Our big trip – The Four Cs Challenge – Classic Car and Caravan Coastal Challenge. We take the Herald and Viking around the coast of mainland UK. Read on!
Welcome to my Triumph Herald blog! Originally produced as a way of keeping track of the various car shows I’d attended and the two chassis up rebuilds the Herald has gone through. It has now grown to encompass a collection of other stuff too. Amongst this ‘stuff’ is a selection of 1960s Triumph sales brochures and a page of ‘interestingly’ modified Herald pics gleaned from around the web. There is also a couple of picture quizzes taken from the Triumph section of TSSC Norfolk areas Christmas quizzes – The Cars the Star with Triumphs appearing in films or TV shows and Stars and Their Cars featuring the rich and famous people that drive or own Triumphs. Most models feature including Spitfires, Heralds, Vitesses, TRs, Triumph 2000 and Stags. The blog has also been expanded to encompass the rebuilding of our matching 1970s Viking Fibreline caravan and our 1960s Viking along with our Triumph 2500S estate rebuild.
KJJ 178D – A 2 Litre Triumph Herald 1200
For the sum of £200 I managed to buy my first car in 1979, a 1966 Triumph Herald 1200. I then proceeded to tidy her up using copious amounts of chicken wire and filler and a re-spray with a garden sprayer. A couple of years later it failed the MOT due to “excessive chassis rust front to rear”. So in June 1981 I started a major body-off restoration. The aim of the rebuild was to use the 2 litre, 6 cylinder Triumph Vitesse engine and running gear while keeping the appearance of the 1200 Herald. While there is a number of ways of doing this I went for a fairly major but subtle re-working of the front end to fit the larger engine in. The first rebuild took over seven years to complete.
Some 20 years after the first restoration she was starting to get a bit “untidy”. No major rust other than the doors. The rest of the body was just suffering from surface rust in places. In August 2007 I finally took the plunge and decided to strip her down again, this second rebuild took 14 months to get her back on the road.
A Lifelong Affair
Obviously owning the same car for that many years gives you a lifetime of memories and a very special relationship between man and machine. I wish I could say it’s never let me down but I’ve changed a rear UJ in a station car park before now and on its first major journey in the summer of ‘79 (Essex to Cornwall). The car then spent most of the two weeks holiday in a garage getting fixed for the journey home.
But I’ve had immense fun out of it. Doing the strip at Santa Pod (when the head gasket went a week later) charity race days at Snetterton and Prescott Hillclimb to name but a few and more recently three trips to Europe including Luxembourg towing our matching caravan.
The Triumph Herald
Introduced in 1959 to replace the Standard Eight and Ten the Triumph Herald was designed by Giovanni Michelotti. The designer for most of the Triumph range in the early ‘60s and a number of Maseratis along with the Reliant Scimitar. The Herald was built using a separate chassis with bolt-on body sections available in saloon, coupe, convertible, estate and van versions. Somewhat unusual for the time as most other manufacturers were moving towards the more modern monocoque construction. Originally with a 948cc engine, this was increased to 1147 after Standard-Triumph was taken over by Leyland Motors (later BL) in 1961. It was re-launched as the Herald 1200. Well renowned for it’s high all round visibility and it’s tight turning circle making it a popular driver instructors car. Continue reading…
Want to join the club? Check out the TSSC, the original club for the small chassis range of Triumphs.
Viking Fibreline Caravan (1970s)
In July 2016 we purchased a Viking Fibreline caravan, while it was in good condition overall, it had been badly painted by the previous owner, so was stripped down and repainted in matching blue and white.
Viking Fibreline Caravan (1960s)
In the summer of 2020 we managed to get hold of a 1960s Viking to better match the age of the Herald. Subtle differences included the curved corner windows allowing a lot more light in. This Viking had the advantage of already being stripped out on the inside allowing us a free rein on the interior. We renovated this over the winter and spring of 2022 in preparation for our ‘big trip’. Read on…
Triumph 2500S Estate
Our latest addition to the fleet. Part one saw the underside rebuilt, part two saw the top side rebuilt. We now use this as an everyday car. It also tows a Sprite Musketeer caravan, this is currently undergoing restoration and will soon feature on the blog.