

As previously stated, we believe the car was fully restored in the 1990s, with further bodywork done in 2014 prior to the car’s importation to the UK.

Since its return, there has been plenty of work done to the car, as witnessed by the raft of paperwork, copies of which are in the picture section.

Amongst the work carried out by TR Traders in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire was the fitting of the new stainless stell exhaust, together with a new solenoid and various ignition parts.

The TR also underwent some work to the brakes which included the replacement of the wheel cylinder pistons and brake shoes.

The invoices show that many replacement parts have been purchased for the car over the last few years and fitted by the then owner.

Our seller has fully serviced the car quite recently, so it is all ready to go.

What We Think

This very appealing TR2’s life in a dry climate has clearly helped preserve its excellent condition. It’s a great driving car, made better by a few unobtrusive and sympathetic upgrades which make it far more usable in modern-day traffic.

Undoubtedly a car for the collector that wants something that can be regularly driven, or perhaps even raced or rallied, we can see the car appealing to many.

TR2s are rare, with less than 500 known cars in the UK, many of them recorded as being SORN.

We estimate this lovely TR2 will fetch between £19,500 and £24,500.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of suppliers we work with regularly including: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

Video Review

Want to know how The Market auctions work? Take a look at our FAQ's

View FAQ's


  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 01588
  • Engine: 2138
  • Gearbox: Manual w/overdrive
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Triumph Racing Green
  • Interior: Black
  • Estimated Price: £19,500 - £24,500

Live auctions View more