I swear I am not neglecting Triumph. I love Triumphs! I have had quite a few and even own a 1978 Spitfire at the moment. So, for our Video of the Week (VotW) let’s turn our attention to the Triumph TRs. The Triumph Story is a bit soft in the sound department, so you may need to turn up the volume a bit. But, this history of the maker of is definitely worth the watch.
The Triumph Motor Company was one of the best-known names in British car and sportscar manufacturing. For many, those who weren’t MG’ers, cars like the TR4, 6, and Spitfire defined what a sportscar was. The Triumph marque is owned currently by BMW but no cars are being produced under the nameplate. Note that the name is distinct from Triumph Motorcycles which are in production and doing just fine, thank you. Also of note is that although the brand was brought in together with others from British Leyland such as MG and Jaguar, this was split back out and all of those brands are back in various assorted corporate hands.
Triumph cars had its origins in 1885 when Siegfried Bettmann (1863–1951) of Nuremberg initiated S. Bettmann & Co and started importing bicycles from Europe and selling them with his own trade-name in London. The trade-name became “Triumph” the year next, and in 1887 Bettmann was joined by a partner, Moritz (Maurice) Schulte, also from Germany. Beginning in 1889 the businessmen started producing their own bicycles in Coventry, England.
In November 1944 what was left of the Triumph Motor Company and trade-name were bought by the Standard Motor Company and a subsidiary “Triumph Motor Company (1945) Limited” was formed with production transferred to Standard’s factory at Canley, on the outskirts of Coventry. The pre-war models were not revived and in 1946 a new range of Triumphs was announced, starting with the Triumph Roadster. The Roadster had an aluminium body because steel was in short supply and surplus aluminium from aircraft production was plentiful.
In the early 1950s it was decided to use the Triumph name for sporting cars and the Standard name for saloons and in 1953 the Triumph TR2 was initiated, the first of a series that would be produced until 1981.