Triumph wreath logo.
Although Triumph had been making motorcycles since 1903, they did not build their first car until 1923, this being the 10/20, a 1.4-litre model. Two years later it was replaced by the 1900cc 13/30 (best remembered for being fitted with Lockheed external contracting hydraulic brakes).
The year 1928 saw the appearance of the 832cc Super Seven, while 1931 marked the arrival of the Scorpion, powered by a fashionably small six-cylinder engine of 1.2 litres. A Coventry-Climax overhead inlet/side exhaust engine was featured in the Super Nine of 1932, joined the following year by the Ten. The sporting front was not neglected, and in 1934 came the Gloria, available with either 1100cc four-cylinder, or 1500cc six-cylinder engines, again by Coventry-Climax. A fabulous extravagance was the supercharged dohc 2-litre Dolomite, an unashamed copy of a contemporary Alfa Romeo: it found few buyers. By 1937 Triumph-made ohv engines were supplementing the Coventry-Climax units, the range by this time embracing the 12-litre Gloria and four- and six-cylinder versions of the Dolomite, the name of the twin-cam eight thus being perpetuated. But financial solvency had been a constant problem, and the company was placed under receivership in 1939: it was not until 1945 that Triumph was snapped up by Sir John Blaek's Standard Motor Company.
For Triumph's first post-war model, an 1800cc ohv engine made for the 1 1/2-litre Jaguar was fitted to the razor-edge 1800 saloon and Roadster, the latter being the last series-production ear to be fitted with a dickey seat. However, it was not long before a new engine appeared, this being Standard's wet-liner four, fitted to the range from 1949. In 2.1-litre form it powered the TR2 sports car of 1953, the first model of a long and distinguished line. It was used in all the TR variants until the TR5 of 1967, being replaced by a 2?5-litre six. By contrast, saloon car production did not get into its stride until the 948cc Herald of 1959, the razor-edge Renown (the renamed 1800 saloon) having been phased out in 1955. In 1962 a six-cylinder version of the Herald, the Vitesse, was announced, while the Spitfire sports two-seater was another derivative. The sporting theme was further perpetuated by the 2-litre GT6 of 1967. Standard-Triumph had been taken over by Leyland Motors in 1961, resulting in a rapid expansion of the range: the 2000 saloon came in 1964 followed by a 2.5 PI derivative, and the front-wheel-drive 1300 in l966, while sporting laurels were upheld by the TR6 of 1969, replaced by the wedge-shaped TR7 of 1976. The 3-litre Stag of 1970 lasted until 1977, while the Dolomite of 1972 and the ohc 2-litre Dolomite Sprint offered sports car performance in the guise of a family saloon. In 1979 a convertible version of the TR7 was launched.
(Vintage European Automobiles)
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