Triumph TR2-TR3B Carpet
Carpets are the first interior component to show wear, and the easiest replacement to do yourself. If yours have started to look a little ragged, or are bunched up around your feet and interfere with the pedals, then it’s probably time for you to install a new carpet set. Starting with the TR4’s (and Spitfires) in the early 1960’s, carpet materials/patterns/colors are pretty simple, and you can make your choice based purely on price. (All models used a loop type carpet, and the one thing you must remember when installing loop carpet is to NEVER run a drill bit through it. You won’t be happy with the consequences!)
If you have a TR2/3, there are no less than 4 carpet patterns and 2 materials, plus colors to match the interior, so some research is necessary. TR2’s were all equipped with wool cut pile carpet, but the earliest cars came with a 2 piece carpet in each forward footwell (instead of the long rubber mat that was introduced at TS 5089 and used through to the end of sidescreen car production).
The wool cut pile carpet was supplied from TS1 through about TS35349, and a loop pile carpet replaced the cut pile starting around TS35350. There are some differing opinions as to the material used for the later cars with the loop pile carpets. The only “official” Triumph documentation that I’ve seen referenced describes loop carpet as “T F Firths quality 1185, finish 907” (not much help here!). According to the TRA judging standards and Bill Piggott’s various books, this is a nylon loop carpet.
One particular Triumph parts supplier claims that the loop carpet was originally a rayon material, but I haven't seen anything to support this belief. Does it matter? No. Don’t believe that all of the national show winning cars get their carpets from one place, or that you have to pay extra for a “rayon” carpet set (which is probably a rayon/nylon blend!). If you handed me a piece of carpet I couldn’t tell you if it was made from nylon or rayon. When judging Concours interiors at TRA and VTR, I only consider whether the loop or cut pile is appropriate for the car, along with the correct pattern, quality of fit, cleanliness, and wear. If the judging standards say nylon and the judges can’t tell the difference (or have more important factors to consider), then I'd recommend that you don't get hung up on the rayon/nylon carpet material question.