RAC Cars News


The Most Triumphant Triumphs

By raccars Published

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The marque may have gone the way of the dodo, but Triumph has a long and illustrious history that is sometimes forgotten in the wake of its rather pathetic demise, going out with a whimper in the form of the Acclaim.

Based in Coventry, after the Second World War the company released the 1800 and 2000 Roadsters, following with the TR in 1953. Sporting success followed, along with a whole range of TR models and then the cheaper and more compact Spitfire in the Sixties, making the brand more accessible. By the end of that decade, Triumph was also selling the GT6 and the Stag, adding up to a very impressive back catalogue that deserves to shake off its reputation for unreliability and takes its place in the Pantheon of truly great, classic British cars.

TR2 and TR3

In 1953, Triumph launched a serious sports car, the TR2. It came with a 90bhp four cylinder engine and the following year earned massive acclaim for its 1954 RAC Rally win. Triumph could hardly keep up with demand. The TR3, TR3A and TR4 followed, the latter bigger and even more stylish than its predecessors and equipped with a more powerful and modern 2138ccfour cylinder engine.

TR5 and TR6

A six cylinder engine saw Triumph really take its place among the sporting greats of the late Sixties. The TR5 was cosmetically very similar to the TR4A but benefited from a 2.5 litre fuel injected engine, with 150bhp for considerable extra punch. A complete restyle saw the TR6 take Triumph to new sales success from 1968.

TR7 and TR8

1975's TR7 was a very different beast - slower and clumsier, with a distinctive wedge shaped front end. Unfortunately, a lack of resources at British Leyland meant its full potential was never fully realised. Its V8 successor, the TR8, was a great little car that again suffered from poor corporate management.

The Spitfire

Triumph's entry level sports car from 1962 was extremely entertaining and sold well for the company over three generations. The Mk4 was a much larger and mechanically more modern and sophisticated car, succeeded by the 1500 until its demise in 1980.


Originally conceived as a coupe version of the Spitfire roadster, the GT6 was in the end far more powerful and substantial.

The Stag

Possibly the best known and most maligned Triumph, the Stag was a glorious car with a distinctive V8 burbling under its bonnet. Its reputation was sullied by reliability issues but despite - or perhaps because of - that, it is one of the most desired classics out there today.

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