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Period articles are bursting with enthusiasm and are written with gusto. And rightly so...

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TRIUMPH TR2 WINS THE RAC RALLY [1954]

This year’s R.A.C. Rally made excellent use of the number of circuits in this country, and was accordingly known as the “Rally of the Tests.”

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Although a road mileage of some 2,000 had to be covered to a strict time-schedule, over some tortuous roads in Wales, the Lake District and Scotland, the results were determined largely by timed tests at Goodwood, Oulton Park and Silverstone circuits, and at Prescott Hill. There was a Scrutineering “flap” when two-carburetter Rileys were made to revert to single carburetters.

We observed the Hastings contingent at Goodwood, where most of the circuit had to be covered at speed, with the added hazard of having to stop astride, and reverse over, two lines en route.

Early in a day of sunshine, blue sky but mist rising from the cultivated ground inside the course, D. H. Perring’s Austin-Healey made a very fast run. A. Colbourne-Baber dealt neatly with the reversing business in his Volkswagen, J. Halley’s Jaguar Mk. VII possessed good brakes, selected its gears quietly but bowed under the brakes, and J. Watts’ Ford, using snow-tyres, braked rather early. J. Pocock (Vauxhall) was neat, but careful of his braking — his car was adorned with many club badges — while C. Tyrer’s Sunbeam-Talbot smoked and slewed sideways as it slid to a standstill. P. Anton’s M.G. looked slow.

Moving on to St. Mary’s Corner P. G. Cooper’s Triumph TR2 blipped through, J. R. Platt sat hunched over the wheel of his Vauxhall, W. H. Waring handled his DB2 Aston Martin with spirit, the engine of D. C. T. Bennett’s Jaguar, which had a huge reversing lamp, was misfiring and R. K. Hooper’s Sunbeam-Talbot was sedate — most of these cars went through with tails sliding while Miss Burt did not make the best use of her XK120 Jaguar coupé.

In contrast, J. B. L. Jacobs’ Alvis was fast, I. A, Marden’s Ford was steady, D. B. Watkinson’s Standard cornered well, J. H. King held a good line in his Triumph TR2, and S. R. G. Jeffery was trying hard, his Standard leaning over.

At Lavant Corner, S. A. Dare’s Sunbeam-Talbot slid its tail. W. G. Cawsey changed-up in his little Renault, while before the first stop-line F. H. Whittle wound his Vauxhall up in third gear. D. Potter took the test, very late, at this stage, his Sunbeam-Talbot bearing no. 8.

At the first stop-line C. B. Lander’s Sunbeam-Talbot slid sideways, J. Trigg locked all four wheels of his Hillman and “chunked” reverse gear in while it was still rolling forward, B. W. Fursdon put up a fine show in his Renault 750, although missing his gear changing up, and then both G. Burgess and W. Grant-Norton, arriving fast in their Frazer-Nashes, stalled their engines and lost a lot of time restarting them.

In spite of snow-grip tyres on its back wheels, the Ford of M. R. Davies slid a long way, but W. H. Baker’s Ford demonstrated excellent brakes and F. Holmes put up a very polished show in his Sunbeam-Talbot.

A. B. Fraser wrung record noises from the unfortunate cog-box of his Sunbeam-Talbot, F. E. Still indulged in a record slide in his Austin-Healey and reversed untidily, whereas B. D. S. Ginn (Jowett) and N. T. Lithgow (Austin) were both neat.

F. M. Baker had a terrific forward slide in his Austin-Healey and then let it roll still further from the line in an untidy attempt, G. N. Dear’s M.G., screen flat, was fussy but rapid. Sheila Van Damm was not very bright with the Sunbeam-Talbot, but in this team both Norman Garrad and P. Harper changed down before reaching the line and put up impeccable performances.

Some damage was already evident on competitors’ vehicles. R. L. Manwaring’s Sunbeam-Talbot was dented along the near side and H. A. R. Fox’s Allard was sans front number plate. A. G. Imhof’s Allard hadn’t arrived and someone remarked that perhaps he was still planning the Tulip Rally route! The third (lady) passenger in A. H. Baker’s Land Rover, which slid badly under braking, had a precarious perch in the back on a pile of mattresses!

The Rally was a triumph for the TR2 sports car.

Results: 1st: J. C. Wallwork (Triumph).
2nd: P. G. Cooper (Triumph).
3rd: T. C. Harrison (Ford Zephyr).

Touring Cars: 1,000 c.c.: W. Schluter (D.K.W.).
1,001-1,300 c.c. : R. N. Richards (Ford New Anglia).
1,301-1,600 c.c.: F. D. Dundas (Jowett Javelin).
1,601-2,600 c.c.: T. C. Harrison (Ford Zephyr).
Over 2,600 c.c.: H. J. Adams (Alvis).

Sports Cars: Up to 1,600 c.c.: A. William, (M.G.).
1,601-2,600 c.c.: J. C. Wallwork (Triumph).
Over 2,600 c.c.: F. G. Davis (Austin-Healey).

Team Award: Ford No. 2 Team (T. C. Harrison, Mrs. Mitchell and J. G. Reece.)

Motorsport, April 1954, 26-27.

Four years later...

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"Another Triumph in the Alps", TSOA Newsletter, Volume IV, July 1958, no. 7.

The outstanding reliability of the Triumph was again demonstrated in the 19th International Alpine Trial, when the highest placed British car was a works-prepared Triumph TR3, driven by Keith Ballisat and Alain Bertaut.
      Ballisat was awarded one of the coveted Coupes des Alpes for covering without penalty the 2,350 miles of Alpine roads, often over loose gravel surfaces, in adverse weather conditions, yet keeping to nearly impossible schedules. He finished first in the 1600cc. unlimited mileage cIassification, and was awarded the Cup for the fastest climb of the notorious Stelvic Pass.
      Backing up Ballisat, in the most arduous motor competition for man and machine on the International Calendar, were two Irishmen, Desmond Titterington and Brian McCaldin, who came in second in the Class and eighth in the General Classification in their TR3.
      Only 58 cars started, as some competitors withdrew before the start, in view of the conditions to be faced on the route, and only 25 cars actually finished the course.
      These successes carry on a Triumph tradition in this event -- in the last Alpine Rally in 1956, Triumphs put up the best performance of any country in the history of the event.
      Five cars gained five Alpine Cups, took the top five places in their class and won the Manufacturers Team Award.

■ The Standard Triumph film.

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A TR2 caught on camera in sharp focus whizzing past the Prince of Wales hotel. Notice the driving lights distinctly facing the other way.

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■ [Caption reads: ] Hood up. Like many owners of sports cars, C.M. Seward keeps his hood erected in the winter, even on the observed sections of the Exeter Trial. The car is a Triumph TR2. 

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Triumphs excel in the MCC Rally!

Best performance: R.W. Dalglish and G. Bass.

This year’s MCC National Rally, which had starting points at Manchester, Kenilworth, London, Bathpool, Norwich, Cardiff and Glasgow, attracted an entry of 174, 48 down on 1955, and there were 134 starters, of whom 27 retired.

Four tests were performed on the route, the rest at Hastings. A severe test which we observed at Hardknott Pass consisted of starting with dead engine and being timed up a steep uphill section with some very nasty corners.

Just after a damp dawn had broken, the first competitors appeared, winding their way over the desolate Lakeland road.

Correctly, No 1, Warr’s Ford Ten, was first, going up quickly and neatly. Griffiths’ Triumph hard-top was snatchy, Lander’s Sunbeam Rapier neat, but getting some back-wheel judder, while Morgan’s XK140 came up fast, tail sliding.

In yellow jersey, Boothroyd handled his big Alvis well and both Shinn and Birkett in TRs clocked 20 sec, a good time.
O’Connor-Rorke tried to force his DKW up the pass in the wrong cog. Simister drove his Anglia splendidly, Jackson’s Standard Ten, passenger lending weight in the back, came up neatly, and the same applied to Tyrer’s sister car, cogs being swapped after the last corner.

Wheelspin slowed Seigle-Morris’ Zephyr but, cutting the acute top corner, Anne Hall made a spirited ascent in her small Ford. Newins’ Zephyr was slow, suffering spin, and Dodson’s Zodiac a shade slower still, back axle juddering. Gilleney’s Healey 100 looked slow but did 22.8 sec, while, in spite of using the wrong ratio for the worst corner, Pat Moss’ MG MGA hard-top clocked 20.6 sec. She had dented a front wing.

Peacock’s Standard Eight was painful, Lund’s 11/2-litre MG had enormous spin on a 19.2-sec climb, and Hull’s TR was a bit wild, while Fleet’s Zephyr juddered its rear wheels. Hopper’s Sunbeam Mk III took it carefully, Stevenson’s small Ford bounced its valves (21.8 sec), Luke’s Bristol sounded sick (30.4 sec), and then came the first failure, Roden’s SV Minor having clutch slip. Russell’s Jaguar Mk VII was slow, Grant’s Porsche did a splendid 19.8 sec, Bassett’s A.35 was motoring (22.2 sec) but King’s A40 couldn’t climb it.

Wallwork (TR2) adopted speed hill-climb tactics (21.8 sec), but Casewell’s big Austin and Faulkner’s Zephyr were fractionally faster (each 21.4 sec). Hocquard’s Renault 750 failed, but got up later, Jacoby (TR) clocked a rousing 20.4 sec, using plenty of revs. Ramsey (MG ZA) got spin, valve bounce, the lot, and “slow” goes against Fisk (TR2), Tracey (XK120), Gunson (AC Ace), Graves (Oxford), Dowsett (Jupiter), while Kyffin’s Renault 750 took a poor 38 sec, and Major Graham (Consul) was touring. Lt-Col Tolputt (TR3) and navigator wore white bathing-hats, Hartnell’s quick Anglia dangled sick-chain, and Brenda Bratt was a girl controlled by a TR2. Outstanding, with snatch-change, was Walker (Prefect) and Milton’s A30 came up well.

Miss Ozanne (Prefect) shirked changing down until too late for speed. Nicholson’s A40 finished slowly, and the Dauphines appeared to have their back axles attached by rubber, nor were they fast. Reid’s MG MGA and Cleghorn’s Gazelle started badly but Morley’s Prefect was fast and Crawford (TR2) treated us to some racing cornering. Spare’s TR was fastest of all, in 18.2 sec.

At Chester a control in a park with public address broadcast didn’t seem to attract the public. Here we found Thornton (Ford) and Randell (MG MGA) bashing out dents and heard that local-boy Newinns (he was no. 13) had retired his Zephyr and that Shinn (TR) had been delayed with tyre trouble. □

[Motorsport, December 1956, 19.]

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Edited by David Brancaleone
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Agreed Deggars that's VVC290, as you say one of the British Army Team cars.

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1 hour ago, iain said:

Agreed Deggars that's VVC290, as you say one of the British Army Team cars.

Don't ye find it extraordinary they drove all the way from Glasgow?

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Cropped a wee bit.

VVC 290 is number 78. The sign behind VVC 289 looks like an army sign. But the flag above is a tricolour. No information on the Getty Images source. Confused of Cork!

Edited by David Brancaleone

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There is another 3 in the background 

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15 hours ago, David Brancaleone said:

1950s and 1969s photographs of sidescreen TRs found online.

Reg. no.  XXX 290?

Scene at the start of the 1959 Monte Carlo Rally at the RSAC Club in Blythswood Square, Glasgow. Staff pic taken 18/1/1959.

I shall post names of Scottish TR2-3A club rally drivers I come across here and any photos available. Wish me luck. So far, found a few names and one love story...

 

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Interestingly I watched the Carlisle start of the UK section that year.

Stuart.

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3 hours ago, Hamish said:

There is another 3 in the background 

Eagle eye! I missed that. It suggests Army officers' family accomodation, kind of living accomodation, but better than barracks, in a civilian area. West Germany sounds quite likely. A good place for 3 British Army rally cars and crews to be fed and watered, I guess.

Edited by David Brancaleone

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According to Frédéric Reydellet's Tome 3, all 3 cars of the 1959 Army team failed to be classified (Abandoned).

Ian Cornish

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Maybe in what we think is a photo taken in Germany, they'd already been eliminated? But why? Scrutineering probs? Not to agreed spec? Failure in tests?

Does Reydellet's book include any extra photos of TRs, Ian?

Edited by David Brancaleone
Added a furtger question

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Frederics  books rely very heavily on the photographic works of Maurice Louche, who took 1000’s of photos of this period of Rallying. 
They are fabulous books, albeit in French, but not too difficult to translate. See http://fredericreydellet.blogspot.com/

Iain

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His French is very clear and pleasing. But how much? I'd be interested in the TR part. But can't see price per vol.?

Also, you can't seem to download any nice pictures? Am I missing something? 

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Frédéric's flyer lists prices for Europe in Euros as: 52, 44, 46.5, 46.5, 56, 77 respectively for Tomes 1-6. Note that these prices could be out-of-date as I have had the flyer for some years.

Address: Razoux, 42170 St Just - St Rambert, France

Tel: +33(0)4.77.52.13.77              Mobile: +33(0)6.10.76.13.64

I have sent Frédéric an email to check the prices and see whether he is happy for me to publicise his email address, and how he can accept payment.

Frédéric has 6 produced Tomes (volumes) covering "Les Triumph en Compétition", as listed here.  Each is written in French (a few parts in English) and is packed with photos, details of the Triumphs entered (which include reg. numbers, rally numbers etc, and Standards as well), an account of how the event went, and the results overall and in class.  Each Tome was bigger than the preceding one, and Tome 6 is a whopping 130 + 270 = 400 pages, including 533 photos.  There are interviews with people involved in the various events.  As you can tell, Iain and I have all the Tomes, which are A4 size on quality paper - not cheap, but excellent quality and well worth the money.

I'm afraid the list has become doubled and I don't know how to delete the repeat!

Ian Cornish 

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Edited by ianc

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Thanks, Ian.

I could imagine a fab series of articles as a regular feature in TR Action, with permissions paid to the author for any photographs reprinted. Big splash. Very effective, running to several pages. Black and white. Muscular typeface. Dramatic. Bold. Beefy. Stats and info in boxes. Pull-out quotes... I wonder if that's even possible. I would buy them. But any spare change sorely needed for something else...

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          I worked on one of those Army rally cars for the owner who lived in Ayrshire. He was in contact with some of the army drivers and compiled a huge history file including letters and photographs and a menu from the end of the Liege Rally signed by the army team, the Triumph works team and Ken Richardson. I facilitated its sale to Bill Piggott. Probably have some photos somewhere.

          Cheers Richard

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I have received a reply from Frédéric Reydellet as follows:

I no longer apply the "international prices" and the prices are the same, national or international.
Just postage cost is different.

So here are the books' prices, from Volume 1 to Volume 6 :
42, 42, 44, 44, 54 and 74,00 euros.
+ post and packing.

The postage cost may of course be different according to which book is concerned and how many books in a same package.

I think the best way for anyone interested in one or several of my books is to contact me by email, so I can give an accurate information.

I generally offer half of the postage cost from 2 books and also free postage in case of several books.

My email address remains
frederic.reydellet-auteur@orange.fr

My website is
www.fredericreydellet.blogspot.com

For the payment, I no longer have Visa or credit card payment, so it can be PayPal or bank transfer.
All 6 volumes are still available.

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3 hours ago, Dic Doretti said:

          I worked on one of those Army rally cars for the owner who lived in Ayrshire. He was in contact with some of the army drivers and compiled a huge history file including letters and photographs and a menu from the end of the Liege Rally signed by the army team, the Triumph works team and Ken Richardson. I facilitated its sale to Bill Piggott. Probably have some photos somewhere.

          Cheers Richard

Dic, that is truly AMAZING!!!

What can I say? I'm gob-smacked, and not the only one.

If you can, I'd scan in any documents you can find, and wait until there is a chance to give the originals to the Registry for safekeeping in the Club archives.

This is real history. Very precious.

Do you know why the army team didn't make it? Thanks so much for getting in touch, Dic. If I drank, I'd have something strong to recover.

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3 hours ago, Dic Doretti said:

          I worked on one of those Army rally cars for the owner who lived in Ayrshire. He was in contact with some of the army drivers and compiled a huge history file including letters and photographs and a menu from the end of the Liege Rally signed by the army team, the Triumph works team and Ken Richardson. I facilitated its sale to Bill Piggott. Probably have some photos somewhere.

          Cheers Richard

Amazing, Dic. Would be nice if you could scan them in here. I would then give or sell the photos to the TR Register for safekeeping. It's history, so really nice to know and thanks for your contribution.

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These photos were taken by Mark Healy, an Irish motorsport photographer. 

MORE TRs IN IRELAND

Dungarvan, 1956

Circuit of Ireland 1956

NB. Captions as found.

Dungarvan 1956 - P. Hopkirk PRI222

Dungarvan 1956

 P. Hopkirk PRI 222

Paddy Hopkirk in his famously rapid Triumph TR2 uses all the road on the last corner on the Dungarvan Hill. Hopkirk tied with JJ Flynn (MG TD s/c) for FTD at 1m 48.2

Circuit of Ireland 1956

 

Circuit of Ireland 1956 -Triumph TR2 BI6600

Circuit of Ireland 1956 -Triumph TR2 BI6600
 

Circuit of Ireland 1956 -Triumph TR2 ZU8060

Circuit of Ireland 1956 -Triumph TR2 ZU8060

Circuit of Ireland 1956 - Triumph TZ4722


W.F. Wilson from Newcastle, Co. Down in his Triumph TR2.

Circuit of Ireland 1956 - Triumph UZ2502

Circuit of Ireland 1956 - Triumph UZ2502

Edited by David Brancaleone

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On 3/14/2020 at 8:17 PM, David Brancaleone said:

These photos were taken by Mark Healy, an Irish motorsport photographer. 

MORE TRs IN IRELAND

Dungarvan, 1956

Circuit of Ireland 1956

NB. Captions as found.

Dungarvan 1956 - P. Hopkirk PRI222

Dungarvan 1956

 P. Hopkirk PRI 222

Paddy Hopkirk in his famously rapid Triumph TR2 uses all the road on the last corner on the Dungarvan Hill. Hopkirk tied with JJ Flynn (MG TD s/c) for FTD at 1m 48.2

Circuit of Ireland 1956

 

Circuit of Ireland 1956 -Triumph TR2 BI6600

Circuit of Ireland 1956 -Triumph TR2 BI6600
 

Circuit of Ireland 1956 -Triumph TR2 ZU8060

Circuit of Ireland 1956 -Triumph TR2 ZU8060

Circuit of Ireland 1956 - Triumph TZ4722


W.F. Wilson from Newcastle, Co. Down in his Triumph TR2. [TZ 4722].

Circuit of Ireland 1956 - Triumph UZ2502

Circuit of Ireland 1956 - Triumph UZ2502

 

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VVC 290 on the TR Register stand at the Doune Classic Car Show in the mid 1980s. The owner, Kerr Baillie is standing next to the car in the cap behind my TR2.

          Cheers Richard

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Too small to see all the faces, as this close up shows. But if you took another picture of it, without the white background, we'd see all the details, since it seems a good, sharp, photo.

Edited by DavidBee
Learned how to get rid of quoted text

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