Back in the early 1970s, I had a classic 1959 Triumph TR3A. It was a very cool car, and though I have owned faster and more sophisticated cars since, I’ve never owned any I enjoyed more.
Old Cars Weekly, this week, did a tribute to my old car’s immediate predecessor, the TR2, built from 1953 to 1955.
Sir John Black, who headed Triumph, decided he needed a sports car. He tried and failed to buy Morgan, so he created his own sports car and exhibited it at the 1952 London Motor Show. This car â€” known as the 20TS â€” generated interest, though it was gawky, underpowered and had a weak suspension. The next yearâ€™s TR2 roadster was different â€” it was a real sports car designed by Walter Belgrove with a sunken â€œsmall-mouthâ€ grille, cut-down doors and a 2.0-liter, 90-hp version of the Vanguard engine that was good for 100 mph.
TR meant â€œTriumphâ€ and the companyâ€™s advertising department promised â€œmore performance per dollar than any other car in the world.â€ Triumph claimed 0-to-50-mph acceleration in 7.5 seconds. â€œYouâ€™re as young as you feel at the wheel of a T.R.2,â€ the early ads said. â€œThe car that letâ€™s you drive, and doesnâ€™t drive you!â€
The Triumph TR2 roadster carried an East Coast Port-of-Entry price of $2,448 and weighed just 1,960 lbs. Its 1991-cc pushrod engine featured three main bearings, solid valve lifters, an 8.5:1 compression ratio and twin S.U. carburetors. The Vanguard four-speed gearbox was linked to a 3.7:1 rear axle.
The TR2 could go from 0-to-60 mph in 11.9 to 13.7 seconds and flash through the standing-start quarter-mile in 19.6 seconds at 70 mph. Fitted with an optional overdrive and a belly pan (or â€œundershieldâ€ in British terminology); one Triumph hit 124.095 mph on the world-famous Jabbeke Highway in Belgium.
Read the whole thing.