To most TR traditionalists this is where the TR tale ended, the final flourishing of the theme before the TR7 betrayed an outstanding tradition. In the mid-Sixties, the TR line was on a roll and the TR6 continued the upward momentum, outselling all earlier models. It was a natural progression from the original TR2; the body evolved from the TR4/5, the power unit from the TR5.
If ever there was a sports car that epitomized the British bulldog spirit it must be the Triumph TR2. It is as true Brit as a car can be, born in the golden age of British sports cars, but aimed at the lucrative American market. At the 1952 Earl’s Court Motor Show in London, the new Austin-Healey stole the show, but the “Triumph Sports” prototype’s debut at the same show was less auspicious.
The Triumph Stag was launched as British Leyland’s four-seat, fully convertible, sporting grand tourer challenge to the Mercedes-Benz 280SL. It was the culmination of Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti’s long collaboration with Triumph, who insisted that Michelotti’s wholly original ideas should not be compromised by the 1968 merger of BMC and Leyland-Rover-Triumph. Continue reading “Triumph Stag – 1970”
The affectionate nickname ‘Dolly Sprint’ is a measure of the respect aficionados have for the car. Triumph’s Dolomite Sprint was a very fast, very clever creation. Its Jekyll was a four-door, traditionally manicured, upmarket saloon calculated to reassure corporate managers of their status, and to persuade them by association of its genteel suitability as an executive-level company fleet vehicle for their colleagues. Continue reading “Triumph Dolomite Sprint – 1973”
‘Rattly, draughty, unpredictable in the wet, prone to disintegration ‘. That’s how celebrity car buff, James May described the TR6. And coming from him, the words were glowing praise; for it is the sheer, unadulterated blokishness of the TR6 that was the secret of its success — a hunky machine, modelled along the lines of a classic British roadster but with the promise of high-performance tearaway thrills.
By the late 1950s Standard-Triumph was experiencing financial difficulty, though TR sports cars were thriving, as the company’s small Standard saloons had never sold well. So the Triumph Herald was introduced to replace those ageing Standards.
The Austin Healey Sprite proved there was a market for small British sports ears and the bandwagon springs were soon creaking as first the MG Midget and then the Triumph Spitfire climbed aboard — both would outlast their inspiration with the late-arriving Spitfire doing best with nearly 315,000 sold in 18 years. It evolved considerably during that run, but it all began with the Mk I sometimes called the Spitfire 4) in 1962.
The Triumph TR2 was a triumph of willpower. The forerunner of one of Britain’s most successful sports car series, it was created by Sir John Black, head of the Standard Motor Company and of Triumph. Standard had supplied engines to the fledgling Jaguar Company, and Black desperately wanted to share or compete with Jaguar’s success.
The Watch Charm Rolls Royce sounds impressive but what a name to live up to. Sadly, the car air question didn’t. The Triumph Mayflower was a postwar curiosity, with its side-valve engine and angular bodywork. This was a conscious attempt to produce a luxury small ear that would ring up valuable American sales.
How do you challenge a fabulous machine like the SS Jaguar 100? That was the question facing Sir John Black of the Standard Motor Company, who assumed the awesome Jaguar would be back after World War II (he was right, though sadly for him the resulting X K 120 was even better than its predecessor). Still, Black’s hopeful answer was to task the newly acquired Triumph Motor Company with the job of producing a competitor.