Razor edge Triumphs

Triumph Mayflower

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Triumph Mayflower is a British four-seat 1¼ litre small luxury car noted for its razor-edge styling. It was built by the Standard Motor Company and sold by Standard's subsidiary, The Triumph Motor Company (1954). It was announced at the October 1949 British International Motor Show, but deliveries did not commence until the middle of 1950. The Mayflower was manufactured from 1949 until 1953.

The Mayflower's upscale small car position did not find a ready market and sales did not meet Standard's expectations. Standard's next small car, the Standard Eight of 1953, was a basic 0.8-litre economy car.

Design and engineering

The Mayflower used a version of the pre-war Standard Flying Ten's side valve engine updated by having an aluminium cylinder head and single Solex carburettor. The engine developed 38bhp (28 kW) at 4200 rpm. The 3-speed gearbox, with column shift, came from the Standard Vanguard and had synchromesh on all the forward ratios. There was independent suspension at the front using coil springs and telescopic dampers, but a solid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, also based on the Vanguard's design, was at the rear. Lockheed hydraulic brakes were fitted.

The Mayflower was the first car with unitary construction (monocoque) to be manufactured either by Standard or by the Triumph company that existed before Standard bought its assets. The body was designed by Leslie Moore, chief body designer of Mulliners of Birmingham with input from Standard's Walter Belgrove. The body shells were built by Fisher and Ludlow at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham.

The Mayflower had traditional "razor edge" styling similar to that of the Triumph Renown imitating the style then still used by Bentley and Rolls Royce cars. Standard's managing director Sir John Black believed this would be especially appealing to the American market. One advantage of the car's upright styling was that it could seat four people in comfort despite its small size, although there were complaints about the rear seat being constrained by the rear axle and being too narrow as a result.

Non-saloon versions

Ten drophead coupes were built in 1950.

Standard Motor Company (Australia) Limited produced a coupe utility variant of the Mayflower at their Port Melbourne plant in Victoria, Australia. 150 examples were built from Mayflower Saloon CKD kits imported from the United Kingdom, with bodywork locally modified to form a rear load area to which timber floor and side panels were added.


A Mayflower tested by British magazine The Moto in 1950 had a top speed of 62.9 mph (101.2 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-50 mph (80 km/h) in 26.6 seconds. A fuel consumption of 28.3 miles per imperial gallon (10.0 L/100 km; 23.6 mpg) was recorded. The test car cost £505 including taxes.


The Mayflower was announced and displayed for the first time on 28 September 1949, the first day of the Earls Court Motor Show. Deliveries, including complete knock down (CKD) kits for overseas markets, began in the middle of 1950.

Despite its low performance, the Mayflower impressed automobile testers, including Tom McCahill from Mechanix Illustrated and The Scribe from Autocar.


Triumph Mayflower
The Mayflower had been an attempt to create a small car with an upmarket image, but it failed to meet its sales targets. Standard announced the Mayflower's replacement in a press release in early February 1952; the announcement further stated that the replacement would probably not be on sale until 1953. The Standard Eight, which replaced the Mayflower, had a basic specification and was aimed at a different type of buyer. From the ending of Mayflower production in 1953 there was no small saloon with the Triumph name available in the United Kingdom until the launch of the Triumph Herald in 1959. The Standard Ten saloon and Standard Companion estate were sold as Triumphs in the United States.

The front suspension design from the Mayflower was used on the Triumph 20TS prototype and, with modifications, on the Triumph TR2.

The Mayflower's "razor-edge" styling proved controversial and tends to polarise opinion. Motoring journalist James May has described it as being the ugliest car of all time.

Cultural impact

The Mayflower is the subject of a well-known painting by Australian artist John Brack - The Car.
The Car
The Car Brack 1955.JPG
John Brack
oil on canvas
41.0 cm 102.2 cm (16.1 in  40.2 in)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Triumph Mayflower
Triumph Mayflower.JPG
Standard Motor Company
35,000 were made
Coventry, England
Port Melbourne, Australia
Sweden (ANA)
Body and chassis
Body style
2-door saloon
2-door drophead coupe
2-door coupe utility (Australia)
1247 cc side-valve
3-speed manual
84 in (2,100 mm)
156 in (4,000 mm)
62 in (1,600 mm)
60 in (1,500 mm)
Standard 8/Triumph Herald

Triumph Renown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Triumph Renown is strictly the name given to the Triumph's large saloon car made from 1949 to 1954 but it is, in reality, part of a three-car series of the 1800, 2000 and Renown models. Together with the Triumph Roadster, they were the first vehicles to carry the Triumph badge following the company's takeover by the Standard Motor Company.

The Triumph Razoredge Owner's Club Ltd, formed in 1975, provides support to the remaining Razoredge saloons. As of 2016, the Club knows of around 250 of these cars distributed worldwide. The later two series of cars with chassis numbers commencing TDB and TDC have survived better than the earlier two variants. This may be due to the commonality of most of the mechanical parts with the Standard Vanguard which was produced during the same period.

These cars provide an elegant sedate motoring. experience. Those that were fitted with the Laycock de Normanville overdrive are able to cruise at around 55 to 60 MPH and return a fuel consumption of about 25 to 27 MPG.


The cars were distinctively styled in the later 1930s vogue for Razor Edge coachwork used in the 1940s by others including Austin for its big Sheerline. The six light (featuring three side windows on each side) design and the thin C pillars at the rear of the passenger cabin anticipated the increased window areas that would become a feature of British cars during the 1960s. The car's side profile resembled that of the contemporary prestigious saloons, which some felt was more than a coincidence. Similar styling subsequently appeared on the smaller Triumph Mayflower. The Managing Director of the Standard Motor Company at that time, Sir John Black, commissioned the design of the Razoredge saloon. There has been much discussion over the years as to exactly which designers of that period were responsible for the styling but it is very clear from the records that Sir John drove the production forward and used the Triumph name from the prewar Triumph company that had been bought by the Standard Motor Company.

The body was built by Mulliners of Birmingham in the traditional coachbuilder's method of sheet metal over a wooden frame. The principal panels were constructed not from steel, which was in short supply in the wake of the Second World War, but from aluminium. It had been used extensively for aircraft manufacture during the war, which had taken place in a number of car plants (known at the time as "shadow factories") in the English Midlands. But by the mid-1950s aluminium had become the more expensive metal, which may have hastened the Renown's demise.

Triumph 1800 Town & Country Saloon 1946-49

1948 Triumph 1800 Town and Country
The 1776 cc, 65 bhp (48 kW) engine and the gearbox for the 1800 came from the pre-war Standard Flying Fourteen (also built 1945-1948). The chassis was fabricated from tubular steel and was a lengthened 108 in (2,743 mm) version of the one on the Roadster with which it also shared its transverse leaf spring front suspension. The cars were well fitted out with leather seats and a wooden dashboard.

A total of 4000 were produced. It cost £1425 including purchase tax.

Triumph 2000 TDA 1949

The 2000 Type TDA was only produced for one year and was essentially a Triumph 1800. The front independent suspension used a transverse leaf spring.

The car used the larger 2088 cc four-cylinder engine with single Solex carburettor as fitted to the Standard Vanguard. The engine developed 68 bhp (51 kW) at 4200 rpm. The 3-speed gearbox with column shift also came from the Vanguard and had synchromesh on all the forward ratios. There was independent suspension at the front but a solid axle and half-elliptic leaf springs was at the rear. Lockheed hydraulic brakes with 9 in (229 mm) drums were fitted.

2000 were produced.

Triumph Renown Mk I TDB 1949-52

The car was renamed the Renown in October 1949. It had an entirely new chassis based on the Standard Vanguard with pressed steel sections replacing the tubes previously used. The front suspension changed to coil springing. Although the 3-speed column change transmission was retained, from June 1950 an overdrive unit was offered as an option. Inside there was a new instrument layout.

A Renown tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1950 had a top speed of 75.0 mph (120.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 24.3 seconds. A fuel consumption of 23.9 miles per imperial gallon (11.8 L/100 km; 19.9 mpg) was recorded. The test car cost £991 including taxes.

Of the 6501 produced, fewer than 100 are known to have survived.

Triumph Renown Limousine 1951-54

(188 in 1952; 3 in 1953; 3 in 1954) In 1951 a limousine version was announced with an extra 3in (76mm) in the wheelbase. A division (glass partition) was placed behind the driver separating the front and back of the car. A radio and heater were fitted as standard.

A limousine with overdrive tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 had a top speed of 77.5mph (124.7 km/h) slightly quicker than they had recorded two years earlier for the saloon and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97km/h) in 25.0 seconds. The reported fuel consumption was 21.6 miles per imperial gallon (13.1 L/100 km; 18.0mpg). The test car cost £1440 including taxes.

A total of 190 were made though only very small numbers remain.
1952 Triumph Renown

Triumph Renown Mk II TDC 1952-54

The final version of the Renown used the longer-wheelbase chassis from the limousine. It is easily distinguished from the earlier cars by virtue of the push button door handles and the wider rear window.

Of the 2800 produced, only 150 remain worldwide.

Demise and replacement

There was no direct replacement Triumph saloon following the end of Renown production. A badge-engineered version of the Standard Vanguard Phase III intended to be called the Triumph Renown was built with a version of the upright Triumph radiator grille and the Triumph "world" badges, but shortly before the model's launch in August 1956 it was decided to badge it as the Standard Vanguard Sportsman instead.

Triumph 1800
Triumph 2000 TDA
Triumph Renown
Triumph Renown ca 1954.jpg
Triumph Renown saloon
Standard Motor Company
1946-54. 15,491 made
Body and chassis
Body style
4 door saloon, limousine.
1766 cc or 2088 cc
Straight-4 overhead valve
3-speed manual
108 in (2,743 mm) 1800, 2000 & Renown
111 in (2,819 mm) TDC & limousine
168 in 4,267 mm) 2000
178 in (4,521 mm) Renown
181 in (4,597 mm) TDC & limousine
64 in (1,62 mm)
65 in (1,651 mm)