A Solidly Built Light Car, Well Sprung, Comfortable, and Suitable for Long Distance Touring
THE name ” Triumph ” has always been associated in the minds of roadusers with sound design and solid construction—whether in the manufacture of pedal-cycles, motor-cycles, or in later years, automobiles. Now this Triumph tradition is no empty virtue, pleasant to possess but intangible in value. It is something definitely worth while, as we can personally testify at the end of a week-end trial of a ” Gloria” Southern Cross two-seater.
To begin with, the car gives one the impression of being a ” class ” larger than it really is. In spite of its modest 1,232 c.c. engine and 8-ft. wheelbase, this is no small sports car, but a comfortable, solid machine of generous size and strength. Such was our mental observation as we settled ourselves in the driving seat, and We were interested to see whether this impression would be borne out in actual practice on the road. The run out of town gave us little opportunity to put the matter to the test, and the outer fringe of built-up areas delayed us still further. However, we had plenty of time to appreciate the easy gear-change. light steering and flexibility Of the engine, which throttled down comfortably to a slow speed and yet gave good acceleration on the gears. Manipulation of the ignition lever was necessary to avoid pinking. At last the Open rood was reached, and with a twist of the Luvax shock absorber control-wheel to bring the pressure more in line with fast road-work, we gave the Triumph its head. Soon we were cruising along at a very pleasant ” 6o,” and a clear straight caused the speedometer needle to creep round to the 72 m.p.h. mark. This instrument was found to be extraordinarily accurate, a refreshing change from a custom which has been one of the least agreeable aspects of the motor industry
in the past. On third gear the comfortable maximum is 50 m.p.h., and the engine was smooth and effortless right up to 5,000 r.p.m. So much for maximum speed, which as most discerning motorists realise, is by no means the whole story where average speed is concerned. Cornering and roadholding are just as important, and in these respects the Triumph cart claim to a fair degree of merit. Reluctant to yield the grip of its tyres on the road, the “Gloria” Southern Cross could only be made to slide under the stress of violent treatment, a particularly good point when wet roads are being traversed. A slide could be easily controlled, thanks to steering which
is not too low-geared, and at no time did the front wheels evince that inclination to tuck under the car, which is sometimes the dangerous characteristic of small sports cars.
The brakes did not quite live up to our expectations, roused to admiration by the rest of the car. They were possibly Out of adjustment, and a tendency to “pull” was noticed on several occasions. When braking hard for a corner on a narrowish secondary road the car demanded a firm hand, especially when the road surface was of the undulating variety. This must not be taken as a criticism of the car as a type, for careful adjustment would no doubt effect a considerable improvement. As will he seen in the accompanying illustration, the Triumph is a roomy twoseater. The rear compartment is large enough to take a couple of suitcases and smaller luggage, in addition to being a hidden recess for the hood. It is covered by a tonneau-cover which is shaped to fit right over the front cockpit, so that the car can be left in showery weather without the necessity of raising the hood. The latter, in conjunction with well-fitting side
curtains, converts the car into a snug and roomy closed model, with adequate entry from the large doors. The whole body is constructed on solid lines, the mudguards and spare wheel mounting giving a sense of long life and freedom from rattles.
Turning to the mechanical aspect of the Triumph, the power-unit is of the “Vitesse” type, that is to say it is specially tuned with the assistance of a high-compression cylinder-head, high lift tams, larger valves than normal, polished ports and twin carburetters, differentially operated. It is pressure-fed throughout, and a three-bearing crankshaft renders it smooth and free from vibration throughout its considerable range of revolutions.
The four-speed gear-box has double helical 3rd speed and constant mesh gears, and a. free wheel is fitted which can be locked at will by means of a turn-wheel next to the gear-box. The frame is well braced, and is underslung at the rear. As we have already mentioned the long springs are damped by Luvax hydraulic shockabsorbers, adjustable by means of a central turn wheel on the floorboards. With a range of settings from 07200 lb., the suspension can be adapted to suit all conditions, from the undulations of Brooklands Track to the pot-holes of unmade suburban roads.
A useful refinement is the adjustable steering column, which can be lengthened or shortened, raised or dropped, in order to fit the owner’s requirements to a nicety. Other items of unusual merit are the two spare wheels, the neat quick-release filler cap, the 5-in. combined rev, counter and deck, and the twin rear number plates and reverse light, thus making the car easily adaptable for Continental touring.
The Triumph ” Gloria” Southern Cross sells at .:275. One could not ask for better value.
THE TRIUMPH ” GLORIA ” SOUTHERN CROSS