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Triumph TR2-TR3B Piping Colors

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Obtaining the correct piping color for a TR2 is easy, it matches the upholstery color.  Late TR3A/B and TR4/4A are easy as well, because all piping is white.  But much confusion exists regarding correct piping colors for the TR3 and early TR3A’s, and none of the usual suppliers offer many correct combinations.  My Moss sales rep admitted to me that because it’s confusing, and to simplify inventory, they just “picked” something and assumed that they are “as correct as anyone else”! 

After reading conflicting information on originality from Moss, V-B, and TRF, I was confused myself, so I started researching ‘The Piping Question’ several years go.  Once I started looking, it wasn’t that tough to fill in most of the ‘holes’ and document this information, so my guess is that “inventory simplification” (as with color shades) is a big part of why “correct” color combinations are not readily available from all sources.  I supplied all of my documentation to Moss, and they were going to align their color offerings more closely with the originals, but that was several years ago so it's obviously not a priority for them.

 “Contrasting piping” was introduced “for some colors” with the arrival of the TR3.  This “contrasting” piping was either white or cream (up to Sept. 1958, approx. TS37000).  The cream (off white) is the most prevalent on these early cars, but it is not available from any of the usual places.  All contrasting piping after TS37000 (approx.) was white, and at some time between TS37000 and TS50000 the last of the colors with non-contrasting piping were eliminated (exception: Targa Purple). The chart below lists all of the known variations and approximate change points.  TS8637 is the first TR3, TS22014 is the first TR3A.

Trim Color Piping Color Start @ Comm # Ending Comm #
Light Gray Light Gray TS3 TS37000
Silverstone Gray White TS37000 TS77000
Stone Stone TS1201 TS22013
Beige Beige TS22014 TS37000
Brown (tan) Cream TS8637 TS37000
Brown (tan) White TS37000
Red (dark) Cream TS8637 TS22013
Red (tomato) Cream TS22014 TS37000
Red (tomato) White TS37000
Blue Cream TS8637 TS22013
Blue White TS22014
Vermillion Cream TS8637 TS22013
Targo Purple Targo Purple TS37000 TS77000
Black White TS10801*

  * I cannot find any "official" evidence that Black interior trim was available for TR2’s or the earliest TR3’s, but a TR2 owner in Europe has informed me that his BMIHT Heritage Certificate lists Black as the original trim color (so anything is possible).

The table above was compiled from The Triumph Register of America's (TRA) Judging Standards and Restoration Guidelines, "Original Triumph TR2/3/3A" by Bill Piggott, and from information printed in the TRA National Newsletter Vol. 12, No. 1 (January 1988).

UPDATE April 27, 2007


A question came up on the Triumph List as to which pieces of piping were white (or cream as noted above), and if any of the piping on TR3A/B and early TR4 seats was the same as the seat color.  The answer to this question is YES!  One picture is worth 1000 words, so please refer to the photo on the right of an ORIGINAL TR3A seat that I keep around just to answer questions such as this.  As with all pictures on my site, click on the thumbnail for a larger view.