Significant Others

Cars

Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Innovative engineering (arguably the world’s first multi-
valve production engine) and clever marketing (it foresaw
the sports-saloon boom) let down by really crappy
manufacturing: the original ‘135’ name had to be dropped
as they couldn’t build engines that could reliably make that
much power, despite the design being good for 150bhp.

Triumph TR7
History has not been kind to Triumph’s final sports car; the
wedge styling is neither timeless nor retro-chic: just heavy
and dated. Frankly, current affairs weren’t kind to the TR7
either; it moved factory three times in its six-year life, and
none could build it properly.

Triumph Acclaim
A deeply ordinary car, but interesting as the first Japanese
car to be built in Europe. The badge said Triumph but the
Acclaim was a Honda Ballade underneath and the first car
from the BL-Honda tie-up that kept the British car industry
on life support for a while. Decent build quality, but you’ve
Honda to thank for that, and it wasn’t enough to save
Triumph.

Triumph 2000
Stylish, comfortable and quick by the standards of the day,
the 2000 and its successors were appealing, Alfa-esque
sports saloons. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti, who also
penned Maseratis and defined BMW’s look to this day, this
car and aesthetic could have inspired future Triumphs the
way William Lyons’ Jaguar XJ of ’68 set that brand’s tone for
40 years.

Triumph Herald
Another Triumph whose shape is instantly recognizable,
even if the vast majority have long since rusted away. Try to
see that familiar shape with fresh eyes though: it’s also the
work of Michelotti and spawned five body variants and three
sports cars, presaging today’s niche-crazy car market by half
a century.

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