In 1950 I had the good fortune to visit the Earls Court Motor Show in London. The highlight of my visit was riding in the back seat of the very latest Triumph production model, a 1950 Triumph Mayflower. Like all British car manufacturers Triumph were struggling to design a new more streamlined car. Up until 1949/50 most car makers were still using pre war designs. The export market, and in particular the US market was of utmost importance. The US models of the day were three years ahead of British production which ended in 1939 while the US makers continued into 1942. Essentially Triumph had three models to export, the largest was the Renown a four door saloon, and as you can see it is rather dated if not too unpleasant to the eye. The sharp edge design was known as razor edge and was used on both the Renown and Mayflower. The Renown still sports the pre war styling of separate headlights and running boards . The 1800 Roadster is clearly the most unusual design, A two door sports car also had separate headlights and front fenders. However the strangest feature must be the rumble seat in the boot. Surely never a feature found in British cars??and obviously aimed at the US market. I think this really showed the lack of vision demonstrated by British manufactures of the day. The Mayflower is the only model to have an updated design (questionable at best) with headlights incorporated into the body. The name “Mayflower” like the Roadsters rumble seat was aimed at the US market. Unfortunately none of these cars found great success in the US , indeed they didn’t fare well at home either. All three models had small four cylinder engines and standard transmissions. Americans liked power, auto transmissions and lots of room. The Mayflower was doomed before it got into second gear on an interstate highway and barely reached to 50mph. The one Mayflower I haven’t yet mentioned is the drop-head model. Depending on who you ask, only thirteen were ever produced and today none are known to exist. If anyone reading this blog happens to have a Mayflower convertible hidden away in a garage or barn, you might have just struck gold. Such a rare model would be highly sought after and the price would sky rocket. I just checked my garage but alas nothing there but the Mini convertible. My lifelong hobby has been British cars and I can still vividly remember that most exciting day at Earls Court Motor Show way back when I was just a wee lad.
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