Some early TR2s were immediately re-sprayed by their owners, changing effeminate colors like Olive Yellow and Geranium to more traditional ones like British Racing Green

The post-war Standard-Triumph company, like most manufacturers of the period, found strong demand for its products. Exports were critical to the survival of the English auto industry and Triumph knew that returning American GIs had developed a taste for British sports cars, so plans were made for a new line.
With the introduction of the TR2 in 1953, America's love affair with the British sports car began in earnest, as the new model offered British motoring, with all its grandeur and heritage, at a relative bargain.
The TR2 Roadster offered here is absolutely beautiful and in seemingly better-than-new condition. The subject of a complete nut-and-bolt restoration less than six months ago, it has traveled only break-in miles since completion.
We understand that it runs, drives and operates as expected, and is a true pleasure to take out on the open road. The engine bay appears very tidy, as does the underbody, interior and trunk. This numbers-matching Triumph is complete with all factory options, and includes a telescoping steering wheel, overdrive and an original tool pouch. Truly one of the nicest TR2 roadsters, this car warrants close inspection.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1955 Triumph TR2
Years Produced:1953-1955
Number Produced:8,628
Original List Price:$2,345
SCM Valuation:$15,000-$25,000
Tune Up Cost:$450
Distributor Caps:$35
Chassis Number Location:plate riveted to bulkhead in engine compartment
Engine Number Location:stamped on left side of block to right of coil mounting
Club Info:Vintage Triumph Register, P.O. Box 655, Howell, MI 48844
Alternatives:1953-1956 Austin-Healey 100-4, 1955-1959 MGA, 1953-1954 Chevrolet Corvette
Investment Grade:B

This 1955 TR2 Roadster sold for $25,300 at the RM Monterey auction, held August 13-14, 2004.
Standard-Triumph introduced the TR2 at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1953, a new sports car powered by its tried-and-true Vanguard four-cylinder (also used in Ferguson tractors). Displacement was reduced to 1991 cc, mainly to allow the TR2 to sneak under the 2-liter class limit for competition. It did well on the track, with early versions placing first in the 1954 RAC rally and 15th overall at Le Mans the same year-not bad for a nearly standard specification production car.
The TR2 also did well in the showrooms, and the factory had a hard time meeting demand at first. It wasn’t until early 1954 that it managed to crank up production. Besides expected teething woes, Standard-Triumph did a poor job choosing colors for its new sports car. Some early TR2s were immediately re-sprayed by their owners, changing effeminate colors like Olive Yellow and Geranium (a muddy pink) to more traditional sports car shades like British Racing Green.
Regardless of hue, the TR2 was no slouch by contemporary performance standards. In the spring of 1953, legendary test driver and engineer Ken Richardson of BRM piloted an aerodynamically modified TR2 prototype down the Jabbeke Highway in Belgium, doing 124 mph in a flying mile. He then turned 114 mph with full weather equipment in place. Production TR2s were tested by automotive writers up to 107 mph, and returned 30 mpg.
The TR2’s cast iron block and head is of the pushrod, cam-in-block design, fed by a pair of attractive 1-1/2-inch SU H4 carburetors. Its 90-hp output is delivered to the 3.7:1 rear axle via a four-speed gearbox with non-synchro first gear. An extremely desirable option, with which the car pictured here is equipped, is a Laycock electric overdrive, offering a 22-percent reduction on second, third and top gear. Imagine having seven forward gears available in your new Triumph at about the same time Chevrolet was stuffing two-speed Powerglides into Corvettes.
The first batch of TR2 models, up to S/N TS4002, were “long-door” models, with the outer door skin extending to the bottom of the outer sill. Bowing to a barrage of American complaints of “curb rash,” subsequent TR2 models had their doors shortened about four inches, with a modified outer sill to allow the doors to be opened fully when parked curbside.
Triumphs were not equipped with exterior door handles-or even locks-until the TR3A model was introduced in 1958. This makes it necessary for the driver to unzip an aperture in the curtain to reach through and fumble for a pull cord when the detachable side curtains are in place and the top is up. Hardly convenient or practical in today’s day and age, but at least locks were standard equipment on the boot lids.
All early TR models are prone to overheating, as their cooling systems were limited to a seven-quart capacity, assisted only slightly by a small four-blade fan. Constant airflow through the small grille opening is necessary, and urban gridlock or hot weather can be deadly unless the car’s cooling system has been modified or an auxiliary fan fitted. TRs are, however, extremely robust and durable, and many continue to operate faithfully even after prolonged abuse and neglect. Mechanical and interior trim components are readily available, although sheetmetal parts can be scarce.
Triumph engine numbers do not match chassis numbers, and they are not listed on the bulkhead plate, as on a Jaguar. Engine numbers are generally 100 to 300 numbers higher than the chassis number, as more engines were produced than cars. At times, engines and other components were pulled from cars on the line for various defects, repaired and then reinserted into the line, further muddying the issue.
If you’re looking for a vintage Triumph or other English car, and want to know if the engine is original to the car, there’s only one place to go: the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in Gaydon, England ( For a small fee, it will provide this information, although only to the titled owner. Obviously, anyone thinking of selling their English car would be wise to order one now.
Our subject car’s serial number decodes as follows: TS for “Triumph Sports,” chassis #7134, “L” for left hand drive configuration, “O” for being factory equipped with optional overdrive. The catalog description states the subject TR2 Roadster is “complete with all factory options,” but this may be a bit of hyperbole, as over 50 optional extras and accessories were available. These ranged from Alfin brake drums to swiveling ashtrays.
This car is, however, equipped with two of the three most requested options that owners and potential buyers want today, which are wire wheels and overdrive. The third is a factory steel hardtop, a rare item these days.
While the $25,300 paid here is at the high end of the current SCM Price Guide, this car should be considered well bought. We’ve seen TR2s appreciating at double-digit rates over the past two years, and for this desirable car, one that has been subjected to a correct nut-and-bolt restoration, and with most of the desirable equipment, this was a more-than-fair price. The new owner can look forward to many years of enjoyment, and if he’s lucky, rising prices will help offset whatever wear and tear he subjects his new toy to.
(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)u

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