The Supercharged Triumph Seven
A fascinating little car with an astonishing performance. AS a general rule cars of the ” baby ” variety leave the writer in a bad temper after a run, owing to the fact that most manufacturers seem to forget that small cars are not always driven by small people. It was therefore a very pleasant surprise to get into the
• Triumph which was kindly lent us for a week end by Morgan Hastings, Ltd., and find that we had plenty of room. The body of this attractive little car is not designed for appearance only—good though that certainly is—but the comfort is an outstanding feature. Gone are the days when a sports car meant an uncomfortable car. In these times of pneumatic upholstery and spring steering wheels, the driver is well catered for, and in the Triumph no opportunity is lost in making the car. one which we cannot help wanting to “keep on driving.”
On taking over the car we were informed that the supercharger (a Cozette) was a little noisier than usual, but we must say that it was a great deal quieter than we expected. True, when ticking over there was a slight rattle from the blower drive but once under way at ordinary cruising speeds of about 50 m.p.h., one would hardly have been reminded that the car had a blower at all. At or near full revs, however, the familiar whine which gladdens the heart of the enthusiast becomes manifest, and the Triumph is a glutton for revs, of which more anon.
The car we took over had had a shave taken off the cylinder head, by way of experiment, but we think this rather savours of ” guilding the lily” when a blower is fitted, and a fair proportion of pure benzol had to be used to avoid pinking at high speeds. The temptation to “hot up” such a promising little engine must be great, but perhaps this is one of those occasions where the makers know best. After a day of short runs using the Triumph more or less as a hack, we found the driving of it so fascinating that we decided to take it over a really twisty and hilly route and see what we could do with it. It proved to have a pleasant cruising speed on about half throttle of 55-60 m.p.h. and so smooth was the engine and so good the road holding and cornering, that we feared another case of an optimistic speedometer. However this suspicion was soon dispelled when we covered eight
miles of fairly twisting road in nine and a half minutes, without ever using full throttle on the level. Not a bad effort for 847 c.c., and all perfectly safe touring at that.
A factor which contributes to the remarkable averages possible without effort on this car, is the amazing power of the brakes, and at the end of our test we found that from 40 m.p.h. the car could be brought to rest in a perfectly straight line in 18 yards.
Really high revs.
Quite early we got some idea of the revving capabilities of the engine when indulging in a scrap with two supposedly fast saloons which were also racing each other in rather a clumsy manner. Thinking we should be safer in front we changed down on approaching a slight rise and keeping the loud pedal firmly on the floor, slipped by comfortably, and noticed on changing up that we had achieved 53 m.p.h. in second gear. Later we repeated this performance several times and once reached 55 m.p.h. on this gear of 8.4 to 1, giving an engine speed of 6 300 r.p.m. On second thoughts r.p.m. should read R.P.M. in this case ! Throughout the whole range of engine speed there is not a tremor of any kind, and no doubt the sturdy 3-bearing crankshaft has a lot to do with this. There is power with the revs, too, for -hills of the 1 in 10 or steeper variety can be taken at 45 m.p.h. in second, and when in a hurry this is quite a good speed at which to change up, and here we come to the one feature in which the Triumph fails.
The ratios are wide and the clutch member rather heavy for the size of car, thus changing up means” waiting for it,” unless one crashes in the gears, and the whole of the rest of the car exudes such an atmosphere of refinement that this treatment seems criminal. What a joy it would be with a 4-speed box! However, stranger things have happened and let us hope that Triumphs will do something about it. As it is with its terrific revs, the gears can be used to advantage all the time, but there is just that feeling that there ought to be another between second and top. The steering is delightful, winding roads become a joy to negotiate, and although the car may not look particularly low it can be ” slid ” perfectly steadily on dry tarmac without appreciably rolling, and this with the shock absorbers fairly slack.
The highest speed actually attained during the test was 75 m.p.h. under slightly favourable conditions and this is really excellent with such a small engine, and with such complete equipment. The mudguards are absolutely full, not “cycle-type,” and these and a flat windscreen make a tremendous difference to a car of this type. Completely stripped the car should certainly be capable of well over 80 m.p.h. and from the way it kept going mile after mile without complaint, it should be perfectly reliable. The lubrication of the blower is attended to by a Best and Lloyd pump mounted on the end and drawing its supply from a small tank by the petrol tank. The pipe line has a tap interconnected with the throttle so that the supply is turned on as
the throttle is opened, avoid:ng excess at low spe As.
It is however, very strongly recommended that a fairly liberal supply of oil be mixed with the petrol as the Cozette is of the type in which the fan blades make actual contact with the periphery of the casing and cannot get fully lubricated otherwise than by a petrol mixture.
Every detail of the car s equipment and finish is of the highest quality, and there has obviously been no attempt at price-cutting. In spite of this the car in supercharged form with full equipment sells at 2250, and for any one wanting a really fascinating little car with a red-hot performance and low running costs, this Triumph Seven would take a lot of beating.