1964 Triumph Herald: Want To Be Popular?

herald

As my wife owns one of these small convertibles, I have to admit my bias at the start. I think Triumph Heralds are utterly charming, and despite being one of the least valuable cars in our little collection, we get more waves and smiles when we are out in the Herald than in any other car. Maybe that’s it; maybe people see the cute little convertible and find it approachable, whereas some of the other, more exotic looking cars aren’t. I don’t know the reason, but I can assure you that if you own one of these little cars, don’t expect to ever drive it without people waving wildly, kids wanting to come over (please invite them to sit in it–the hobby needs all the youngster interest it can get!) and older adults smiling and asking what it is! This particularly nice Triumph can be found in sunny Los Angeles, California and is being offered for sale here on eBay, where bidding is just over $2,000 but hasn’t met its reserve.

herald5

Under the hood, the Herald has an 1147 cc a later 1296cc 4-cylinder that has only detail differences from a similar year probably from a later model Spitfire. This one has had a common conversion (ours has it also) to a pair of Spitfire SU HS2 carbs for better breathing and a little more power. The under hood area looks relatively clean and I think the car has been well taken care of since a previous owner refurbished it in 2003-2005. While you’ll never pull away from muscle cars, a Herald will keep up with traffic in most situations. We admit to mostly avoid interstate highway travel in ours, but it will do it in a pinch.

herald2

One of the things that is rather unusual about Heralds is their construction. For a number of reasons, the Michelotti-designed body was constructed of many small panels and bolted to a backbone frame with outriggers. This means that the car could be assembled as a knocked-down kit in nine different locations world-wide (including two in Peru–trivial fact for today). One of the seams is right about halfway down the sill, or at the left edge of the above picture. You can also see here that the Herald has what appears to be rear seats. My 10-year old daughter fits in ours, and a lifetime of loving Triumphs began at 9 when I rode in the back of a neighbor’s Herald to the market. However, for normal-sized human beings, I wouldn’t plan on spending much time in the back. The interior of this car has just been re-done and it really looks nice; the contrasting piping may not be original but it really sets off the interior.

herald3

In this picture, you can see the traditional Triumph wooden dash. One of the things that Triumph did best was putting real wood in the interiors of their cars. This one will be veneer over plywood to reduce warpage. The owner has made a common modification by adding a tachometer, although it would have been nicer if they had chosen a more period-type gauge. Auxiliary gauges have been replaced with aftermarket versions, although the main central gauge is still in place.

herald6

As you would expect from a “family” car, a Herald has a very usable trunk. This one has been carpeted to make it even more usable. It’s amazing how much stuff you can actually fit in here. We’ve done it.  If you like attention, great gas mileage, and a fun driving experience to boot, and are in the Southern California area, I highly recommend taking a look at this little Italian-designed, British-built convertible.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Trent

    The Michelotti influence is undeniable. A boxy version of the first generation Spitfire with room for more than your ass and a gallon of gas. :) Have always liked The Triumph Herald.

  2. Randy Rush

    I bought one of these back in 1986. It was at body shop who had done a quick and dirty paint job. The guy walked away and it wouldn’t run. Paid $175 for it. Towed it home, 15 minutes I was running, idiot changed the single carb the twin setup. Forgot to screw in the idle screws. The brakes sucked, leaked but always started. Sold it 2 years later for $600.

  3. Dan Farrell

    My brother had one back in the 60’s, I loved driving it around Gainesville Fl. except one day when it was raining cats and dogs 98 degrees and 100% humidity. No A/C driving with the top up windows open about an inch and sweating buckets.

  4. Andrew S Mace Member

    Jamie:

    1. I could not agree more about the attraction factor of a Herald. As bedraggled as my current ’67 convertible is, it never fails to get smiles and thumbs-up from pedestrians everywhere, not to mention thumbs-up (yes, they really are thumbs) from drivers of…well…anything, INCLUDING Corvette and even the occasional Porsche driver. Go figure!
    2. As for this particular car, it does look to be a pretty nice one. I would note that it’s currently sporting a Mk3 Spitfire 1296cc engine (hopefully the differential got upgraded at the same time).

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks, Andy, I’ll correct the posting–should have caught that it was a later engine!

  5. rusty

    yumm that looks nice

    I always appreciate nice triumphs and am currently moving interstate [in Aussie] after selling off most of my cars including rare micros. But what did i keep..a 4 headlight herald [vitesse bonnet but rare 4 cylinder Aussie version and not a wooden dash in sight], a herald based Bond Equipe and a standard 10 / Herald based Buchanan Cobra see a pattern here [also a Diahatsu Copen, a 1950 Skoda roadster and a very rare J & S Hunter], somehow the herald based beauties won over the oddities. And its costing me a bomb to transport 6 cars 3 of which are not far off basket cases.

    I think my love of my basket case Bond Equipe [possibly the only first model in Aussie] I have owned it probably since the late 70’s has even been kept over my Goggo Darts, one which I still have to sell off long distance once I am relocated. Why the Heralds won out is not definitive..its not the driving experience for I have never driven one, its not the mechanical setup as I have had my share of similar motors [morris minors] and independent rear ends [skodas and goggos etc] but its the damn appeal of the body styles. The herald does look great but I prefer the twin headlight look but alas Vitesses are thin on the ground but we did get our own homegrown vitesse fronted 4 cylinder, not as boastful as a vitesse but still very rare.

    Ever since a child seeing that Vitesse on Benny Hill I have always admired that evil twin headlight look yet the later twin headlight Equipe look, well, not as nice as the first single headlight model. My herald has new paint and new mags but no running gear yet installed looks nice [and my wifes prompting she would like to drive around in this but it was the basket case Bond that was the catalyst to keep my herald based cars.

    did I say….I Love this red convertible…

  6. mike young

    I had a nice pale Blue ’61…948cc… Sweet lil guy… A few too many beers and she rolled in Golden Gate park (around 1968)… That was the end…. (rear suspension about as poor as a VW bug…but fine as long as you weren’t going 45mph in a 25mph turn…. ) oh well… My pal sailed out the passenger door and landed on grass…I tucked down and got a skinned Left shoulder… Very fortunate!

  7. rusty

    As a few ex herald owners are popping up on here I might ask a question. I have searched on many sites for an answer including triumph forums. And barnfinds is getting together many automotive minds.

    Being my herald has no roof but is not a convertible how can I tell if it needs a coupe roof or sedan. I have a sedan body in storage in the mountains but tried to fit its rear seats in my herald. They were just too wide by less than pooftenth no matter how i squeezed them they would not go in yet were so close. This leads me to believe my herald is a coupe if the rear seats from a sedan are too wide. Does anyone have any experience, unfortunately I cant compare my stored herald as its along way away and I am moving very soon and will be 12 hours away and the herald parts car may be toast.

    Basically does anyone know if a coupe rear seat is slightly less wide than a sedan as this may tell me if i need a coupe roof or a sedan. Or alternatively does anyone know the measurements from rear of bootlid to the rear of the seat area as this would give me the measurements to tell.

    oh did i say this red convertible is lovely.

    • Chris

      Rusty, try this site, someone there should be able to help.

      http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/

    • Andrew S Mace Member

      Rusty, easiest quick way to tell is by the doorglass. If it’s rounded at the top rear, you had a coupe; if it’s “squared” off, you have a sedan. Also, the rear seat of the sedan (saloon) will be deeper, i.e., closer to the trunk (boot) and more squared off, and the distance between that seat back and front edge of the boot opening will be much less than with a coupe.

      Feel free to check out http://triumph-herald.us, and you can contact me directly from that site. — Andy

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Rusty — Andy’s one of the foremost experts on Heralds and always willing to help with information!

  8. rusty

    thanks guys

    door glass is good indicator but alas i its not fitted and I am not sure which glass i have here is from it but will check today.

    car goes onto truck early next week so will measure depth of rear deck before hand

    will check out that website

    cheers rusty

  9. Ranco Racing

    Haven’t seem a Herald since mid 70’s and all of a sudden there are 3 on auction sites.

  10. Peter R

    now at 5300 with reserve still not met –

  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Jamie…..always like these Triumph’s …..little under rated and a good buy considering….what others bring….

    lwf

  12. Chip .

    My brother’s first car was 3 Heralds that he turned into one. He always said it would do 55, downhill and with the wind.

  13. James Carney

    My parents purchased a 1963 Herald when we were living in Italy. The original price was something like $1,000 or so (brand new). It was a light blue with a white convertible top. Got good mileage but always had trouble with the starter.
    I drove it while I was in high school in San Diego, CA (1968-69).

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