The T.R.2 was designed to compete with MG sports cars in North America and to replace the Triumph Roadster, which had become obsolete. For these reasons John Black, president of the Standard Motor Company, the owners of Triumph, decided to design a new model. A prototype was set up with the name of 20TS and presented at the 1952 London motor show. The new sports car was to relaunch the brand, but the need to contain production costs imposed obsolete choices. Black asked test driver Ken Richardson to test the prototype. Following his negative impression, Black decided to redesign the 20TS with the collaboration of Richardson. A year later the evolution was ready, called T.R.2 larger and with new mechanics. Richardson's lengthy refinement work and the successful line (truly innovative compared to the previous Roadster) meant that the car was greeted with enthusiasm at its debut in 1953, especially in America. The line vaguely resembled that of the Jaguar XK120, but there was no lack of originality in the front with the recessed grille nor on the sides, with the handleless doors. The first T.R.2s were characterized by the so-called "small mouth" and "long door", that is, by the small recessed grille and the doors that extended to the lower part of the wheel arch. After the first 1000 units were produced, the so-called "small mouth, short door" model was introduced, which maintained the same small recessed grille, but with shorter doors. In 1955, the T.R.2 was replaced by the T.R.3. Admittedly a sporty car, the T.R.2 had a 1,991 cc in-line engine for 90 hp, an updated version of the engine mounted on the Standard Vanguard. Power was supplied by two SU carburettors. The chassis was separate, the independent front suspensions used helical springs, the rear used leaf spring and a rigid axle. The wheels were available in either wired and steel-disc rim versions. The standard transmission was a four-speed manual, with (optional) overdrive on the highest gear. The brakes were Lockheed drum-type on all four wheels. Thanks to its low weight and correct gear ratio, the engine, although not thrilling, gave good performances. Traction was rear wheel drive. An example with overdrive was tested by The Motor magazine in 1954 achieving a maximum speed of 172.7 km/h and accelerating from 0 to 97 km/h in 12 seconds. The magazine stated that the T.R.2 was the least expensive British car able to exceed 100 mph (160 km/h). The model then cost 900 GBP. It is believed that 8,636 were produced between 1953 and 1955.The T.R.2 has been, and is, very much loved, a fact which is immediately understood from the number of nicknames both funny and affectionate that have been given to it. Small mouth, long door but also "sidescreen", due to its use of removable perspex side panels. The spartan roadster was a success in terms of both sales and races. The Mille Miglia saw examples of T.R.2 in 1954 (best result: 27th overall) in 1955 and 1956.
The Triumph T.R.2, chassis no. TS3824L is a 1954 "long door" example, part of the first 1000 vehicles produced and, of these, it is among the last 200 produced. The car was a "barn find" and is in the condition in which it was found and purchased. It is in need of a complete restoration of the bodywork and mechanics. There are traces of a probable restoration begun and not completed: some body parts have already been treated. Thecar is fitted with wire wheels. Imported into Italy in 2014, of US origin, it has the benefit of being left-hand drive. The TR2 is the epitome of the British roadster, an example of rough elegance, like Donegal tweed. Simple and reliable, it gives the impression of speed at any speed. While in certainly need of a substantial restoration, chassis no. TS3824L will grant its owner the choice of a philological restoration or a base, at a reasonable price, to prepare a customized version, suitable for competition.
State of the Art: “Barn find”. In need of a complete restoration both of bodywork and mechanics.
- Bill Piggott, Triumph TR, TR 2 to 6, Haynes Publishing, UK 2016.
- Bill Piggott, Triumph TR 2, 3 & 3A In Detail, Herridge & Sons, UK 2008.
- David Culshaw, Peter Horrobin, The Complete Catalogue of British Cars 1895-1975, Veloce Publishing UK 1997.
US customs clearance documentation, US title.
- Mille Miglia. Eligible.
- Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
- Targa Florio. Eligible.
- Goodwood Revival. Eligible
- Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. Eligible.
- Tour Auto. Eligible.
- Le Mans Classic. Eligible.
- Circuito di Pescara. Eligible.
- Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
- Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
- California Mille: Eligible.
- Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.