The Triumph Motor Company had its origins in 1885 when Siegfried Bettmann (1863-1951) and Moritz (Maurice) Schulte started producing Triumph bicycles in Coventry, England.
From bicycles, the company branched out into making Triumph motor cycles in 1902 and in 1921, Bettmann was persuaded by his general manager Claude Holbrook (1886-1979) to acquire the assets of the Dawson Car Company and started producing a 1.4 litre model called the Triumph 10/20. A number of other models were made up until the 1929 Great Depression when production almost stopped entirely.
In the 1930s the company changed its name to the Triumph Motor Company. Donald Healey became the company’s Experimental Manager in 1934.
The Triumph bicycles and motorcycles were sold off 1936, the latter to become Triumph Motorcycles. Healey purchased an Alfa 2.3 and developed an Alfa/Triumph called the Triumph Dolomite.
In July 1939, the Triumph Motor Company factory, equipment and goodwill were offered for sale. T.W. Ward purchased the company and placed Healey in charge as general manager, but the effects of World War II again stopped the production of cars.
After the war, what was left of the Triumph Motor Company and the Triumph brand name was bought by Standard Motor Company. Subsequent cars were called Standard Triumph, then the Standard part of the name was dropped.
In December 1960 the company merged with Leyland Motors Ltd.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Triumph sold a succession of Michelotti-styled saloons and sports cars, including the advanced Dolomite Sprint, which, in 1973, already had a 16-valve four cylinder engine. But many Triumphs of this era were unreliable, including the 2.5 PI with its fuel injection problems, and the poor quality of the TR7 and TR8 sports cars, which killed the marque in the United States.
The last Triumph model was the Acclaim which was launched in 1981 in a joint venture with Japanese company Honda. The Triumph name disappeared in 1984, when the Acclaim was replaced by the Rover 200, which was also simply a rebadged version of Honda’s Civic/Ballade model.
The trademark is currently owned by BMW, acquired when it bought the Rover Group in 1994. When it sold Rover, it kept the Triumph marque. The Phoenix Consortium, which bought Rover, tried to buy the Triumph brand, but BMW refused, saying that if Phoenix insisted, it would break the deal.
Triumph car models
Vale Special (1932Ð1936) very low built two-seater based on Super 8 and Gloria
Swallow Doretti (1954Ð1955)
Bond Equipe GT (1964Ð1967)
The Lotus Seven Series 2 had many Standard Triumph parts.