Triumph Herald Rebuild One

June 1981 – March 1988

(click here for rebuild two 2007/2008)

I bought the Herald in 1979 and filled the holes in the bodywork with filler and resprayed using a garden sprayer. A couple of years later it failed the MOT due to excessive chassis rust.

So in June 1981, and taking seven years, I started a major rebuild. The aim of the was to have a 2 litre (6 cylinder) Vitesse engine and running gear while keeping the appearance of the 1200 Herald (with me doing as much of the work as possible).

Oldest photo of Triumph Herald on way down to Cornwall
The car – before any work was carried out going on the family holiday to Cornwall, Summer of ’79
My first attempt at tidying her up, plenty of filler and re-sprayed using a garden sprayer. Diminishing white stripe makes it’s first appearance 1980
Triumph Herald failed MoT
The problem – excessive chassis rust front to rear.
The dismantling, along with a donor Vitesse
Every parents dream!
Triumph Herald Chassis rebuild
All outriggers were replaced and minor repairs the the chassis backbone were needed
Chassis repaired and painted up
Triumph Herald front subframe
Chassis subframe assembly before…
Chassis ready…
…and after
Rolling chassis ready for the bodywork
Triumph Herald bonnet rebuild
Bonnet rust holes revealed after removing filler
Both wings and outer wheelarches replaced
Extending the bonnet by 3 1/2 inches to accommodate the larger 2 litre engine
New metal welded in place…
and then filled…
…and undercoated
Triumph Herald front bulkhead rebuild
Then on to the front bulkhead
Triumph Herald front bulkhead rebuild
Both front footwells replaced plus repairs to the A panels and mounting brackets
…and undercoated
Triumph herald Vitesse door repair
Removal of filler from doors
Triumph Herald door bottoms
Replacement door bottoms and new doorskins for both doors
Triumph Herald Vitesse rear end rebuild
The rear end
Triumph Herald Vitesse rear body
Boot floor removed and repairs made to the rear lip and inner wheel arches
Triumph Herald Vitesse boot floor
New boot floor bought (after 6 months searching)
Primed and ready for top coat
Drivers rear wing repaired while passenger side was replaced completely
Coming together
Engine replaced after being cleaned up
Sprayed one side at a time, the car having to be rolled out and then pushed back in to enable the other side to be sprayed
New top coat
…and ready for the shiny bits
All ready to go

MOT’d and ready for the road
With new hood
KJJ 178D passed her MOT in March 1988, 7 years after failing her last test
The trial – touring in Scotland. Over 2000 miles covered in two weeks