The 1800 Roadster was designed in the closing days of World War II. Triumph had been bought by the Standard Motor Company in 1944, and the managing director of Standard, Sir John Black, wanted a sports car to take on Jaguar, who had used Standard engines in the pre-war period. After getting Black’s approval for the general shape, Frank Callaby worked with Arthur Ballard to design the details of the body.
Early post-war steel shortages meant that the body was built from aluminium, using rubber press tools that had been used making panels for the largely wooden bodied Mosquito bomber that had been built by Standard during the war. The engine was a version of Standard’s 1.5-litre, four-cylinder side-valve design that had been converted to overhead valves by Harry Weslake and built by Standard exclusively for SS-Jaguar before World War II. The Triumph version differed from the Jaguar version in having a 6.7:1 compression ratio instead of the Jaguar’s 7.6:1 and a downdraught Solex carburettor instead of the Jaguar’s side-draught SU. A four-speed gearbox with synchromesh on the top three ratios was used.
The tubular steel chassis was a short-wheelbase version of the 1800 saloon, featuring transverse leaf sprung independent suspension at the front and a live axle with semi-elliptic springs at the rear. The rear track was wider than the front by some 4 inches. Brakes were hydraulic.
On test by Autocar magazine in 1947 the top speed was found to be 75 mph and 0–60 mph took 34.4 seconds. Evidently keen to be positive without misleading their readers, the magazine described the maximum speed as “satisfying but not startlingly high”.
This Triumph 1800 cabriolet with the much loved dickey seats to the rear, is nicely presented after an expenditure of ca. €20,000, invoices for which are available in the history file. Having been imported to Germany from England in 2009, TRD 868 was registered to a German historic registration and has a TÜV to April 2018. Surely good value, if not a snip at the estimate here and not to be missed, this is becoming a rare car and is just right for summer use and a lot of fun.