Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1953 Triumph Mayflower

The seller states that "only a few Mayflowers were imported to the USA". True, but it wasn't for lack of trying. The Mayflower was aimed directly at the US market. It missed the mark. Still, it's an interesting car...

The folks at Triumph noticed that we Americans loved the big luxury cars from Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lagonda, et al. The idea behind the Mayflower was to create a small, relatively affordable, car that looked like one of the big expensive cars. Good idea, maybe, bad execution, definitely.

The body was designed by Leslie Moore, chief body designer of Mulliners (a UK coachbuilder). Moore most likely designed some of Mulliners very impressive bodies, but he did Triumph no favors with the Mayflower. It just looked wrong; sort of like a little person who had done his clothes shopping in the "big and tall" section of the clothing store.

The body (which does have a few fans) had a few neat touches. It's a unibody design, which was not very common in the late 1940s / early 1950s. The trunk is hinged at the bottom and forms a shelf of sorts when opened.

The engine was a 4 cylinder that created 38 HP and the transmission was a 3 speed, with a column mounted shifter. 60 MPH came in around 27 seconds.

This Mayflower is an all original, unrestored car. The seller doesn't leave a lot of information, but, based on the pictures, it looks to be complete and in relatively good condition. At the moment it's not running, but the seller believes that with a tune-up and some fresh gas, it will run.

According to the Standard Catalog of Imported Cars, 1946 - 1990, less then 600 Triumphs in total (Mayflowers and 2000 /Renowns) were sold in the US between 1949 and 1953, making this a very, very rare car.

It may not be the prettiest car ever built, but it would be a huge hit at any British car show.

Located in "North New Jersey", click here to see the Craigslist ad.

3 comments:

Jon said...

While I find the lines of the MG Magnette a bit more attractive, this is a really nice find at a realistic price. The fact that it appears to be an LHD car is a bonus.

On the other hand, I would quickly grow tired of the almost inevitable "Isn't that one of those British taxicabs?" queries that would follow.

Volkswagon Servicing Coventry said...

It was the first small car to be built by Triumph under new owners, the Standard Motor Company. It used a version of the pre-war Standard 10 side-valve engine updated by having an aluminium cylinder head and single Solex carburettor.

Anonymous said...

We brought a black Mayflower back from our US Army station in Germany in the mid-50's and sold it right away for a newer American car when we hit Ft. Maguire NJ. It had red leather seats. Hauled us over the Vosges Mtns of eastern France to Christmas in Garmisch before departing. After sitting out in -25 degrees f. all night it started after just a few hot water bottles wrapped in blankets. Wish I had it now - wonder if this was it???
Carole Clarke
Army Brat