Triumph Race, Sports & GT Cars

Post-War to 1959

1955 Triumph TR2 (1955 Le Mans): Hoping to capitalize on the previous years results of a private TR2, Standard-Triumph entered a full team of three factory supported cars at Le Mans in 1955. All three had stock TR2 2.0L 4-cylinder engines, but the factory had added front disc brakes and increased the size of the carburetors to give it slightly more horsepower. Le Mans was also a test bed for these improvements which would be introduced on the new TR3 model in the fall. This car driven by Ninian Sanderson and Bob Dickson finished 14th overall and 5th in class behind the Bristol 405's and the Frazer Nash Sebring. Sanderson would win Le Mans in 1956 driving the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar and finish 2nd in 1957, again driving a Ecosse Jaguar.
Model by SPARK 1/43
1955 Triumph TR2 (1955 Le Mans): Ken Richardson and Bert Hadley drove a flawless race at Le Mans in 1955, finishing in 15th position overall behind their Standard-Triumph teammates. The work's TR2's had been very successful in European rallying, along with the Mille Miglia and Ulster TT. Standard acquired Triumph in 1945, but didn't unveil a car bearing the Triumph name until the London Motor Show in 1953. Production of the TR2 began the following year, terminating in autumn 1955, yielding to the TR3. Triumph proved the TR2's ability on the Belgian Jabbeke Highway, where a streamlined version achieved 124 mph. In 1955 Le Mans trim, the TR2 could hit 120 mph on the Mulsanne Straight. The success in Belgium and at Le Mans helped Triumph sell engines to smaller manufacturers like Morgan, Peerless, Swallow and Doretti.
Model by SPARK 1/43
1955 Triumph TR2 (1955 Le Mans): Seventy cars competed for the sixty grid positions at Le Mans in 1955. Originally consigned to be a reserve car, this Triumph works entry was elevated to race status when not all sixty cars arrived at Le Mans. Driven by Leslie Brooke and Mort Morris-Goodall, the car eventually finished in 19th position, but was not classified because it had failed to cover the minimum required distance in the race. Brooke spent a couple of hours digging the car out of the sand trap at Tetra Rouge a delay that cost them 29 laps. Triumph built four Le Mans specification cars. In addition to the three cars at Le Mans, Triumph also built a fourth Le Mans specification car which was the test mule for the team; but was not brought to France.
Model by SPARK 1/43
1955 Triumph Factory Team at Le Mans
1960 Triumph TRS (1960 Le Mans): Triumph built four TRS prototypes for Le Mans in 1960, using a modified TR3S chassis and all fiberglass bodies which resembled the TR4 which was due to be introduced in 1961. Powered by a new 2.0L twin-cam four-cylinder "Sabrina" engine producing 150 hp, Triumph hoped to battle Porsche for the 2.0L class title at Le Mans. Triumph entered three cars for the 1960 race and this car (Ch. #X654) was driven by Keith Ballisat and Marcel Becquart. The Triumph team would struggle all race long with various troubles and none of the three cars were classified, not having completed the minimum required distance. Had they done some, Ballisat and Becquart would have finished 15th or higher. The next year at Le Mans was better for Triumph, all three cars being placed and Triumph winning the Team Prize and this car finished 9th overall.
Model by SPARK 1/43
1961 Triumph Herald 1200: The Herald was introduced in 1959 and over 300,000 were sold before production ceased in 1971. Powered by a 1147cc OHV four cylinder producing 39 hp. The Herald is a plucky little touring car, with the heart of a sports car. A smart chap would have one of these over a Morris 1000.
Model by DINKY 1/43
1962 Triumph TR4: Driven to 1st in class and 4th overall on the 1962 Alpine Rally by Mike Sutcliffe and Roy Fidler. Fitted with a 2.2L four-cylinder engines the Triumph team finished 1, 2 and 3 in the under 2.5L class. Sutcliffe and Fidler won a coveted 'Coupe des Alpes" for an unpenalized run during the rally.
Model by VANGUARDS 1/43
1964 Triumph Spitfire: Standard Triumph entered a team of three Spitfires at Le Mans in 1964. This car was driven by Michael Rotschild and Bob Tullius and was classified 52nd at the finish due to an accident in the 3rd hour. The cars were entered in the Prototype class because of their aluminum bodies and alloy haed on the 1.2L engine, among other brake, suspension and transmission upgrades. Despite being handicapped by its small engine displacement, one team car finished 3rd in class. Twenty years later, Tullius would return to Le Mans with his Group 44 team and their Jaguar XJR-5.
Model by SPARK 1/43

1965 Triumph TR4A IRS: The TR4A was built between 1965 and 1968. Updated with a new chassis, the TR4A had the option of live axle or indpendent rear suspension (IRS). These cars took 1-2-3 in class at Sebring in 1966. Group 44 successfully campaigned one of these cars in the 1966-67 seasons, just failing to win a National SCCA Championship in D Production. It gave way to the TR250 in 1968. We enjoy watching TR4's running in vintage racing today.
Model by DINKY 1/43 (modified)
1968 Triumph 250/TR5: BoB Tullius successfully campaigned this car in 1968, wining multiple races against more powerful and faster competition. Tullius and the TR250 were prominantly featured in Triumph advertising at the time. An important car in the Group 44 story!
Model by K&R Replicas 1/43 (modified)

1970 Triumph GT6: Bob Tullius' Virginia based Group 44 was a major factor in SCCA racing in late 1960's and early 70's. They claimed several national class championships, including the 1969 E Production championship in a GT6. These 2.0L straight-six cars were coupe versions of the Spitfire, with the larger engine. In 1970 Tullius put his GT6 on the pole for another SCCA championship at Daytona, however the car retired while leading the race.
Model by VITESSE (conversion) 1/43

1971 Triumph TR6: Before the Jaguars, Bob Tullius made a name for himself racing Triumphs. The TR6 replaced the TR5/TR250 that Tullius had raced and made it to the SCCA National Championships in 1972-1975. It was National Champion in D Production in 1975. In 1976 it was sold to Paul Newman who won the National Championship that year as well. Powered by a 2.5L straight-six, producing 230 hp, 125 hp more than a stock TR6!
Model by SOLIDO 1/43

1975 Triumph Dolomite Sprint: Triumph launched the Dolomite in 1972 as a replacement to the Vitesse and to keep a sporting saloon in their line-up and Dolomite's were in production until 1980. In 1973, Triumph introduced the Dolomite Sprint, which featured a larger 2.0L OHC four-cylinder engine with 16 valves, compared to the stock Dolomite's 1.8L engine. It was the first 16-valve production car in the world. Pumping out 127 bhp initially, that figure was raised to 200 bhp by the time the car was last competitively race in 1978. Broadspeed took on development of the Dolomite in 1974 and with Andy Rouse and Tony Dron driving, secured the BTCC Manufactures title for British Leyland. Broadspeed focusing on the Jaguar XJ12C in 1975 ETCC racing, this Dolomite was campaigned by Triumph Team Piranha with Andy Rouse driving. Rouse won the BTCC Drivers Championship, winning six rounds and finish second twice.
Model by ATLAS 1/43
1979 Triumph TR8:  In 1979 British Leyland backed the Group 44 team in its development and racing program with the Triumph TR8. Bob Tullius realized the potential of the lightweight, aerodynamic V8 powered TR8 and proved that it was a race winner. In its debut race at the Watkins Glen 6 Hour the TR8 dominated the class against the Corvettes and Camaros and finished 1st in class and 7th overall. It was so successful in SCCA competition that the SCCA continued to give the TR8 added weight penalties. Tullius took the TR8 to the IMSA series where it finished 1st in class and 6th overall at the Sebring 12 Hours. The TR8 continued to dominate the GTO class over the Chevrolet Corvettes and Porsche RSR’s placing second in the IMSA GTO championship. The British Leyland factory backed Group 44 team is one of the most recognizable in motorsports having gone on to race in the GTP category with the Jaguar powered GTP cars. The Triumph TR8 was one of the most successful SCCA and IMSA production based racing cars built. With 8 class wins in the 1979-1980 seasons and second place in the 1980 IMSA GTO points championship.
RPM 1/43


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