Being in the automotive journalism scene, over the years of doing this I’ve been able to join a good amount of car groups through social media. Now for me being a massive lover of classic cars, it was only right that my Facebook newsfeed was pretty much covered in classic car groups & their posts. Through these groups, I’ve been able to meet some very good people with equally as good classic cars and make some good mates in the process and recently I have been able to do that. So, with that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to my mate Harley and tell you the story behind his Triumph Herald.
Harley is a 16-year-old lad who has a love for classic cars and just like a lot of classic car enthusiasts when it came to picking his first car he didn’t want a Corsa or a Fiesta, in fact, he had something completely different in mind. Instead of buying any of them, he decided to buy a 1966 Triumph Herald instead. So what is a Triumph Herald you may ask? Well, during the late ’50s Triumph decided to build a replacement for their Standard 10 to compete with both Rover & Riley and the likes.
The Herald was released with 5 body styles. These included a 2-door saloon, a 2-door coupé, a 2-door convertible, a 2-door estate & last but not least their 2-door van known as the courier. Originally powered by a 948cc engine, they were soon updated and powered by a 1147cc unit in 1961 giving the car a massive 39bhp. Compared to the old engine, the newer 1147cc unit had a power increase of a truly incredible 5.5bhp.
As I’ve already mentioned, Harley’s example is a 1966 1200 Saloon and is in incredible condition for a 53-year-old car. With hardly any rust or paint issues to be seen, this Herald has to be one of the cleanest ones going. To keep it being one of the cleanest cars going however hasn’t been an easy task at all, like all cars it has had a lot of work done to it to keep it in tip-top condition. These include new driveshafts, new brakes all round, some snazzy yellow headlamps, a restored interior, a tuned-up engine with a rebuilt carburetor. On top of that, it has had new parts fitted like a new lift pump, fuel lines and last but not least some really rather lovely banded steels with wider tires.
So, as you can already tell, Harley loves this little thing but there might be a question you might be wondering and that is this. Why exactly did Harley go for a Herald and why does he love them so much? Well, simply put, Harley has had a fondness for Heralds ever since he was 13. He knew someone with one and simply fell in love with it and vowed to own one when he was older. His Herald isn’t actually the first one he looked at, see like any other petrol head, it took him quite a bit of time to find the perfect example within budget and with his car, the wait certainly paid off.
Another reason why Harley got the Herald is due to the simple yet innovative mechanical setup. Being a small, low powered car everything is easy to get to and fix and it is even easier to drive and that is no surprise really, with light steering and its small size, it made the Herald such easy to drive.
The only real issue with the early Heralds and other Triumphs of this age was the handling characteristics. See, early Heralds had a tendency to be a handful at high speeds, to overcome this issue, Triumph came out with what they called the “Swing Spring”. This was a “limited” independent rear suspension setup that made the car a whole lot more planted. Thankfully there are many companies that do Swing Spring Conversion Kits to make the earlier examples handle like the later cars for not much money. They also promise easy fitting even from a home mechanic with no bodgery involved.
It’s never easy buying a classic car for your first car simply because there are so many cars for the taking. With so many of them being out of reach it is great to see one you’ve always dreamed of owning still being easy to get into and with the Herald, they are still at a price where they are relatively affordable and really easy to own.
Harley here really fell on his feet with his Herald, it has to be one of the cleanest examples in the country and even with the modifications done to it thus far, it’s not been ruined or distastefully modified. On top of all that, it has been really looked after well both by Harley and its previous owners. This is a car to be proud of and with Harley working on it, I can see this Herald being something even more special than how it currently is.
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson