Car enthusiasts across the UK and the world consider a classic Triumph one of the most valuable additions to any collector’s garage. This is not only thanks to the evergreen quality of Triumph cars and bikes, but also because of the aura of class and the brand’s proud history of producing quality vehicles.
Triumph was founded in 1885 by a German importer named Siegfried Bettmann. Based in London, Bettmann was importing bicycles from Europe and selling them in England. As the business grew, Bettmann started producing his own bicycles in Coventry, and quickly moved into manufacturing motorcycles. By 1920, Bettmann purchased an old mill, which he turned into a manufacturing plant and started producing cars. The first Triumph car to come out the factory gate was the Triumph 10/20, which enjoyed a modest success.
The golden era of the company started in 1927, with the introduction of the Super 7, the first classic Triumph car. The model was very well received around the country, and sold numerous units until the mid 30’s.
At this point, Bettmann realised it is difficult to compete with big car manufacturers and decided to steer the company in a different direction. Thus, Triumph rolled out more high end models and racing cars. One of the most successful cars of the 1930’s was the Gloria, and especially the Gloria Vitesse. One of the iconic cars of the era for Triumph was the Southern Cross, an open two seat model very successful with speed enthusiasts.
In parallel with the Gloria, Triumph also produced the Dolomite in the 1930’s, a series of sporting cars and saloons. Many prototypes were designed and built, one of them being even signed in for the 1935 Monte Carlo rally, but never managed to participate due to an accident. The most successful car in the series was the Dolomite 14/60, a luxury sports car aimed at the top tier of the market. The 14/60 was widely considered one of the most accomplished cars ever to be released by Triumph. However, this success was not able to stop the financial decline of the company and its subsequent change of owners, starting with the 1940’s.
Until the mid 1980s (when the manufacturer closed down for good) Triumph rolled out several successful models, such as another, more family oriented version of the Dolomite; the fashionably designed Triumph Herald; the TR7, a sports car released in the mid 70’s, enjoying a successful spell on the US market thanks to its futuristic design for the times; and the Acclaim, a family oriented car which was also the last car to be manufactured by Triumph.
Today, classic Triumph cars represent high value currency on the classic car market. Many Triumph cars are out in force on the streets of Britain. They are regularly attending classic motor shows, races and other events dedicated to classic cars. There are numerous Triumph clubs across the world, with members meeting frequently to celebrate different events in the history of the company.