This journalist turned BMC and Ford competition chief found early fame as a championship-winning co-driver aboard a series of TRs
“I think in motor sport terms the TR is every bit as iconic as the Mini, the Escort and the Quattro. You have to remember that in the late ’50s they were everywhere. If you were on a rally with an entry of 100 cars, as many as 50 would be Triumphs. It became the car to have. The TR2 was very rugged; I suppose you could say agricultural, but also fast and reliable.
Of course, it was also very low and I remember losing a minute on one rally just trying to get out of the car – the base of the door kept hitting the kerb!
“You didn’t have to do much to make them competitive, that was the key. Back then rally cars really were production cars.
On one occasion I borrowed a TR from a dealer in Stoke on Trent and all we did was pump up the tyres a bit, attach some cardboard to the dashboard to stop reflections from the map light and off we went. I drove the car back to the showroom the following Monday.
“I was lucky enough to win the [inaugural] British Rally Championship in 1958 co-driving for Ron Gouldbourn [in a TR3A]. We also won our class on the Tulip Rally that same year. It’s been a long time since I last experienced a TR but I do have very fond memories of them.”