Micropost: 1963-1969 Triumph 2500 PI

The series 2 looked better with the single-frame front end, one of Michelotti’s triumphs, if you’ll pardon the pun.

1963-1969 Triumph 2500 PI: fuel injected, straight-six, rear drive.
1963-1969 Triumph 2500 PI: fuel injected, straight-six, rear drive.

The car here still has a lot going for it: great detailing around the glasshouse and smashing proportions, power and comfort. Was it British or Italian? The Italian cars never looked so strong and the British cars seldom so imaginatively detailed.

High standards at Triumph
High standards at Triumph

The driver’s ashtray is a drawer with a wooden front located centrally; the passengers’ are in the doors just below the doorcaps. The driver’s tray might be a bit high for comfort.

Big car, small car - which?
Big car, small car – which?

The production run from 1963 to 1976 hinted all was ungood at Triumph. Tomorrow we will see another saloon that lurked on the price lists too long.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

4 thoughts on “Micropost: 1963-1969 Triumph 2500 PI”

  1. Leyland’s acquisition of Rover in 1966 probably doomed Triumph. Because even if they hadn’t been forced into marriage with the ailing British Motor Holdings, Triumph would have ended up playing second fiddle to the Viking. Triumph were unfortunate victims of product cycles, because had a successor for the 2000 been well advanced by the decade’s end, BLMC may have been forced to sanction it. Instead, all Triumph had was the revised ‘Innsbruck’ series 2 model in the offing. By then, Rover had an ambitious and well defined new model programme, whereas there seemed to be less definition around Triumph’s plans. Either way, it appears Rover would have been the dominant marque within Stokes’ auto group, the 1968 merger only codifying Triumph’s fate. There’s also reason to suggest that post-merger, without Harry Webster in charge, Triumph lost direction and focus.

    1. How would Triumph’s development have played out if it had survived? With hindsight we Rover’s vision of trad middle market comfort didn’t fit well in the market polarised into sporty, prestige and economy. See also: Lancia, Saab. With hindsight, Triumph might have been better positioned to grow into a BMW-fighter. Rover tried that and their auntie image held them back.
      The next Triumph 2500 (1971) targetted the BMW 2500 and was closely matched to BMW’s 520 of 1972. Uncannilly their product cycles were very similar. BMW took the small sport saloon crown with the 2002 but the Dolomite wrenched it back and both cars kept Alfa and Lancia at bay throughout the 70s. While BMW had a small range, Triumph also strengthened their position in the sportscar market. The Spitfire and TR cars challenged Alfa and Mercedes. The Dolomite cabriolet replaced the Herald and its successor is a favourite along with the A4 and 3-series open tops. Since 1990 the Standard 9 has been a successful entrant in the luxury saloon sector.
      Rover launched the SD1 in 1976 but few were sold (the Tagora outsold it in 1981). Rover’s last car was the Rover Acclaim, a short run vehicle that began and ended Honda’s attempt to grow its presence in the UK. The SD1 ceased production in 1982, with 18,000 units sold.
      Triumph owns Mini which is a succesful range of rear-engined two and four-seat city cars.

  2. My memory of this car was traumatised when an outraged woman driving one pulled to a stop alongside us in Grosvenor Square near the US Embassy. We standing in a queue to shout the name of a different dead US soldier in the Viet Nam conflict through a loudhailer at the CIA within in early 1970. She berated us as communists, not proper British, and what did we think we were doing, etc, etc. all in a very lah-di-dah accent but at a damn good shout. She was angry beyond belief. Oh, says I after she paused for breath, but we’re Canadian, eh. Confusion. Well, we were, our group all damn colonials on postgrad engineering studies out for a look to see what demonstrations were all about. Already had US draft dodgers living in my little Canadian home town before I left for London in Sept ’69 with one a high school teacher. Imagine someone getting cheesed off enough to stop and give us what for!

    The car itself always looked ill-proportioned to me, and from all angles, looking like a dog begging or something and somehow broken-backed. Just not quite right and squatty on the rear suspension too. Probably wisely, they didn’t export these things to us, the ’61 Vanguard Michelotti restyle ending it all bar TR4s, TR6s and Spits. The greenhouse is the big offender, so upright and gawky and the C pillar, argh, that driprail, but as with all comments on style, beauty or not is in the eye of the beholder, in this case me. Take that Mk 1 front end and stick it on the Ogle Reliant Scimitar GTE and it all comes right. The Mk II with the cattle horn front a la Stag is better, but then you still have the same dowdy old bus behind it.

  3. I have always loved this car. Like any “true Brit” it is actually a bit of a mongrel, but to my eyes the Italian style is undeniable. If only Truimph had hung in there during the dark days of the 1979s, they would have found their market in the thrusting 1980s.

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