Triumph Motor Company, United Kingdom

Triumph Motor Company, United Kingdom

Triumph Motor Company U.K.


Moritz (Maurice) Schulte

Coventry, England


Triumph is a British car and motor vehicle manufacturing company, established since 1885 and its headquarters located in Coventry, England. The key people of the company are Siegfried Bettmann, Moritz (Maurice) Schutte (Founders). The Triumph marque (trade-name) is owned presently by BMW. The trade name became "Triumph" the following year, and in 1887 Bettmann was merged by a partner, Moritz Schulte, also from Germany. The businessmen started producing their own bicycles in Coventry, England since 1889.



Triumph Cycle Company

The company was changed its name Triumph Cycle Co. Ltd. in 1897, they began manufacturing Triumph motorcycles at their works in Coventry on Much Park Street since 1902. In the beginning, these used engines bought from another company, but the business prospered and they soon started making their own engines. Key orders for the 550 cc Model H were placed by the British Army during the First World War; by 1918 Triumph had become Britain's main maker of motorcycles. In 1921 Bettmann was fiducially by his general manager Claude Holbrook (1886 to1979), who had merged with the company in 1919, start creating a car and 1.4L engine type named the Triumph 10/20 designed for them by Lea-Francis, to whom they conferred a royalty for every car sold.


Triumph Motor Company

The Company’s name was changed to Triumph Motor Company since 1930, Holbrook realized he could not fight with the larger car companies for the mass market, so he decided to build expensive cars, and issued the models Southern Cross and Gloria. At first these used engines produced by Triumph but designed by Coventry Climax, but Triumph started to produce engines to their own designs by Donald Healey  since 1937 who had become the company’s new manager in 1934. The company confronts financial crises however, and in 1936 the Triumph bicycle and motorcycle businesses were sold, the latter to Jack Sangster of Ariel to turn into Triumph Engineering Co Ltd. Healey purchased an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 and created a new car model with an Alfa motivated straight-8 engine type named the Triumph Dolomite.


Standard Triumph

The Triumph trade name was bought by the Standard Motor Company. A subsidiary "Triumph Motor Company (1945) Limited" was created with production transferred to Standard factory at Canley, on the border of Coventry. Triumph's new owners had been supplying engines to Jaguar and its foregoer company since 1938. The pre-war Triumph models were not invigorated and in 1946 a new range of Triumphs was issued, starting with the Triumph Roadster.


Leyland and beyond

Standard-Triumph was purchased by Leyland Motors Ltd. in December 1960 and the Donald Stokes selected for chairman of the Standard-Triumph division since 1963. Further mergers resulted in the formation of British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968. Triumph set up an assembly facility in Speke, Liverpool in 1959, slowly rising the size of the company's most modern factory to the point that it could built 100,000 cars per annum. The only all-new Triumph model begins as Rover Triumph was the TR7, which was in production sequentially at three factories that were closed.


Demise of Triumph cars

The last Triumph model was the Acclaim, issued since 1981 and basically a rebadged Honda Ballade manufactured under license from the Japanese company Honda, at the earlier Morris Motors works in Cowley, Oxford. Since 1984, the Triumph name vanished, when the Acclaim was changed by the Rover 200, a rebadged version of Honda's next generation Civic/Ballade model. The BL car division had by then been named the Austin Rover Group, which also closed the Morris marque with Triumph.



  • Johnny Hallyday owned a Triumph TR3
  • Philippe Monnet to own a Triumph Herald 1200 of 1961 that he sold in 2015 in Nice by Machoir
  • Henri Pescarolo owned a Triumph TR3
  • Jacques Laffite owned a Triumph TR3


Films with a Triumph

  • In Alfred Hitchcock Presents, TV Series, 1955 to1962 (Triumph TR3A)
  • In the adventures of Michel Vaillant, TV series, in 1967 (Triumph TR3A) - (Triumph TR4)
  • In the Globetrotters, TV Series, 1966 to 1968 (Triumph TR3A)
  • In Starsky and Hutch, TV series, 1975 to1979 (Triumph TR3A)
  • In Top Gear, Show TV, 2002 to 2015 (Triumph Herald 1200)
  • In Legend, 2015 film featuring Tom Hardy (Triumph Spitfire)


Current ownership

The brand is owned currently by BMW, which gets Triumph when it purchased the Rover Group in 1994. When it sold Rover, it reserved the Triumph marque. The Standard marque is still holding by British Motor Heritage, who also has the license to use the Triumph marque in relation to the sale of components and service of the existing 'park' of Triumph cars. The Triumph name has been kept continue by BMW along with Riley, and Mini.



Triumph car models


  • Triumph 10/20 (1923 to 1925)
  • Triumph Super 7 (1928)
  • Triumph Gloria 10 (1933)
  • Triumph Dolomite 14/60 (1937 to 1939)
  • Triumph 12 (1939 to 1940)


Post war

  • Triumph 1800 Saloon (1946 to 1949)
  • Triumph 1800 Roadster (1946 to 1948)
  • Triumph Stag (1971 to 1977)
  • Triumph Dolomite 1500 HL (1976 to 1980)
  • Triumph Acclaim (1981 to 1984)


Triumph-based models

  • Vale Special (1932 to 1936)
  • Swallow Doretti (1954 to 1955)
  • Amphicar (1961 to 1968)
  • Daimler SP250
  • MG Midget 1500 (1975 to 1979)


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