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British Industrial History

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Triumph Motor Co

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October 1923.
October 1923. Models, prices and specifications.
February 1928
September 1929.
October 1929. 7 h.p.
October 1929. Chassis of super-seven.
October 1929.
1929. Triumph Super 7. Exhibit at Motor Museum of Western Australia.
January 1930.
October 1930.
October 1931. Super Seven.
June 1932.
September 1932.
1932. Super Seven. Reg No: KJ 8653. Exhibit at the Dover Transport Museum.
May 1931.
October 1933.
October 1933.
October 1936.
1946.
Reg No. VAP 410H
Reg No: LPP 939.
Reg No: LPP 939.
Reg No: LPP 939.
December 1937.
1947.
1949. Triumph Roadster 2,088cc. Reg No: CJA 535.
1949. Triumph Roadster 2,088cc. Reg No: CJA 535.
1952. Reg No: RRB 929.
October 1956.
Reg No: DDB 637.
Oct 1966.
1968.
1970.
1970.
Im20090412-Triumph2000.jpg
Im090621HF-Tri.jpg
Im090621HF-TriTR.jpg
1967. Reg No: JFJ 5E.
Reg No: JFC 916F.
1989.
Reg No: GCE 447.

of Coventry. Part of the Triumph Cycle Co

See also - Triumph: Cars

In the 1920s Triumph purchased the former Hillman car factory in Coventry

Siegfried Bettmann was persuaded by his general manager Claude Holbrook, who had joined the company in 1919, to acquire the assets and Clay Lane premises of the Dawson Car Co and start producing a 1.4 litre model called the Triumph 10/20 which was actually designed for them by Lea-Francis to whom they paid a royalty for every car sold. Production of this car and its immediate successors was on a moderate scale but this changed with the introduction in 1927 of the Triumph Super 7 which sold in large numbers through to 1934.

1929 When the Great Depression hit in 1929, Triumph spun off its German subsidiary as a separate, independently owned company, which became part of the Triumph-Adler Company. The Nuremberg firm continued to manufacture motorcycles under the Triumph brand until 1957.

1930 It was clear to Holbrook that there was no future in pursuing the mass manufacturers and so decided to take the company upmarket with the Southern Cross and Gloria ranges. At first these used engines made by Triumph but designed by Coventry Climax but from 1937 they started to make them to their own designs by Donald Healey who had become the company’s Experimental Manager in 1934.

1936 The Triumph company hit financial problems and sold the Triumph motorcycle businesses to Jack Sangster to become the Triumph Engineering Co. Bicycle production was acquired by Coventry Bicycles [1]. According to some sources, Siegfried Bettmann was involved in this.

1939 In July the Triumph Motor Company went into receivership and the factory, equipment and goodwill were offered for sale. Thomas W. Ward purchased the Triumph Motor Co [2] and placed Healey in charge as general manager, but the effects of World War II again stopped the production of cars and the Priory Street works was completely destroyed by bombing in 1940.

1945 After the war, what was left of the Triumph Motor Company and the Triumph brand name was bought by the Standard Motor Co which formed a subsidiary Triumph Motor Company (1945) Ltd. with production transferred to Standard's factory.

1951 Listed as a subsidiary of Standard Motor Co.

In the early 1950s it was decided to use the Triumph name on sporting cars and the Standard name on saloons

1953 the Triumph TR2 was launched, the first of a series that would run through to 1981.

1959 September. The Standard Motor Co changed its name to Standard-Triumph International [3]

1959 Standard had been making a range of small saloons called the Standard Eight and Standard Ten and had been working on a replacement for these. When this was launched in 1959, as the Herald, it carried the Standard-Triumph badge and slowly the Standard name was dropped disappearing in 1963.

December 1960 the company was bought by Leyland Motors with Donald Stokes becoming chairman of the Standard Triumph division in 1963.

1960s and 1970s: Triumph sold a succession of Michelotti-styled saloons and sports cars, including the advanced Dolomite Sprint, which, in 1973, already had a 16-valve four cylinder engine. It is alleged that many Triumphs of this era were unreliable, especially the 2.5 PI with its fuel injection problems. While the injection system had proved itself in international competition, it did lack altitude compensation for the adjustment of mixture at altitudes greater than 3000ft above sea level. The key reason for the Lucas system's unpopularity, was that Lucas was not inclined to further develop it on the one hand allied to the unwillingness of Standard-Triumph dealers to attend factory and field-based training courses dedicated to this propulsion method.

1978 Production of the TR7 was transferred from Speke, where the plant was under-used, to Canley in Coventry

For most of its time under Leyland or BL ownership the Triumph marque belonged in the Specialist Division of the company which went under the names of Rover Triumph and later Jaguar Rover Triumph apart from a brief period in the mid 1970s when all BL's car marques or brands were grouped together under the name of Leyland Cars.

1981 The last Triumph model was the Acclaim, which was launched in 1981 in a joint venture with Japanese company Honda. The Triumph name disappeared in 1984, when the Acclaim was replaced by the Rover 200, which was a re-badged version of Honda's Civic/Ballade model. The BL car division was by then called Austin Rover Group which also sounded the death knell for the Morris marque as well as Triumph.

The trademark is currently owned by BMW, acquired when it bought the Rover Group in 1994. When it sold Rover, it kept the Triumph marque. The Phoenix Consortium, which bought Rover, tried to buy the Triumph brand, but BMW refused, saying that if Phoenix insisted, it would break the deal. Standard and Triumph are now, along with Riley, Rolls-Royce and Mini, part of the BMW Group.


See also: Triumph Razoredge Owners' Club

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. History of Coventry [1]
  2. Daily Telegraph, Sept 4, 1939
  3. The Times, Thursday, Sep 24, 1959