1947 Triumph Roadster


• Enthusiast owned
• “First class” condition throughout
• Extensive documentation

The Background

Penned in the closing days of the Second World War and unveiled to the public in 1946, the Triumph 1800 Roadster (18TR) was designed to compete with offerings from Jaguar, utilising Standard engines and aluminium bodywork.

Underneath, the hand-welded steel-frame chassis was by-and-large simply a shortened version of Triumph’s 1800 Saloon frame, utilising leaf sprung independant suspension up front and a live axle with semi-elliptical suspension at the rear.

Whilst the 1800 Roadster was never quite the success Triumph had hoped - still being outsold by offerings from Jaguar - it did have its moment in the spotlight, with a red 1800 being driven by actor John Nettles in the 80’s TV show Bergerac.

The History

This particular 1947-registered 1800 was built in the last year of 1800 production, before the cars were succeeded by the later 2000 Roadster in 1948, which continued in production until 1949.

Purchased by our vendor around five years ago and enjoyed as part of a modest personal collection of classic British cars, this 18TR was previously restored prior to our vendor’s purchase, meaning it is in fabulous condition throughout. 

Details of this restoration include the body and chassis being completely stripped, with the chassis sandblasted and sprayed in red, the running gear entirely overhauled, and the body also receiving a fresh coat of paint.

Following this, other highlights of work include:

2006 - Brake system renewed, fresh shock absorbers and a new exhaust.
2016 - Body stripped, media blasted and re-sprayed. Dashboard refurbished; c.£5,000.
2016 - New hood and carpets throughout - £3,000

Having maintained the car to an impressive standard, this example has been kept true to its factory specification, with the exception of a more modern indicator stalk being fitted, in order to bypass the often-faulty switch mounted on the steering wheel.

During their time with the car, our vendor has fitted new chrome bumpers and a new hood, had the carburettors overhauled, brake system reconditioned, a modern electric fuel pump fitted, and extensively renewed a large portion of the car’s wiring loom.

Alongside the above, a full service carried out and a set of new tyres fitted, in order to keep this 18TR in top usable condition.

Evidently cherished throughout its current ownership, our vendor is only selling up due to needing space for another Bentley!

The Paperwork

Included with the car is an impressive stack of paperwork detailing the restoration process that has taken place, including photographs of the car ‘in period’ (including one of John Nettles in the car at a show) and several folders of invoices and miscellaneous documentation - history lovers rejoice!

There is a veritable mountain of old paperwork, MOT certificates and invoices, various V5’s, a copy of the workshop manual, handbook and lubrication chart, and a stack of old Triumph Roadster magazines dating back to the 1960s.

The Interior

Given that this Roadster was created during the austere post-war 40’s, the cabin certainly looks wonderfully luxurious and well-endowed.

As we’ve mentioned, the vendor has had the wood trim all re-finished, and as a result it presents fantastically with a deep shine and lustre, with no notable marks or scratches that we can see. The carpets also look to be in great shape, as are the seats which display only light creases and minor wear.

There are a few areas of ‘patina’ in the cabin, most notably on the high-traffic areas such as the shifter, bonnet release, pedals and around the soft-top catches. There are also a few light marks on the A-pillars from the roof being operated, but nothing that is particularly distracting.

According to our vendor, all of the systems inside the car are working as they should, as are all the gauges with the exception of the clock.

The Exterior

They really don’t make them like they used to - just look at those gorgeous flowing lines and pronounced arches - wonderful!

As far as we can see - and as far as our photographer could tell - all of the bodywork is wonderfully straight and in excellent condition throughout, with no noted impact damage, major scuffs or other marks. A few stone chips here-and-there and some light patina and pitting to the chrome work is to be expected, but there doesn’t appear to be anything more untoward.

The folding roof is in excellent condition and shows no drama to the fabric nor the rear screen, and all four wheels are in wonderful condition with nearly-new rubber. 

The Mechanicals

As there was nowhere to photograph the car at the vendor’s home, our photographer and the vendor took a short drive to a suitable location, which meant they got the chance to experience the car out on the road. 

Well, good news - everything was reported to be in excellent order, and the car runs fantastically. The vendor also echoes this statement, saying the car drives “really well” and with no known faults.

Underneath, this example looks to be in good order, showing only light surface ‘bloom’ on the exhaust and some suspension components from what we can see. 

In the engine bay, the 1776cc inline-four engine presents fantastically and has evidently been subject to plenty of care and attention. The block and ancillaries are all in excellent shape, and as far as we can ell there are no noted oil leaks or fluid issues. 

On account of its age, this Roadster is MOT exempt, however, an exam was carried out in 2019 at 74,227 miles, and it passed with flying colours!

The Appeal

In excellent condition throughout and owned by a bona-fide British and classic car enthusiast, this 1947 Triumph 1800 Roadster is a wonderful example of an arguably gorgeous car, which has benefitted from fastidious maintenance and several unobtrusive drivability upgrades. 

If you’re a fan of early post-war cars, drop-top roadsters or cars that hide another two seats in the boot (!) then this is an opportunity not to be missed. Go on, place a bid or two - you know you want to!

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1947
  • Make Triumph
  • Model Roadster
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 74,451 Miles
  • Engine size 1776
  • Town Melrose
  • Location Scotland
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
22 bids
  • Sl•••• £20,500 22/10/21
  • m-•••• £19,250 19/10/21
  • Sl•••• £19,000 19/10/21
  • m-•••• £18,000 19/10/21
  • mu•••• £17,000 19/10/21
  • m-•••• £16,250 19/10/21
  • mu•••• £16,000 19/10/21
  • wo•••• £15,100 18/10/21
  • Pa•••• £13,000 17/10/21
  • mu•••• £12,000 17/10/21

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