1951 Triumph 2000 Renown TDB
4-cyl. 2088cc/68hp 1bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Triumph’s 1800 Town & Country saloon was launched in 1946, after Sir John Black of the Standard Motor Company had bought Triumph, sold the bombed-out factory, and kept the name. The new car was powered by the 1,776 cc OHV four-cylinder engine from the pre-war Flying Fourteen sedan. Coincidentally, Standard had also sold that to Jaguar.
The Triumph’s razor-edge body was designed by Leslie Moore of coachbuilder Mulliners of Birmingham to closely resemble the pre-war Freestone & Webb “top hat” models. The elegant six-window sedan featured sharp angles, slim pillars and big windows, with a wood dash and leather interior. It was built with aluminum panels over an ash wood frame, as steel was in short supply.
The 108-inch wheelbase chassis was made of large-diameter longitudinal tubes, with transverse leaf independent front suspension, and semi-elliptic rear springs. A 100-inch wheelbase version of the same chassis was used for the new Triumph 1800 Roadster and both models had column-mounted gearshifts, which were coming into vogue. At £1,425, it was the almost three times the price of the smaller Mayflower saloon and only 4,000 were sold in the first three years.
Meanwhile, Black was working on the American-influenced Standard Vanguard sedan, which owed much to the 1946 Plymouth, and was launched in 1948. The second generation Triumph 2000 TDA sedan of 1949 shared the Vanguard’s wet-liner 2088 cc, OHV four-cylinder engine, and a full synchromesh three-speed gearbox, with the same tube frame. A total of 2,000 were sold in 1949.
The Vanguard’s influence changed the running gear still further on the Triumph Renown TDB of 1949-52. The tube frame was replaced by the Vanguard’s box unit, and the front suspension was now independent with coil springs. The gauges were redesigned, and an optional overdrive was offered. The Motor tested a new renown in 1950 and reported a top speed of 75 mph, leisurely acceleration of 0-60 mph in 24.3 second, and 20 mpg U.S.
Triumph experimented with a renown limousine in 1952, adding three inches to the wheelbase and a division window. At last a heater and radio were standard. The public was unimpressed, however, and only 188 were sold in 1952, followed by three in 1953 and three in 1954. There was also a Renown Mk II TDC sedan offered in 1952-54, with the longer 111-inch wheelbase of the limousine. A total of 2,800 TDCs were sold.
By the mid-1950s, steel was again available and the labor-intensive construction of the Renown sedan made no sense, so it was discontinued. There was discussion of a sporting version of the Vanguard Phase III in 1956, but though a Triumph grille was fitted, it was sold as the Standard Vanguard Sportsman with a 90-bhp TR3 motor and two-tone paint. The Renown sedan reflected the conservative and dictatorial attitudes of Standard’s Chairman Sir John Black and when he was removed from the board in November 1953, its fate was assured.
The survival rate of the various versions of the Triumph 1800 and 2000 sedan is not high. The mechanicals are very tough, but their coach-built bodies are comparatively fragile and expensive to repair. A really good example would be quite a prize, since seldom has such refined construction graced a middle-class sedan.