Coventry’s Triumph Cycle Co. was founded in 1890 on the initiative of two Germans, Siegfried Bettmann and Mauritz Schulte, who later also opened a subsidiary in Nuremberg which remained attached to the main company until 1929. The British company took care of the bicycles for a decade and it was not until 1902 that the manufacture of motorcycles began, with rapid and growing success, which gave the Triumph international fame.
With the exception of an ephemeral 3-wheeled vehicle that appeared in 1903, Triumph did not begin to think seriously about automobile construction until 20 years later. The first models date back to 1923. The TLC and TLS were conventional cars equipped with a 4-cylinder engine with side valves of 1,393 ce, designed by the well-known British technician Ricardo. Other features were the detachable cylinder head, magneto ignition, forced lubrication, separately mounted 4-speed gearbox and conical torque transmission. More interesting, although of little commercial success, was the model TCP 1.9 1 of 1925 (2.2 l the following year), the first British car series with hydraulic brakes Lockheed, but still with outer shoes.
The first sporting successes
The Triumphs of that time also had some sporting successes, especially in rallies: two victories in the Glacier Cup and the prize for teams for cars up to 1,100 ce in the 1934 Alpine Rally, and the Glacier Cup and the Rally of Wales in 1936. However, the Coventry brand was going through a difficult period from a financial point of view, so much so that production decreased: no more than 1,750 units in 1935 and even fewer in 1936. The ambitious Dolomite sports car, designed by Healey in 1934, did nothing to improve the situation, quite the opposite. Derived from Vittorio Jano’s Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, the Dolomite had an 8-cylinder bi-block engine in line, with double overhead camshafts and a 140 hp compressor with a 2-l displacement. Other features included dual-circuit hydraulic brakes and Wilson 4-speed preselector gearbox. Its speed of 300 km/h and its price of 1,135 pounds meant that only a few copies were built for some enthusiastic amateurs.
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