Triumph Herald Review from Finland

1967 Triumph Herald 1200 Saloon 1.147cc (51 bhp version)

Year of manufacture1967
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.147cc (51 bhp version) Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 kilometres
Most recent distance85000 kilometres

Summary:

Can be easily converted to a convertible. Great car to drive on summer holidays!

Faults:

Master brake cylinder broke during driving. Didn't result in an accident though. Understandable malfunction, since probably the seals haven't been changed ever.

LUCAS AC generator burned its coils. The generator wasn't the original one. Original generator was a DC generator, which was replaced because of its poor performance.

Transmission leaks oil. Engine leaks coolant and oil, not much though. Typical English feature, nothing to worry about.

Clutch system started leaking half a year ago. A month ago it leaked itself dry during one week, even though the car stood still in the garage! I've thought of replacing all seals in both master and slave cylinders. It should fix the problem.

General Comments:

Generally reliable (faults as listed above are results of lack of maintenance).

Part are surprisingly easily obtained, even here in Finland, and they really don't cost much.

Maintenance and repairs are easy to perform, thanks to much left-over space beneath the hood, which by-the-way opens the "wrong" direction WITH the wheel arches.

Warning: even though my car has been running without any major problems, the big end bearings tend to wear out in these cars. My car has had its engine restored 15 years and about 15000 km (10000 miles) ago, so that tells the reason why it runs without any problems.

All in all, the engine is almost perfectly designed: lots of low RPM torque, easily maintainable and renewable, simple design. And parts are still available.

The car has an astonishing 7,6 or 7,7 meter turning circle and no power-steering. Still, even I can operate the car (and I ain't no Hulk Hogan). The rear innermost wheel tends to tuck under the car while cornering. Since I don't have tendency to drive on the limits, that's not a problem.

Herald saloons (sedans) can be easily modified for individual need. Converting your saloon into a convertible isn't a problem. It can be done in a quarter of an hour and without cutters. Refitting is also possible with no irreversible damage done. I have my "sedan" refitted with a canvas cover.

Heralds suit even for taller men. I'm over 190 cm, and I haven't got a slightest problem, but after adjusting the seat, there just isn't room for the legs on the back seat.

Top speed is about 135 km/h (84 mph) with engine over-revving at about 5500 rpm. Needless to say, one should drive this classic British "sports" car over 60 mph.

Driving this car has been a great pleasure. Even while traveling longer distances at an average speed of 40 mph, I've never got bored. Neither have the passengers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th November, 2002

29th Apr 2006, 09:26

With regards to converting a Triumph Herald saloon into a 'topless' model, while its true that the top can be removed very quickly by simply undoing a few bolts, it must be remembered that much of the strength of the car comes from the roof. To avoid the car breaking her back a lot of work needs to be carried out to ensure the rigidity and safety of the vehicle.

22nd Sep 2006, 07:51

The strength from a herald is in its chassis - not its roof!

19th Jul 2010, 18:16

One of the first cars I owned back in 1979 was a 1967 F reg dark blue 1200. What a car. I had trained as a mechanic and just loved sitting on the front wheel inside the bonnet area.

The engine was sweet and revvy and I just loved the sound as you went through the gears. Had to use the spare petrol tank reserve on two occasions... what a bad driver I was, as my Dad told me.

I'm sorry to say I fitted a rack of 3 none wired up gauges underneath the dash for show.. never mind, people have done worse.

Sold it to my best friend, only for a drunk driver to rear end it at 3am when park outside the house. God bless; at least it died quick.

Chris.

24th Mar 2013, 08:59

The Herald has a chassis; no additional strengthening should be required when removing the roof. Anti burst door catches may want to be installed, to prevent the doors opening when cornering though.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 1 review