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As I understand it the car was purchased by the Gouldstones in 1973/74, maybe from 'Nigel'?

 

They have since died and I believe the car does still exist but I don't know exactly where.

 

Mike

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Don't you , Mike? The remains have been well known to be with "you know who" in West London ever since he bought it from Pam Gouldstone in the 70's (I think he bought it direct from her....Alan Robinson will know something of this......it is of course the very first TR, registered even before the Jabbeke car MVC 575...BP

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Don't you , Mike? The remains have been well known to be with "you know who" in West London ever since he bought it from Pam Gouldstone in the 70's (I think he bought it direct from her....Alan Robinson will know something of this......it is of course the very first TR, registered even before the Jabbeke car MVC 575...BP

Bill, could you tell us a bit more about this car?

 

Im very curious!

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Hi Edwin , Bills sidescreen compendium has some good information on this car. Do you have that book?

Iain

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Hi Edwin , Bills sidescreen compendium has some good information on this car. Do you have that book?

Iain

I have multiple books from bill, have read about this car, but always like to know more, beside that, i think there may be readers who dont know the significant history of this one.

 

Would love to have a bite in this project and bringing this one back to the streets.

Edited by EdwinTiben

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I have multiple books from bill, have read about this car, but always like to know more, beslissen that, i think there may be readers who dont know the significant history of this one.

 

Would love to have a bite in this project and bringing this one back to the streets.

Edwin, yes it would make another great story, perhaps one day.........

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I think MWK 950 was commission number X508, one of the three TR prototypes but the first to be road registered early in 1953 . . . . .

 

Bill P will no doubt confirm chapter and verse in due course.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Correct Alec and these were the others according to the prototype register:

 

X508 described as the third prototype and registered MWK 950 on 23rd January 1953 .

X516 described as the first prototype and registered ORW 666 on 17th December 1953 - no trace of this car has ever been found and there is little in the way of photographs or documentation.

X519 described as the second prototype with modified rear end (indicating that this car was made up from one of the 20TS cars which had a completely different design at the back) and registered MVC 575 on 31st March 1953

Edited by mike ellis

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Yup, that's what I'm saying......end of January 1953 as I recall......you had an exceedingly historic TR though no doubt didn't realise it at the time.....who cared then? It was just an old beaten up and cheap sports car....MWK 950 was said , though I was never able to prove it, to incorporate lots of the dismantled 20 TS prototype (possibly also of the second uncompleted 20TS), so Ken Richardson averred when I interviewed him circa 1994. Some of these parts also ended up in the Jabbeke car MVC 575, though who at this distance knows what went where? As far as I know all who worked on those cars are now dead, so no-one left to ask.....

Alan Robinson (TR2100) I seem to recall knew the Gouldstones, so maybe he'd like to comment? From what I hear, such of MWK 950 as remains is in a truly parlous state, sadly, but then look at what Glen H has been able to do with the once equally derelict Jabbeke car.....Bill P.

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Mike, you posted simultaneously with me ! The mysterious ORW 666 was the first RHD car....I'm sure however it wasn't the first prototype but the third one whatever the Prototype register says.....otherwise, why would it have a higher "X" number that the other two? Ken Richardson didn't even recall this car when I quizzed him ! BP

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Hi Bill, Mike,

 

I have a recollection from somewhere, maybe John Saunders, that MWK 950 was constructed originally as X508, ORW 666 was X516, and MVC 575 was X519 . . . . . or have I got them mixed up ?

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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This a response to Viv from Bill Lynn in 2011, pulled up from a google search.

 

http://triumphregister.lefora.com/topic/3985235/TR2-Apron-Badge#.WHbqPVyASyA

 

Viv,

 

Indeed, it's a real shame we don't have Ken Richardson around any longer to answer some of these questions. It's also too bad we don't have Ken Copeland around any longer. I would have really liked to compare notes with him on some of these mysteries. What follows is not original research on my part but that of a good friend and Triumph colleague, John Saunders, of the UK who has done extensive research in this area. Incidentally, this is the same John Saunders who is our TRA liaison to the TR Register-UK.

 

 

 

The source of the information is the Standard-Triumph experimental commission number list. John Saunders' research indicates that there were originally 3 prototypes. There are some "experts" that may disagree that there were 3 prototypes; but that is what the S-T experimental commission number listt seems to indiicate. The prototypes were:

 

 

 

X508 designation, RHD, Registered as MWK 950 on 1/23/53 (factory notes "third prototype")

 

X516 designation, RHD, Registered as ORW 666 on 12/17/53 (factory notes "first prototype")

 

X519 designation, LHD, Registered as MVC 575 on 3/31/53 (Jabbeke Car) (factory notes "second prototype")

 

 

 

Note: The registration dates don't follow strict chronological order because S-T delayed obtaining registration plates until they were needed.

 

 

 

Of particular interest to me was that John Saunders indicated both X508 & X519 started life with the rounded tail section with spare tire exposed and no boot lid. These two prototypes were subsequently converted to the conventional TR2 rear end body treatment.

 

 

 

None of the above prototypes were ever converted to TS prefix cars. Attached is an early factory picture of one of the prototypes.

 

 

 

I have not done any specific research on (SP) vehicles but I can verify that TS19L SP-O was a left-hand drive vehicle and was, of course, produced on the Triumph production line with all other TS prefix vehicles (except TS1LO and TS2 which were hand built at the Banner Lane facility).

 

 

 

That pretty much exhausts what I know about the TR2 prototypes.

 

 

 

Regards, Bill Lynn

Edited by foster461

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Just to get this as right as it will ever be, John Saunders and I did research this together many years ago, but I alone interviewed Ken Richardson 3 times in the early 1990s prior to writing my TR2/3/3A Compendium book published in 1995. Ken told me, and he had good recall and he surely would know, that the second 20TS car was still under construction when the order came from John Black to abandon the 20 TS bob-tailed car and redesign into what became the TR2. He stated that the second car was NEVER finished as a 20TS before the conversion work started. He also said that parts of both 20TS cars WERE incorporated into the 2 prototypes MWK950 and MVC 575, which is hardly surprising as there was much commonality, though as to what bits went into which car, not surprisingly after 40 years, he couldn't recall, so we'll never know.....MWK 950 was indeed registered first, in Jan 1953, and I suspect was largely built from the only completed 20TS, which had only ever run on trade plates (a photo exists showing it with the plate MWK787 fitted, but this was a mock up, the plate being borrowed from a saloon for photographic purposes and to confuse historians.......Ken told me this). Again, I suspect that MVC575 was built using parts from the second uncompleted 20TS,but this can't be proved, so again , we'll never know. What is however certain, to go back to earlier in this thread, is that MWK950 was indeed the first TR ever to be road registered, and is therefore arguably at least as historic a vehicle as the Jabbeke car.

I have had a copy of the Triumph "X" prototype register for upwards of 40 years.....against the entry for X516 it states Triumph Sports ORW666--GEARBOX ONLY...

I surmise therefore that this X number was issued early in 1953 to sanction the building of a gearbox prototype only, but that that X number was later used to build a whole prototype car around, the first RHD car, which was only registered later, Dec 1953, as ORW 666. That this car existed is proved by a contemporary photo of it being tested at MIRA, the only photo I have ever seen of it, and also by the fact of its having been officially registered....even Triumph would not have registered an non existent car, as it cost money to do so.

Incidentally, for those who don't know, sadly John Saunders is very seriously ill and a long term patient in a special hospital in Bristol having suffered a massive stroke last Summer as well as having brain problems....We all wish him well......Carpe Diem, Bill Piggott

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Very sorry to hear of John's health problems and I join BillP

in wishing him well. One of the 'original' Register members.

 

AlanR

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I have to say I find this all fascinating and am delighted to know we still have so much knowledge in the Club. Thanks to all you experts for willingly sharing it on this forum

Tom

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Tom,

 

When you have knowledge going back decades, it's important to

realise the different circumstances that existed back then and

put things in perspective.

 

Pam and Barry Gouldstone lived in West Drayon, as did I. They

contacted me about MWK 550, a near basket case that they had

in their "back garden" and asked me to check it out.

That would have been about 1974.

 

There was so little knowledge back then about the history of the

prototype TRs. Even I, as Secretary/Registrar of the Register, did

not have a copy of the factory X Register.

I don't think Pam knew anything of the car's history or importance,

so I'm guessing neither did previous owners.

 

Obviously, I did see it was an X chassis number and identified it

as something out of the ordinary, but had no idea what it was.

 

Pam & Barry moved a little out of London, Iver way I recall, but

kept the car for a few years, probably hoping to find out more

about the car, it's history and maybe restore it.

 

You have to realise that, back then, there were no body panels

available - Buckles hadn't got going by then - but in any event,

replacement body parts weren't the answer to restoring a car

such as MWK.

 

Probably, I could have bought it (as I could have bought one of

the TRW rally cars for £120) but back then, we were young, trying

to make ends meet, support a wife, raise a family, and there were

very very few enthusiasts with the funds to take on such a project.

 

It would have been a HUGE exercise to take on such a restoration.

Think about Glen at Prototek and his fabulous work on MVC.

That would not have happened back in the seventies.

 

While we may be disappointed that the West London collector has

not done a 'Glen', he did acquire and save the car, so it does still

exist.

 

Quite what happened in those very early days is, and it seems it

will remain, a matter of speculation. I think the nearest we will come

is BillP's 'speculation' on what likely happened.

 

I would just say that, back then, attitudes were different. So, once

the factory had registered a car, it would not have been a big deal

to rebuild the car into something else, but keep the same X chassis

number to avoid paying purchase tax again.

 

The X Register references for ORW to "gearbox only" could well have

been an experimental project that started out that way but become the

first RHD car.

Whereas the earlier cars (in the X Register) could have recorded round-

tail cars then modified into TR2 shape.

We don't know - BillP's thoughts are as close as we can come to what

happened.

 

AlanR

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Dear Alan

Thanks for all that and I do understand a bit about the differences back in the day.I owned a sidescreen car (I think a 55TR 3 )that was seriously clapped out when I was an apprentice at Crewe in 69. I think it was registered TXP 58 and definitely had alloy panels. The 48 spoke wheels were shot when I sold it but was it fun and so much more manly than the MGAs some pals loved. In those days the industry did not cherish heritage and was focussed on survival so all the confusion over data or lack of it is totally understandable and makes me value the information we do have and the chaps who have it all the more.I do not know how much is held as archival material by the Register but hope it's comprehensive. I have had several discussions with Glen about historical issues related to MVC and it seems the knowledge is considerable but not easy to access or centrally located. Perhaps that is still work in progress for registrars etc but I think it should be a priority to ensure what knowledge we have is secured for the future.

All the best Tom

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Great idea to centralise/digitise all the TR knowledge/records/photos/literature etc Tom, but having run the Archives for some years, it is a BIG job and will NEVER be done by volunteers, who can only scratch the surface......a full time, paid Archivist is the only answer, something that only seriously rich clubs such as AMOC and RREC etc can afford, and no, I am NOT angling for a job ! We don't even have a volunteer Archivist at present...stuff is just piling up in the Didcot archive room..........Bill P.

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I owned a sidescreen car (I think a 55TR 3 )that was seriously clapped out when I was an apprentice at Crewe in 69........

All the best Tom

Apprentice at Crewe Tom. Was that Rolls or rail.

My dad joined Rolls at pyms lane after the Motors - aero split in the 70's

H

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