In 1885, a British man named Siegfried Bettman decided to import bicycles from Europe and sell them under his trademark Triumph’ in London. Moriz Schulte, a German, joined him as his partner in 1887 and by 1889 the tow were producing their own bicycles. The company that had been called S. Bettman & Co since its formation was renamed to Triumph Cycle Co. Ltd. in 1897. The production of Triumph motorcycles began in 1902 at Much Park Street in Coventry England. The business grew and by 1907, they were able to rent a premise on Priory Street where they developed a factory.
The first Triumph car was produced in 1921 when Bettmann took over the premises and assets of Dawson Car Company. This was the Triump 10/20 which was a 1.4-litre engine car designed by Lea Francis. Its production was moderate and so was that of the models that followed. This was until the Triumph Super 7 which made high sales.
In 1930, the company was renamed Triumph Motor Company and begun producing expensive cars. The engines fitted in these cars were at first designed by Coventry Climax but later Triumph begun making their own engines. The car models released in the 1930s include Gloria and the Southern Cross. During the late 1930s the company was faced with financial hardships and eventually in 1935 it was placed under receivership. Thos W Ward bought the factory and the equipment retaining the general manager, Donald Healey. The Holbrook Lane works was bombed in 1940.
After the world war in 1944, the remains of Triumph Motor Company was bought by the Standard Motor Company. A subsidiary called the Triumph Motor Company Limited was made in 1945 and production of cars begun at Canley in Conventry. The old Triumphs were not revived but new modes were designed but retained the globe badge used previously. The first was the Triumph Roadster which had an aluminium body. Two other models followed with the same design the Triumph Renown and the Triumph Mayflower. Their production was however discontinued and replaced by the production of sporting cars in the 1950s.
The TR series was started in 1953 with the production of the Triumph TR2. This had a Standard badge but Triumph did so much better that it phased out the production of Standard cars in 1963.
Leyland Motors Ltd. bought Standard-Triumph in 1960 and several mergers followed growing the company further. Several cars were produced during this time. The Triumph name disappeared in 1984 and is now owned by BMW.
The Triumph TR6 was first produced in 1968. This six-cylinder sports car was a best-seller among the TR range. It remained a favourite for many people for over 40 years. The cabin was quite comfortable and the control for the driver comfortable. The 4-speed manual gearbox required firm touch and the home gears could be slotted easily. The CR models introduce in mid-1972 offered smoother driving.
The top speed of 120mph was quite commendable and so was the acceleration speed of the 8 seconds to reach 60mph from zero. As for power it was capable of producing 150bhp and 164b ft of torque. The consumption was also quite commendable at 25mph.