Triumph Herald

Hark... the Herald angels

 Kim Henson guides us through the buying process

Built: 950: 1959-62 • 1200: 1961-70 • 12/50: 1962-67 • 13/60: 1967-71
Bodywork: Two door saloon, coupé, estate, convertible, 'Courier' van
Engine: Overhead valve, in-line four cylinder. • 950: 948cc; Single carburettor, 34.5 bhp;
twin carburettor, 42.4 bhp • 1200: 1147cc, 39 bhp (48 bhp from Nov 1964) • 12/50:
1147cc, 51 bhp • 13/60: 1296cc, 61 bhp
0-60 mph: 950: Single carb, 28 sec; twin
carb, 22 sec; 1200: 24 sec (20 sec from Nov 1964) • 12/50: 19 sec • 13/60: 18 sec
Top speed: 950: Single carburettor, 70+ mph; twin carburettor, 80 mph • 1200: 75 mph
(80+ mph from Nov 1964) • 12/50: 80+
mph • 13/60: 85 mph
Typical fuel consumption: 35-40+ mpg

Rough, £300. Good, £1,000+. Top Notch,
Rough, £1,000. Good, £2,000. Top Notch,
Rough, £700+. Good, £1,200+. Top Notch, £2,500+

Neglected Heralds are often ailing in terms of the front suspension (due to lack of regular lubrication) and drivetrain woes which can include worn universal joints (listen for clicking sounds).

A very major plus point with all versions is the unrivalled access to the engine, steering gear and front suspension, courtesy of the forward-tipping bonnet/wing assembly, which tilts as a unit; this is a great help during maintenance/repair work.

Prices for most versions are still affordable, although convertibles in particular can command higher figures (as can the Courier vans). The Heralds are inexpensive to run; fuel consumption is typically between 35 and 45 miles per gallon, and spares are widely available at reasonable prices, from a number of specialists.

The club scene is very active. Organisations worth contacting include:
• Club Triumph. Tel. 01425 274193.
• Triumph Sports Six Club. Tel. 01858 434424.
• Triumph Herald – online community for Herald enthusiasts.

*Values estimated at February 2008.

MAKING its debut in 1959, the Triumph Herald was a new compact, stylishly angular car from the Standard-Triumph concern, and effectively replaced the Standard Eights and Tens of the 1950s.

The newcomer was unusual for a car of its time in featuring a separate chassis frame, but this made easier the provision of a wide range of differing body styles on the same basic platform.

Asking prices start at around £100 for a restoration case (which will almost certainly need much time and monThe Heralds were sold in two-door saloon, two-door fixed head coupé, convertible, estate and Courier van versions. The cars incorporated styling by Giovanni Michelotti, with engineering by Harry Webster and his team.

Power was originally from the 948cc engine already proven in the Standard Tens of the 1950s, and this unit was developed through the years into 1147cc and 1296cc forms.

Advanced features for a family vehicle of 1959 were all-independent suspension plus rack and pinion steering (endowing a very tight turning circle).

Rare today are the Coupé and Courier van versions. The Herald convertibles have always been appreciated for their affordable blend of four seater practicality and open top motoring.

The 12/50 saloons, with twin carburettors and standard-fit sun roof, are enjoyable versions too. From October 1967 the new Herald 13/60 was fitted with a more powerful 1296cc engine, and this model featured a revised interior, plus a bonnet similar to that of the six cylinder Vitesse (but with just two headlamps, rather than four).

The interiors of all Heralds were finished to a high standard compared with many rivals of their time. Boot space is especially impressive for a car of modest overall dimensions.

Advanced corrosion in the chassis and body can be difficult to rectify – although the construction of the vehicle around a separate chassis frame can make do-it-yourself restoration an easier proposition than for contemporary chassisless rivals. All the same, removing (and re-fitting) the body shell for major restoration work to be carried out is a huge job.

Check the chassis frame for accident damage and for rust – everywhere, but especially in the outriggers and side rails, along the main longitudinal members and rear extension pieces, and around all the suspension mountings.

The bodywork can rust around the main front bulkhead, in the front wing/bonnet assembly, along the lower edges of the doors and rear wings, in the front and rear valance panels, in the main floor pans plus the boot floor, and around the wheel arch lips.

Check that the panel gaps are all approximately even, and that the bonnet opens and closes easily (if not, at some time the car may have been involved in an accident).

Ensure that the engine sounds sweet, also that it does not emit excessive amounts of blue smoke (indicating piston ring/cylinder bore wear), and does not rattle from the bottom end (crankshaft/bearing troubles).

Check that the gearbox is not noisy, that synchromesh action is effective and that the gearchange is positive in action (if not it may be just the linkage which requires attention).


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