1981 Triumph Acclaim CD 1.3 from UK and Ireland


British Leyland at its best


Nothing so far - although after saying that something is bound to go wrong!

General Comments:

I purchased this car under pressures of time and money. It was advertised with a years MOT, and 6mths tax for £150.

The car is brilliant for its age. Parts are cheap (or free from some scappers who just laugh!). The car performs quite well and runs off unleaded.

The interior is probably the best part of the car. Acres of blue velor fabric. Carpeted doors the lot. It even has electric windows in the front and the back - major pimp value!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th November, 2002

10th Nov 2002, 09:36

These cars are truly amazing. I have a full zentech body kit on mine with sixteen inch TSW Blades. I have also lowered it two inches. If you need to go one stage further I highly recommend dropping a rover 220 turbo engine and transmission in, a fairly straightforward swap, although converting to front wheel drive was real trouble. I enjoy getting laughed at when sitting at traffic lights only to leave them for dust.

13th Sep 2003, 10:46

Only the engine and gearbox units were shipped over from Japan. Other than that the entire car was manufactured and assembled at the Cowley plant by British Leyland. Honda preferred to make the engine and gearbox units themselves, which were excellent and never gave trouble.

30th Sep 2007, 12:56

Errrrr... it's already front wheel drive.

23rd May 2014, 19:25

I'd love to put 220 turbo in mine. Any info on swap and photos? Email me please at A.d.services@outlook.com

1984 Triumph Acclaim HL 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Long live this wonderful car!


Only the kind of things you would expect. So far, I have only replaced two tyres and the rear silencer.

The carburetors tend to run weak, but it is only a case of adjusting the mixture to compensate.

General Comments:

A well engineered compact saloon. The handling is more than reasonable, considering its age, and for a 1300 the performance is very impressive.

I have covered over 7000 miles in four months, and the car has not once let me down.

It's a very economical machine, without too much effort it will exceed 50mpg on the open road. Economy during town driving is also good.

Although they are looking dated now, there is a faint classic look, and the squareness of the car improves the practicality.

Overall, Acclaims are very capable, well equipped (the CD model having air conditioning, electric windows, etc) and generally underrated cars.

I'll keep mine until the inevitable trip to the scrap yard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2001

2nd Jan 2004, 18:26

I agree with the comments that Triumph Acclaims are reliable and basically, the best little car in town. Unfortunately, mine, which I bought new in 1982 was stolen just before New Year's Eve 2003 and I'm really upset. Hopefully it's not just for the breakers, and for someone who appreciates cars.

1981 Triumph Acclaim CD 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Speedy, cheap as chips, and 70's kitsch styling make this a super little car! Buy one now!


Apart from routine items such as brake pads, discs, drums, tires, batteries, and exhaust pipes, nothing major.

Ignition switch needed changing at 120,000 miles.

Rear brake cylinders at 160,000 miles.

Changed the water pump at 170,000 miles.

The engine burns some oil over the last 50,000, but not excessively.

Rust is eventually taking its toll on the wheel arches, boot, and floor.

The final trip to the great scrap yard in the sky may be imminent, but I think that the demolition derby may be more in suiting with this car's character.

General Comments:

A terrific little car which has suffered some terrible abuse.

This car has been all over the United Kingdom, both on and off road, driven through rivers, into the sea, on the beach, and flat out along most of our motorway network.

Only failed to get going once (ignition switch).

Performance is good for this age of car with 75 HP twin carburettor Honda engine and 5 speed gear-box, but is a bit buzzy on the motorway with 100 MPH at 5,000 RPM.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th May, 2001

9th May 2001, 15:24

I hear what you are saying, but the Acclaim has always had an image problem, old men in hats always come to mind...!

17th May 2001, 09:36

Nahhh! Don't believe a word of it! I only think in terms of pure affection for my little Acclaim - the most reliable car I've ever driven and it only cost me £175...The car of choice for 22-year old girls everywhere! (Maybe I can boost its image?!)

19th Aug 2001, 08:08

Hahaha...Maybe it works for you, but mine doesn't seem to attract the girls! I do enjoy beating the little 'boy racer' cars off the lights though. Perhaps I'll impress some girls yet? Hmmm...OK...perhaps not.

4th Jan 2004, 16:25

I run an Acclaim CD for 120k, only changing the ignition black box. I sold it to a friend for £400, who used it for 5 years, still no problems. I saw it in a garage the other day, being filled up, so I asked the owner how it was running - 'no problems at all - still on it's original bulbs - not bad for 146k miles' - I didn't tell him it was 246k miles!

I seem to remember an appetite for exhaust tail boxes.