An iconic Triumph TR2 prototype that broke a land speed record in 1953 has seen its future secured thanks to a £250,000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund grant (NHMF). The funds enabled the British Motor Museum to acquire the unique sports car, registered MVC 575, before unveiling it with a press launch on March 10.
In May 1953, during speed trials at Jabbeke in Belgium, the TR2 reached a speed of 124.783mph, setting a record for a sub-2-litre production car. The invaluable publicity Standard-Triumph gained from the achievement led to the Triumph TR label becoming a household name across the world.
In 2015, the vehicle was purchased by TR Register member Glen Hewitt, whose Protek Engineering firm in Wallingford undertook an incredible restoration lasting just under two years. As an important piece of the UK’s motor history, it will now be displayed at the Gaydon venue where visitors can enjoy and learn more about it.
René Olivieri, Interim Chair of The National Heritage Memorial Fund, said: “This is a truly triumphant day. A beacon of the UK’s pioneering motoring industry in its heyday, this Triumph TR2 prototype is a very important piece of our industrial and social heritage. At the National Heritage Memorial Fund we felt it was imperative to save it for the nation, for future generations to enjoy.”
Stephen Laing, Head of Collections at British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, said: “The Jabbeke TR2 record car is a perfect example of the lengths that motor manufacturers were going to, in order to restore their markets and promote their products in the post-war years. It was also the first in a long line of modern models for a revived Triumph brand, now one of the most popular sports car names around the world. We are delighted that the NHMF has generously enabled the British Motor Museum to purchase a car that complements its collection and the story of the motor industry so well.”
The TR2 is now display at the museum along with over 300 further cars.