Legendary Triumph

saved for nation

Triumph TR2 prototype
Kevin Timms, chairman of BMIHT and David Stocker, trustee of NHMF unveiling the Triumph TR2 prototype

THE last known surviving Triumph TR2 prototype - and a record-breaker in its time - has been acquired by the British Motor Museum with £250,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

It is one of just three prototypes of the Triumph TR2 model produced by the Standard Motor Company in 1953 and the only one known to survive.

In May of that year, during speed trials at Jabbeke in Belgium, the carâ¯reached a speed of almost 125 miles per hour, setting a record for a 2.0-litre road car at the time.

The event led to the renaissance of the Triumph marque and the start of the long and successful line of TR sports cars.

After testing was completed in the mid-1950s, the car was sold to a private owner.

When sold on againâ¯in the 1970s,â¯it wasâ¯dismantled and boxed up. The owner intended to restore it, but this project was never realised.

In 2015, the vehicle was purchased in its boxed state and the new owner spent almost two years restoring the TR2 to its former glory and making it fully driveable again.

Almost the entire car - bodywork, engine, and trim - had survived, allowing the vehicle to be rebuilt to its original specification.

The sports car has now been secured for the nation for a total of £280,000 and, as an important piece of the UK's motor history, it will be displayed at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire, which also has plans to run the car on certain occasions.

Nigel Huddleston, the Heritage Minister, said: "The Triumph TR2 prototype is an important part of our national automotive history.

"This classic car reached a speed of almost 125 miles per hour, setting a record in 1953 and went on to influence a line of successful TR sport cars.

"I'm delighted that, thanks to the National Heritage Memorial Fund, this unique sports car will now go on display to the public at the British Motor Museum."

The handmade prototype of the Triumph TR2 differed widely from the popular final configuration that was to follow in mass production.

Built around a wooden frame, the bodywork was riveted together rather than welded. The aero windscreen and streamlined canopy were purely designed for its record-breaking. Even the Triumph badge on the bonnet is unique to this particular example.

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