Triumph Herald Models and History

triumph herald and models and history (2)

The Triumph Herald is born!

THE Triumph Herald was introduced by the Standard/Triumph Motor Company in April 1959, and was, in some degree, a revolutionary breakaway from previous designs. The engine, gearbox and rear axle were logical developments of existing and well-tried units, but the steering, suspension and body design were a complete departure from previous and accepted practice.

The design provided independent suspension on all four wheels and the body comprised a number of sub-assemblies which were bolted to one another to form a single unit which is bolted to a separate chassis frame. The provision of a separate chassis frame comprises, in itself, a departure from the more usual practice in integrating this unit with the body.

The provision of a separate chassis frame and a body built up of sub-assemblies lends itself particularly to easy accident repair, whilst the forward-hinged bonnet with closely spaced side members make the engine particularly accessible for adjustments.

The independent suspension on all wheels, with a particularly low centre of gravity and the `taxi-like' turning circle, provides excellent road holding and cornering and makes it a very manceuvrable car for parking in confined spaces — a real advantage at the time.

The performance and running costs are noteworthy : An ultimate speed of 70-80 m.p.h. and petrol consumption of 35-50 m.p.g., dependent upon the model and the conditions under which the vehicle is driven. Oil consumption is negligible and, in the Autocar Road Test, was given as approximately 3,000 miles to the gallon.

Evolution of the Herald Range

The Herald was first introduced with two body styles; a two-door, four-seater Saloon with a 948-c.c. engine and four-speed gearbox and a two-door, two-seater Coupe equipped with a high-compression twin carburetter engine of the same capacity as fitted to the Saloon model. In March 1960, a two-door Convertible model was introduced, which incorporated the high-performance Coupe engine and the same mechanical specification. In April 1961, the Herald 1200 was introduced by the manufacturers.

triumph herald 1200 saloon
The Herald 1200 saloon - introduced in 1961

Herald Engine Changes

This model incorporated an engine of 1,147 c.c. and similar mechanical and body details as used on the earlier models. This model replaced the previous 948c.c. models but the Company decided to continue the manufacture of a 948-c.c. Saloon model, to be known as the Herald `S', to cater for the continued demand which apparently existed for a model fitted with a smaller engine, somewhat more austere equipment and offering economy in initial outlay and running costs. The 'S' model ceased production in 1963. An Estate Car was added to the 1200 models in May 1961, and in February 1962, to cater for commercial users, the Courier Van was announced, this van being mounted on the 1200 chassis.

Triumph Herald Convertible

To meet the ever-increasing demand for a car with an open roof, the Company next announced the introduction of the 12/50 Saloon with a folding roof and a 'hotted-up' engine with a special camshaft and high-compression unit. This model was introduced in March 1963, and became very popular. In November 1964, the 12/50 camshaft was incorporated in the 1200 engine thereby improving performance and rationalizing factory production. In June the following year the camshaft journals were increased in size and a correspond-ing alteration made to their bearing surfaces in the cylinder block.

Later Herald Models & Development

In October 1967, the Triumph Company decided to fit a 1,296c.c. unit in the Saloon, Estate Car and Convertible models and to make other alterations to interior and exterior details of these cars to enhance performance, appearance, accommodation and comfort. The models so modified became known as the 13/60's and at the same time, owing to the popularity of the 1200 cars it was decided to continue this as previously equipped.

triumph herald convertable (2)
Triumph Herald Convertable came to the market in the early 1960s

The 12/50 and Coupe models were discontinued, but to cater for those buyers who like an opening roof it remained possible to have this incorporated during manufacture as an extra. The 1200 saloon was dicontinued in August 1970; the 13/60 model range ws phased out of production the following year.

The age of the Herald, and a classic change of British motoring heritage came to an end.


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