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Triumph Herald

Triumph Herald Published: 3rd Jan 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph Herald
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Admired for their 1950’s simplicity and style and ease of DIY maintenance, Heralds make excellent and inexpensive starter classics that are a cinch to maintain with a broad choice of models which include saloons, convertibles, coupés, estates and even a rare van, called Courier.


A mix of good and bad here. Unusually, for a cheap family car, the steering column is adjustable, as are the seats, for height and rake so you can get comfortable although the significantly offset pedals (as on all Herald-derived designs) irritate until you get used to them. The Triumph’s handling has always been a contentious issue – more so with tuned models, but, in fairness, modern radial tyres help a great deal and there’s plenty of aftermarket mods around to improve matters. In terms of performance, the 13/60 is the best and, thanks to its Spitfire-like eight port cylinder head, is about as brisk as the original Vitesse 1600. Overdrive, again taken from the Spitfire makes any Herald an, economical tourer, too and easily DIY fitted.


The 1200 and 13/60s are the most plentiful and there’s a fair selection of saloons and estates that are good value although most Vitesses are similarly priced so don’t overlook one during your search. Convertibles hold their values best and £8000 for top cars will be the norm over the next few years. Really good saloons are only £4000, the coupés perhaps worth a grand more (why not fit a sunroof for best of both worlds?). We understand that estates, and especially the (Courier) vans, command high values. If you find the ultra-rare Jack Brabham-converted models, converted with the Lotus Elite engine, you may have to pay what the seller wants…


1959 Initially a two-door saloon powered by Standard’s 948cc engine and a single carburettor or the two-door coupe with an extra carb and racier camshaft

1960 A convertible is added to the range in March, June, sees coupé roof re-designed to include ribbed C-pillars

1961 Standardised enlarged 1147cc engine fitted. Cosmetic changes include white bumpers and a wooden dash. An estate is added to the mix in May

1962 Courier van, is offered from February. Vitesse chassis incorporated into the Herald

1963 The sporty 12/50 with front disc brakes and a folding sunroof, along with a more powerful Spitfire engine

1967 Herald 13/60 gets Vitesse look, engine stretched to 1296cc to create the 13/60 but 1200 saloon continues

Best models


Last of the line, it has a perkier 1296cc engine along with a better interior and Vitesse-styling although suspension is left untouched


Reckoned the best of the Herald herd care of 51bhp twin carb Spitfire engine, fabric sunroof and front disc brakes as standard


Can be worth 50 per cent more over the saloon, they make classy sunseekers – watch for saloon conversions that aren’t done too well

Top five faults


It’s not unknown to see a Herald converted into a Vitesse but has to be done properly. Also you can often find saloons made into convertibles. Indu e course a standard Herald will become a rarity.


Chassis rots badly; rails, suspension pickup points (especially the rear) and outriggers chiefly although parts replacements are available as are complete new frames – a real bonus if already fitted.


The main foible with most Triumph engines is excessive crankshaft end float. Check for movement at the crank pulley as an aid works the clutch pedal. Repair work usually means an engine strip down. Not a quiet engine but shouldn’t be excessive.

Running gear

At the front, trunnions can seize and even result in a wheel falling off! In the same area, check the wishbone bushes for play using a prybar.

Rear suspension

Check for weak dampers and worn transverse springs, which may have been updated over the years. Duff u/js lead to vibrations and the geometry is quite sensitive to ‘toe out’ setting.

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