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The Marque

Pre-War    Mayflower Roadster

Herald    Vitesse   Dolomite    Saloon Series    Stag   Spitfire GT-6

TR-2    TR-3   TR-4    TR-5/250 TR-6   TR-7/8

Acclaim

 As always, see the VTR for more information.

 



 
 
 

1923 Triumph 10/20 The early years of Triumph produced many short-lived models: 10/20 (At left);  production ran from 1923 - 1926, 13/35; production ran from 1924 - 1926, and the 15; production ran from 1926 - 1930.  All told, about 2000 of these cars were produced.
   

Triumph Seven

The later part of the early years saw the Super Seven (At left); production ran from 1927 - 1932; followed by the Super Eight from 1933 - 1934.  Production for both these ran about 17,000.  During this period the Scorpion was built (1931 - 1932) with about 1500 cars being produced.   Several models followed in rapid succession: 12/6 (1932 - 1933), Super Nine (1932 - 1933), Southern Cross 8.9 and 9.8 (1932 - 1934), and the Ten (1933 - 1934).  Production from the 12/6 through the Ten ran about 9000 cars.
   
1934 Dolomite Straight 8 The pre-war era saw Triumph build large touring automobiles with Donald Healey as technical director.  Again, many models thrived in a relatively short time period.  First were the Gloria and Vitesse from 1933 - 1936 with about 10,000 being built.  (Plus a special edition Gloria called the Monte Carlo)  The 1934 Dolomite Straight Eight (at left) with only three prototypes built (two of which survive today).  It was based on an Alfa Romeo design, and it achieved competition success in the Monte Carlo Rally of 1936, while driven by Donald Healey.  Various Vitesse and Dolomites were built built between 1937 and 1939.  The chief differences being engine size and body stylings.  In all about 6,250 were made of these models.  The last Triumph built in the period was the Twelve.  Only 50 were built in its one year of production: 1939.
Triumph went bankrupt in 1939 and ceased to be an entity unto its own at this time.
Roadster 2000 The elegant 1800 and 2000 (with Rumble Seat!) were 4 cylinder cars, produced in several different versions.  From 1946 till 1954 various versions of the Saloon cars were produced.  In all, 6,501 1800s were produced.  13,301 2000s rolled off the line plus an extra 190 Triumph 2000 Limousines.
   
Mayflower The Mayflower was Standard-Triumph's first mass produced car, in all, about 35,000 were produced between 1950 and 1953.  The Mayflower drop-head (convertible) coupé was produced only during 1950, with only 10 cars rolling off the production line.  None are known to exist today.  The new front coil suspension system would later be used for the TR-2.
   
Herald/Vitesse The first Herald to go on sale to the general public in April 1959 was what has long since become one of the rarest versions: The Coupé.  The Coupé was soon joined by a Saloon version, which allowed more room for a full rear seat.  By March 1960, these two models were joined by a Convertible, which offered a top that folded almost completely out of sight, a full (though cramped) rear seat and the twin-carb engine.  Soon added to the range was an Estate Wagon and the short-lived Courier van, a "commercial" version of the Estate wagon alot like the once common delivery versions of American station wagons.  By the end of 1964, the Coupé had disappeared.  By 1970, the rear drive Triumph Toledo and front drive 1500/ 1500TC were too much competition. The 1200 Saloon disappeared in May 1970, followed by the 13/60 Saloon in December and the Convertible and Estate cars in May 1971. The Herald was the first production Triumph styled by Giovanni Michelotti, whose body designs would later be used throughout the Triumph range, for both sedan cars and sports cars.  The Vitesse was an upscale/sportier version of the Herald (with some front end restyling) and was launched in 1962.  It featured a 1500TC engine and the car was offered only in Saloon and Convertible versions. Sales tapered off steadily; the last Vitesse was built in May 1971, only weeks before Dolomite production began. US MARKET: The Estate was never officially imported to the US.  The Herald 1200 was renamed in 1964 as the Sports 1200.  By the late sixties, the Herald and Sports names were dropped and the US market referred to the car as the Triumph 1200.  Meanwhile, the Vitesse convertible was badged as the Sports 6 and available for a little over year as a "special edition."  The Vitesse Saloon was never officially imported. For more information check out The Triumph Herald Page.
   
Dolomite, et al The 1300 front wheel drive was a radical departure for Triumph, whose previous model, the Herald, was a traditional chassis-based design. The car was like a smaller 2000 with all that car's luxury. The 1300 and 1300 TC ran from 1965-1971.  Production: 110,000  - 35,000 TC.  To add to the confusion of the range, in 1970 a FWD (Front Wheel Drive) 1500 was introduced with a 4 door bodyshell with revised front and rear end treatment. These changes resulted in four headlamps and the rear end of the later Dolomites. The 1500 FWD ran from 1970-1973 and the 1500TC RWD from 1973-1975.  Production: FWD - 60,000; RWD - 25,000. The Toledo was introduced as a more traditional car in 1970, the only model in the series to have a two door body, though there were originally plans to use this body for a sporting model.  The Toldeo ran from 1970 - 1976.  Production: ?.  The 1971 Dolomite had an 1850cc engine jointly developed with Saab. It had the 1500's shell and plush interior with walnut and bri-nylon. Options included an automatic and overdrive. In 1975 the range was revamped with Dolomite 1300, 1500 & 1500HL replacing Toledo & 1500TC.  The various versions of the Dolomite ran from 1971 - 1981.  Production: 1300 - 32,000; 1500 - 43,000; 1850 - 79,000.  The Sprint was originally planned to be a 2-door but in the end a luxury 4-door sporting saloon appeared with fantastic performance from its 2 liters and revolutionary 16 valve head.  The Sprint ran from 1973 - 1981.  For more information check out The Triumph Dolomite Homepage.
   
Triumph 2000 The PSF built body of the Triumph 2000, introduced in '63, would set the mood for what was to follow in the small car range.  The 2000 ran from 1963 - 1977 with total numbers manufactured: Saloon - 205,213; Estate - 14,609  (export: Saloon - >14,000; Estate - >100).  The 2.5PI ran from 1968 - 1975 with total numbers manufactured: Saloon - 52,011; Estate - 7800 (>900 exported Saloons).  The 2500 from 1974 - 1977 with total numbers manufactured: Saloon - 37,752; Estate - 2,904 (>5700 exported Saloons).  Production outside the UK was always based on CKD (Completely Knocked Down) kits shipped from Coventry with interiors often manufactured locally.  For more information check out the Triumph 2000/2500/2.5 Homepage.
   
Stag The design for the Stag arose when Michelotti used a Triumph 2000 to make a show special for the Turin market Show. The design kept the Triumph 2000's suspension, floor pan, and drive train.  Market launch date in the UK was in April of 1970.  US-market Mark I Stags were introduced in September of 1971 with importation to the US market ending after only 17 months in July of 1973. Production for other markets continued until June of 1977.  Total numbers manufactured: 25,877 (6780 export).  For more information check out The Stag Owner's Club.
   
TR-2 Managing Director (MD) John Black assigned his staff the job of producing a small sports car that could be sold at a low price in a short amount of time.  The 20TS' (TR-1) basic components were from the 2L Vanguard (the engine), the Flying Nine (the chassis), and the Mayflower (the suspension and rear axle).  After a shakedown by a noted driver/columnist of the time, the car was given a serious mechanical "face-lift" (and a new rear end styling) and the TR-2 was born.   Production ran from 1953 - 1955 with 8,636 cars being produced.
   
TR3/3A/3B Very similar in looks to the TR-2 (grill changes being the biggest; from the TR-2's inset, to the TR-3's egg crate, to the 3A/3B's "wide mouth"), the TR-3, 3A, and the American 3B are usually thought of as the traditional Triumph sports car.  Mechanical changes took place on a regular basis from the start of the TR-2 all the way through to the end of the TR-3B.  A big step in the mechanical changes for the TR-3 was the addition of Girling front brakes, Triumph being the first manufacturer to use them on a production car.  The TR-3B was not really a "B" at all.  When the TR-4 was introduced to America, the dealers were not sure they could sell this "modern" roadster.  Triumph still had TR-3A bodies and parts available, so, they gave in to the American dealers.   The first 530 Bs are almost identical to the As but had the TR-4 gear box.  The rest had both the gearbox and the TR-4 engine as well.  Production ran from 1955 - 1957 for the TR-3 (13,377 cars produced), 1957 - 1962 for the TR-3A (58,309 cars produced), and 1962 for the American TR-3B (3,334 cars produced).  These totals include CKD and, for the A/B, the Ilalia chassis production.
   
TR-4 The TR-4 was Triumph's first dip into the "modern" sports car market.  (Which is why the TR-3B came into being for the US market).  Gone were the cut out doors and side-screens; this car had roll-up windows and the first "targa" top!    The TR-4 was produced from 1961 - 1965 with 40,253 cars produced.   Externally, the TR-4A looks like a continuation of the TR-4. The cars share a few pieces of sheet metal and have much the same engine, but most everything else differs. Body changes were limited to a new grille, decoration (such as the chrome strip down the side of the car) and badging, along with new body-to-chassis mountings.  The TR-4A is on a much wider frame and a redesigned suspension. The front suspension is adjustable for camber and the rear suspension went from live axle to independent.  Triumph dealers in the US convinced Triumph that they could continue to sell non IRS cars at a cheaper price (they weren't convinced that the American public wanted to pay the price for Independent Rear Suspension), and Triumph responded with a solid axle design that fit into the IRS frame. The TR-4A was produced from 1965 - 1967 with 28,465 cars produced. 
   
TR-5 The TR-5 was produced during a short period of time: only in the years 1967 - 1968 (Model year 1968) as a stop-gap measure until the new TR-6 could be rolled out of the factory.  It was basically a TR-4A with a six-cylinder engine and uprated drive-train.  The TR250 was the USA market TR-5, but due to US emissions regulations (and some say because American dealers thought the Petrol Injection system just too unreliable and costly) tuned down from a 150 bhp (TR-5) PI to 104 bhp (TR250) twin carburetor version. Total numbers manufactured: TR-5 - 2974 cars; TR 250: 8484 cars.
   
TR-6 The TR6 (sometimes know as the last of the Great British Roadsters) was introduced in January, 1969 in both the UK and the States, using basically the same chassis and drive train components as those used in the TR5/TR250.  However, the body work, while retaining some elements of the TR5/TR250 design (notably the doors, windscreen frame, and the style of the side rear quarters), was externally restyled by Karmann of Germany (Michelotti being busy at the time).  The TR6 came to the end of its production in July 1976 (February, 1975 for UK models) when BL decided that the TR-6 was not modern enough to stand next to the TR-7.  Total numbers manufactured: 8,370 (export: 86,249) 
   
TR-7/TR-8 It has been said of the TR-7 that "this was the car that marked the end of Triumph,"  but Triumph called it "The Shape of Things to Come!"  Due to uncertainty with the new rollover regulations, Triumph opted to NOT produce a convertible TR-7!  The first TR-7s off the line overheated, the lights didn't work half the time, the noise level was high, and the wiring system was the pinnacle of Lucas nightmares.  These two things practically killed any reputation Triumph had in America.  (Avoid any of the ACG prefix cars.  These were made in the Speke plant.  The plant was so bad, BL outright closed it instead of trying to fix the personnel problems)  Eventually a convertible was produced, and the problems fixed, (making it a neat little car) but not before the damage was done.  The TR-7 was produced from 1975 - 1981 with ? cars being produced.  The TR-8 on the other hand has been said to be the car Triumph should have opted to produce and the car that could have saved Triumph.  They were developed at the same time, but the 3.5 litre 8 cylinder engines had been promised for Rover's 3500 sedan.  This car could have taken the market by storm in 1976.  The UK never saw the TR-8, it was only produced for the overseas market.  The TR-8 was produced from 1978 - 1981 with 2,308 produced for the States and 189 for the rest of the world. 
   
Spitfire The Spitfire was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and based upon the Triumph Herald frame, drive train and suspension.  First introduced in October, 1962, as Triumph's entry into the small British Sports Car market, competing favorably with the MG Midget and other small inexpensive sports cars.  The original design survived through three series and was updated by Michelotti with the Mk-IV for the 1971 model year. The Spitfire's design remained basically the same but was modernized in appearance and other minor mechanical modifications and engine upgrades; basically a work in progress (much like the TR-3).  Unfortunately, emissions controls on later model engines (particularly US models) offset most of the performance gains that came with the improvements.  The final version was the 1500.  The Spitfire was produced until 1980.  The various versions totaled 314,332 cars. 
   
GT-6 The GT-6, produced in the years 1966 - 1973, was built on the same chassis as the successful Spitfire.  The car got a closed bodywork and the 6-cylinder engine that can also be found in the Triumph Saloon cars.  The GT-6 began when the Triumph planners, asked Michellotti to design a fastback body for the Spitfire. His design added too much weight to the car so the idea was shelved.  The decision to turn it into a six-cylinder car was the result of upgrading the Vitesse's engine.  Between the Mark I, Mark II (the US "Plus"), and the Mark III, about 40,926 cars were produced. 
   
1984 Acclaim The Triumph Acclaim was a collaboration between the ailing British Leyland and the Honda Motor Corporation.  The last car to bear the Triumph name, it is an obvious testament to Leyland's mis-management.  Production ran from 1981 - 1984.


The above information has been collected from various sources including VTR, Triumph Club-Holland, Triumph Club-UK, , plus several Triumph books including The Illustrated Triumph Buyers Guide and The Original Triumph TR.
Pictures borrowed with permission from VTR and Triumph Club - UK.
Please let us know if any corrections need to be made.