VotW – Classic 1948 Triumph Roadster

This week we are going to take a look at a scarce true classic, the Triumph Roadster. In the case of this video from Classic Cars UK series by Ian Sandall, the car is, in fact, a beautiful red 1948 Triumph Roadster 1800.

The Triumph Roadster was produced by the Standard Motor Company from 1946 to 1949. It was first available as the Triumph 1800 Roadster from 1946 to 1948 and then as the Triumph 2000 Roadster from 1948 to 1949. Remember that Standard had purchased Triumph in 1945. So, at this point, the parent company was Standard, but the brand was indeed Triumph.

The 1800 Roadster, model number 18TR, was designed in the closing days of World War II. Managing director of Standard, Sir John Black, wanted a sports car to take on Jaguar, who had used Standard engines before the war. Frank Callaby was selected to style the new car. After getting Black’s approval for the general shape, Callaby worked with Arthur Ballard to design the details of the body. Design of the rolling chassis was by Ray Turner. Walter Belgrove, who had styled the pre-war Triumphs and was employed as Chief Body Engineer, had no part in the design.

The only significant update in the Roadster’s production came in September 1948 for the 1949 models, when the 2088 cc Vanguard engine, transmission, and rear axle were fitted. A retrograde step was the fitting of a three-speed gearbox even though it now had synchromesh on bottom gear. Apart from minor modifications to the mounting points, the chassis, suspension, and steering were unaltered. This later version of the Roadster was given the model designation TRA.

1947 Triumph 1800 Roadster
1947 Triumph 1800 Roadster – Photo by Rex Gray.

The Triumph Roadster was succeeded by the venerable TR line, think TR2 then TR3 up to TR6 and TR7, in 1952.

I would like to thank Ian Sandall for producing such an excellent video.

Michael Carnell
Editor at Just British

Michael Carnell is the editor and founder of the Just British Online Motoring Magazine. As a lifelong British car fan, he has owned or driven British cars of all ages from Austins and MGs to Jaguars and Triumphs. He currently owns a 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100, a 1977 MGB, a 1978 Triumph Spitfire, and a 2002 Land Rover Discovery.


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