Prior to the second world war Triumph built a range of attractive
sporting cars. In the late thirties they were particularly notable for their adventurous
transatlantic styling. Towards the end of the war Triumph was taken over by the Standard
Motor Company, although each company still operated under its own title.
Triumphs first post war cars were an attractive razor-edge saloon, the
Renown, and a rounded roadster. The roadster was interesting in that it seated three
abreast in the front seat, aided by a column mounted gear change, while the huge luggage
locker opened up to provide a dickey seat for two additional passengers. The forward part
of the luggage opening had two glass panels which, when opened, formed a separate
windscreen for the passengers in the dickey seat. This roadster was phased out in 1949
while the company concentrated on developing their new small Mayflower saloon which also
featured razor edge styling.
New sports model : Noting
the success of the Jaguar XK 120 and MG TC on the North American market, the directors
decided to develop a new sports roadster to fill the gap between the large Jaguar and the
tiny MG. Borrowing from the company parts bin the new roadster used the Mayflowers
independent front suspension and live rear axle, the Standard Vanguards engine and a
chassis frame previously used by the Standard Flying Eight.
It had a sporty body, with cut-away doors and a rear mounted spare wheel on a petite
curved tail. Although it was announced at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show, hasty
development meant that it was not ready for production. Ride and handling were not up to
expectations, so a development team led by Ken Richardson quickly got to work sorting the
problems and in March of 1953 the revised model, known as the Triumph TR2 made its public