Triumph In South Africa

Over the past two weeks I have had the pleasure of exchanging emails with Darryl Hurter, a Triumph enthusiast from South Africa.  Darryl has been sending me photos of his car and of other Triumph cars in South Africa.  Some of these photos are shown in this post.

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Darryl Hurter’s Triumph TR3

The picture below shows Darryl in a driving skill competition where the cars traverse a course outlined by cones in as fast a time as possible without spilling a ball placed on top of the hood.  The ball is on the yellow bowl on the hood.

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Darryl Hurter Driving His TR3 In A Driving Skills Competition

One of the local Triumph TR 2 cars has been modified to pay tribute to the Jabbeke-Triumph speed run car in 1953.  This Jabbeke-Triumph tribute car is shown below.

A Triumph TR2 Inspired By The Jabbeke-Triumph Speed Run Car

In 1953 the management at Standard Motor Company gave order for the Triumph TR2 to break the speed record for the 2 -liter engine for production cars. At that time the record holder was a Sunbeam Alpine at 120.459 mph set by Stirling Moss.  The other Rootes Group rally driver, Shield Van Damm had driven the Sunbeam Alpine to 120.135 miles per hour in March 1953.  At that time is was common for European car makers to use a stretch of public highway near Jabbeke in Belgium.   In addition to the aforementioned Sunbeam Alpine runs, Jaguar had done some early, well publicized high-speed tests with the XK120 at Jabbeke.

Jabbeke Triumph Run

Finish Of The Triumph Jabbeke Speed Test

Ken Richardson, an experienced test driver and contributor to the development of the Triumph TR2 undertook the challenge of breaking the record with just some changes to the aerodynamics of TR2.  For speed trim Richardson added a metal tonneau cover, an undershield (belly pan), fender skirts, and fitted a simple plastic windscreen.  On May 20th, 1953 Triumph made their speed run at Jabbeke. On the first run, the TR2 was only able to achieve a speed of 104.86 mph. After investigation found that the engine was running only on 3 cylinders . Once a spark plug lead that had become loose was replaced a new attempt was made and the car achieved a speed of 124.889 mph for the flying kilometer.

Jabbeke Triumph Car Photo

Ken Richardson In The Triumph TR2 Jabbeke Car From Graham Robson’s Book “The Triumph TRs”

Later that day Richardson took the same car, but with the standard windscreen fitted, but still with the underscreen and fender skirts and ran a flying kilometer at 114.890 mph. After this record and a follow-up publicity campaign, interest in the Triumph TR2 was firmly established. Other valuable racing laurels followed, including Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and an outright win on the 1954 RAC Rally. Also the Triumph TR2 was very successful in rallies like the Alpine Rally and the Monte Carlo Rally.

Jabbeke Standard Triumph Car

The Same Triumph TR2 In Standard Trim Doing Its Run At Jabbeke From Graham Robson’s Book “The Works Triumphs”

In addition to pictures of his own car, Darryl sent me a picture of a TR3 owned by Alan Grant.  This TR3 looks great with the small wind deflectors in place of the standard windscreen.

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Alan Grant’s TR3

In addition to the Triumph TR3 Darryl Hurter also has a 1974 Triumph Chicane which is a car that was not imported into the USA.   The name Chicane was used by Triumph in South Africa, but was widely known elsewhere in the world as the Triumph 2.5 PI (petrol injection). This sports sedan came with a 2.5 liter straight 6-cylinder engine and a 4-speed manual transmission.  Factory-entered Triumph 2.5 PIs, driven by Brian Culcheth and Paddy Hopkirk, finished 2nd and 4th Overall, respectfully in the 1970 World Cup Rally.

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Darryl’s TR3 Along With His 1974 Triumph Chicane

In addition to his Triumphs, Darryl Hurter is also involved in some off-road driving in his Nissan 4WD crew-cab pickup truck.

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Check Out The Sign!

It is always interesting to find out what other “car people” are doing around the world.

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