May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

Triumph Logo

Brief History About Triumph

Triumph was founded in 1885 in England by Siegfried Bettmann. Siegfried had started importing bicycles in 1885 and then in 1887 partnered with Moritz Schulte forming New Triumph Company Limited and soon after started manufacturing their own bicycles.

In 1902 they moved onto producing motorcycles and quickly became one of, if not the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Britain.

In 1921 Triumph acquired the Dawson Car Company and started building cars from 1923. In 1930 they became the Triumph Motor Company and decided to go into the more upmarket car niche, but ended up with financial issues, due to the 30’s depression and internal company unrest, that led to them having to sell off the bicycle and motorcycle side of the business in 1936, followed by the sale of the motor company in 1939. The Triumph Motor Company was purchased by Thomas W. Ward Ltd., however with WW2 starting and the factory being destroyed, Triumph was then bought by the Standard Motor Company in 1944, who wanted to go head to head with Jaguar and released the stylish aluminium bodied Triumph Roadster in 1946.

In the 1950’s Triumph decided to concentrate mostly on more sporty cars, introducing the TR2 in 1953 and later in 1959 the Triumph Herald.

In 1960 Triumph was bought by Leyland Motors Ltd, which later became British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968. During the 60’s and 70’s Triumph released a number of sports cars, including the continuation of the TR range and the addition of the GT6, Spitfire, Stag, Dolomite and TR7/8.

With British Leyland Motor Corporation being sold off during the early-mid 80’s, the Triumph name disappeared in 1984, after only being used as a rebadged Honda from 1981. The brand name (which belonged to the Rover Group) went to BMW when they purchased the Rover Group in 1994 and who also decided to keep the Triumph brand name when they sold Rover.

Triumph GT6 Mk1
GT6 Mk1 1966-1968

Triumph GT6 Mk2
GT6 Mk2 1968-1970

Triumph GT6 Mk3
GT6 Mk3 1970-1973

Triumph Stag Mk1
Stag Mk1 1970-1973 & Mk2 1973-1977

Triumph TR2
TR2 1953-1955

Triumph TR3
TR3 1955-1959 & TR3A 1957-1961 & TR3B 1961-1962

Triumph TR4
TR4 TR4 1961-1965 & TR4A 1965-1968

Triumph TR250
TR5 & TR250 1967-1968

Triumph TR6
TR6 1969-1976

Triumph TR7
TR7 1974-1981

Triumph TR8
TR8 1978-1981

Triumph Spitfire
Spitfire Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4 & 1500 1962-1980

Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Dolomite Sprint 1973-1980