1947 Triumph 1800: Unclassy Modifications?


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You don’t see these old Triumphs around often, so I couldn’t pass up this one with its cool headlights, flowing lines and long hood. The rumble seat has its own windshield! Sadly, this 1947 Triumph screams “Kit Car”with it’s inappropriate paint, V8 engine swap, aftermarket wheels with the wrong offset and more, but it seems to be a real Triumph. This is listed here on craigslist in Racine, Wisconsin. About the price… A concours Triumph can bring as much as $50,000. The average sale price is about $23,000. A condition 4 car is worth perhaps $15,000. Now are you ready for this? This fellow is asking $50,000. What would it take to get this car to a condition where you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in it? Is it worth more for parts now? Is there any hope for this old Triumph?

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  1. DolphinMember

    Is there any hope for this old Triumph?

    Maybe, if the price comes down from the stratosphere to somewhere very close to planet Earth. But I don’t hold much hope for a seller who’s offering a vintage ’40s British drophead with a Chevy 350 & turbo trans but doesn’t bother to show the installation even tho one of the half-hoods is propped open during the photo shoot. And I guess the car cover is still in its box because putting it on the car would have kept all that shop dust off, killing his promotion of the car as a “barn find” instead of the resto-mod that it is.

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  2. Cory

    The wheels are fine, the color is alright, I could even live with the motor swap. But that dash, that is just horrible. Maybe I’m old fasioned, but when I get above 40,000 I really prefer an interior in my car.

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  3. Phil Ross

    Being a current owner of one of these magnificent cars all I can say is WOW. The list of things that are wrong with this car is very long and the price is way over the top. But the color is very similar to an original Roadster color.
    To restore this one to original would be a long and expensive process, but it can be done. These cars have a great support system with The Triumph Roadster Club in England and a couple of parts houses that deal exclusively with Roadsters. As for here in the US there are about 90 owners (that we know about) and we keep in touch. We are always finding another one here in the US.
    We do have a large number here in Florida and we are making plans to meet at the Safety Harbor British Car Show in October. We have 4 confirmed and hoping for a few more.
    Mine has been restored to original specks and is a great fun vehicle. The only car that get more comments when on the road is my wife’s classic Mini.

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  4. Bentleyguy

    This ad is a perfect example of how Craigslist is ruining this hobby. In the “old days ‘ when one would pay for an ad, you wouldn’t waste your money and time by asking such an outrageous (and offensive) price for such a p.o.s.

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  5. w

    I sent this guy an email. Not a very pleasant one but a realistic one. Let’s see if he responds.

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  6. Alan Northcott

    If it wasn’t such a great car in the first place, this would be less of a tragedy. But changing so much? It was bad enough when owners in the sixties put TR3 motors in with four-on-the-floor.

    I used to have a Triumph Roadster 2000 – which were introduced in 1949. The earlier ones like this were 1800s. They were touring cars rather than sporty, even though the initials went on to denote a line of sports cars.

    Aluminum (actually “aluminium”) body on a steel tube frame, but the front wings were made out of steel because they were so large aluminium didn’t cope. You’ll seldom see a roadster that hasn’t had rust issues in the wings, I think the steel wasn’t great that soon after the war. At one time the Triumph Roadster Club in England was offering fibreglass replacements for practicality.

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  7. Alan (Michigan)

    Listing deleted.

    $50K? Dream on…..

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  8. Ken

    We had one that my father bought when I was in high school. It reportedly had been hit by lightning and burned. It had been in the St. Pete, FL area for a while when we hauled it home. You could pretty much look thru the car from radiator shell to license plate mount. He sold it not quite finished while I was in college. Have wondered where it ended up and what it looks like now. This car for sale has all sorts of stuff that is nowhere near correct, starting with a terrible excuse for the wood dash. If this sells for anything remotely close to ask, it confirms the market has far too many well-off lunatics in it.

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  9. Seller of 47 Roadster

    Thank you for the feedback, constructive criticism, and schooling from everyone regarding this car. We had NO IDEA what the value of this car was, and thought we would put it out there to see if we could get any offers. It was interesting to read there may only be around 90 of these cars in the US, which gives this car a unique quality.

    Most comments provided were informative, interesting, and well taken. However, we apologize to anyone who was offended by this post, which is why we removed it from craigslist. Dear Mr. Bentleyguy…this car is by NO MEANS a p.o.s. and is not meant for someone of your caliber, but we’re all entitled to our opinions.

    You all know this car was not being restored to its original beauty. The man who owned this car never meant for it to be sold. It was his toy that he was putting back together for himself and his own enjoyment. His surviving wife asked that we try to sell the vehicle for her, and not knowing where to start we put it out on craigslist and guessed at a price.

    Our next step will be to clean up the car and provide more detailed pictures, including additional parts on hand, before advertising again at a lower price. Still not exactly sure where to start, so if anyone has any constructive selling ideas, your comments would be greatly appreciated.
    This car is still a unique and fun little ride.

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    • JoshStaff

      Hi there! It’s great to hear from you and to learn about the rest of the story! These really are incredible machine, but are quite rare so I understand why the owner went a more custom route in getting it back on the road. If you’d like to send me more photos and info via email, we’d love to do a more detailed post about it! I’m sure with the help of the Barn Finds community, we can help you come up with some ideas on the best way to sell this unique machine! You can email me at mail@barnfinds.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

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  10. Bentleyguy

    I suggest you consign it with Barrett-Jackson or Rustle & Steal, their clientele May go for something like this. Just don’t let them run it real early or late.

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  11. Darel

    It might actually help to pull all the Pep Boys garbage off of it (including the engine and trans, and that horrific shifter) and sell it as a project. The original drivetrains were not terribly rare or difficult to find if you move in Triumph circles, and it might interest someone more if they saw less they had to “undo” on the car. Does the widow have any of the original parts? Seriously, not trying to be snarky and just trying to see a great car get saved. I honestly think you’re looking at no more than $6-$8K tops with OR WITHOUT the engine, so maybe you could make a couple bucks on top selling it to a teenager with a Camaro.

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  12. w

    Darel you make a good point. Perhaps stripping the car of all its oddities will put it in a better light to someone who would like a project ’47. This is potentially a very nice car but some of what was done to it might scare folks off. Finding out if the owner has any original parts will be very helpful.

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