The 1946 Triumph 1800 / 2000 Roadster was an interesting car to look at, but it also had a fascinating story behind it. Sir John Black, the owner of Standard, wanted to start a new car company, Triumph, that he styled as a luxury counterpart to the more mundane Standard. The fact is that he had wanted to buy Jaguar, but had been rejected, and he decided that he would just show Jaguar boss William Lyon who’s, well… boss. The result was the 1946 Triumph 1800 Roadster; it featured an interesting styling, clumsily patterned after the pre-war Jaguars.
It’s more appealing feature was the fact that it could comfortably seat five, with 3 in the front seat and two … in the trunk. Come one, look at the picture. It sure looks like a nice, comfortable … trunk, right? It even had an extra windshield for the unfortunate ones riding in the … trunk. I know it’s a rumble-seat. From here, it looks like… the trunk. The spare tire’s in there.
Anyways, that wasn’t the problem. Apparently, people in those days didn’t mind riding in the … trunk. The problem was the engine. Even with the upgrade to a 2-liter engine, up from the 1.8, the Roadster was a big, lumbering beast that struggled under all its finery. It could achieve a top speed of 77 miles per hour, and breathlessly reach 60 miles per hour in a very, very tired 25 seconds.
All told, no more than 4,500 of the 1946 Triumph 1800/2000 Roadster were built; it just didn’t click with the public, although it allowed the company to go on to greater things.