Jamie’s Dream: 1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster

Every once in a while, I run into a car that I’d rather buy than write up in a post. I’ll bet that’s only happened seriously less than ten times in the three and a half years I’ve been writing for Barn Finds, but believe it or not this is the second one in a week (the other was the Green Dragon). This gorgeous 1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster is for sale here on eBay and it’s all I can do to keep myself from calling up my long-suffering banker for both cars! This one is located in Memphis, Tennessee and bidding is up to just over $5,000. Of course, the reserve is higher than that. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Matt W. for sending in this neat find!

The unusual looking Triumph 1800 and 2000 Roadster was created in response to the MG TC and Jaguar XK120, but let’s be honest; it’s not quite as gorgeous as either of those cars. It does feature what I believe is the last rumble seat (dickey seat to the British) in a new series-production car — am I right, readers? I know I don’t remember any other car with a crank up windshield that’s part of the trunk. Also, the majority of the body is aluminum over some wood framework; the front fenders are steel as well as the frame.

Yes, I love these unusual cars, and one that is as original as this one is especially attractive to me. The car wears a plaque where it was in a 1974 event; the seller hypothesizes that it has been stored pretty much since then. We’re told there are no holes or rust. Running the original plate showed that it was original registered in Essex in 1949, but there were no other records I could find. It would be nice to know when it made the trip over the ocean.

In case you are wondering, this is what the rear seats look like. They aren’t known for their comfort, nor are they particularly easy to get into.

Get a look at that suicide door! A huge amount of wood makes up the dashboard and it’s in pretty good shape on this car. I’ve heard that there’s not a lot of room behind the wheel, and this view doesn’t make me feel any differently.

The 2000 featured an early application of the wet-liner four cylinder who’s basic design was used in the TR2, TR3/3A/3B, TR4 & 4A as well as many Standard Vanguards (and a lot of Ferguson tractors). Not only that, but the car now runs and drives! Yes, this is one car I would dearly love to own! Anyone out there share my love?


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  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Wow, do I know what you mean, Jamie, as does my wife and our local storage place. I’ve wanted a 2000 Roadster for years.

    I’d love to have a Mayflower, too!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Me too!

      • Puhnto

        I’m just glad to find out I’m not the only one who’s always wanted a Mayflower! (The sunroof model, of course.)

      • Michael

        HI I OWNED 2 Roadsters at separate times ! First one was a 2000 in 1962/3 and second one 1800. from 65 to 69 !
        1800 I was 2nd owner and body , engine was in excellent
        condition. Had to sell 1800 as job offer overseas ! Since returning to UK i no longer have safe garage facilities plus
        short of funds ………

  2. Beatnik Bedouin

    These are neat, if rather slow and ponderous, cars. At it’s current bid price, it would be damned good buying.

    The model was made famous as a prop in a British TV series called ‘Bergerac’: https://res.cloudinary.com/uktv/image/upload/v1449222561/hjfwvxc2olfpqmd7yzqq.jpg

    My favourite British car from the era is the Austin Atlantic, the famous UK company’s attempt at styling a car to suit American tastes. It was a miserable failure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_A90_Atlantic

  3. Lawyer George

    I’m with SG on this one. I love the design of this model year. I had never seen a Mayflower before. I think I would now choose it as I am sure all the”girls” would exclaim “that’s so cute.”

    • Derek

      That’s what all the girls say now – regardless of what I’m driving. Unfortunately, the “girls” tend to be a bit older now than they used to be.

  4. James

    I would love to have it too. It seems like a good deal but we don’t know the reserve. Unfortunately in the last five years according to hagerty it has not gone up in value at all. Hagertys says a concours is only worth 15k.

  5. Derek

    I owned an 1800 version years ago that just happened to carry the VIN number, 00001 which was only the second car I’ve ever owned to be the very first of its type. (The other one was Brigitte Bardot’s 1954 Simca Week-End convertible). But, back to the Triumph, it always seemed to me that the chap who designed the front was not on speaking terms with the chap who designed the rear, (I’m speaking of the Triumph here and certainly not Ms. Bardot), and the overall performance could best be described as “tepid”, (again, the Triumph), but, for all of that, the forward view, from the driver’s perspective, over the steering wheel was spectacular and more than made up for any other shortcomings.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha! Well done, sir.

    • Steve Cota

      All the 1800’s had “TRD- followed by a 3 or 4 digit number” as a vin, there were none made with 5 digit vin’s, If the plate on your car said 00001 then it was something made up by a previous owner, the 2000 version of these cars all had TRA- xxxx numbers. I have restored several of these cars and presently have 4 of them in my shop in Vermont … All of them projects

  6. Martin Horrocks

    I have never liked these cars. And it doesn´t get better with age, mine or theirs: slow, ugly and stupid, one of the worst UK cars ever.

    If you need to restore one, it will cost a fortune. The frame is very likely to be rotten on a project

    • Classic Steels

      So we will put you down as a no on purchase correct😜

      One can understand as not all cars meet everyone’s taste or wants.

      It’s like one mans Pinto is loved as much as another’s man Shelby mustang 👀. Why one might never know but again it’s their purchase.

  7. kem jones

    Much like the early T Birds .an eye-catching boulevard cruiser but not a sports car .I own TRA 1643( matchsticks and tinfoil ) .There are several active clubs for them.As stated ,it is hard to weld wood .I also have a 1950 Vanguard here with us for the winter inTexas .
    I also have purchased a barn find of 3 more roadsters back in Ontario .It is a pig in a poke as we only had about an hour look at them last fall . 1 is a complete car and 2 are bits and pieces .The complete car is a factory lefthand drive car (1of 2 known )I will give a complete story when I get back home

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Wow, a Spacemaster! That would be a rarity.

      There used to be quite a lot of Phase II Vanguards running around NZ when I moved here, but sadly, they rusted themselves into oblivion.

      I had a Phase III Vanguard Six Vignale that I bought for a month’s touring in this country back in 1977. Even they’re now almost impossible to find in anything that could even be vaguely considered ‘restorable condition’.

  8. kem jones

    There is also a 1950 Triumph renown for sale on ebay747 220 0406

    • jdjonesdr

      There’s a couple of these in Puerto Rico. I used to see them when I was a member of a Triumph club. (I had a TR3)

      That 747 number may very well be one of them.

  9. Madbrit

    i once owned an 1800 Roadster. Had it about a month and the crank/flywheel flange broke off. Since I had nowhere to put it whilst I located parts, I sold it to a guy who was in love with it. The frame was a round tube design. I was told the 1800cc motor was the same as was installed in the old SS Jags. But I expect Martin will have a different story about that……. LOL.
    Personally I like them, a true British design that went with a sports jacket and leather elbow patches and a cloth cap.
    Note the gear shift is on the right side of the right hand drive steering column, so one does not interfere with a female passenger’s knee when shifting.

  10. Milt

    upgrade the basic “dowdy” design of the Triumph 2000 and you get the 1955 Sunbeam Alpine, made famous in the Cary Grant & Grace Kelley movie To Catch A Thief. Google https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/sunbeam/alpine/2053601.html

  11. ROARRR

    I guess that one could swop the TR-3/4 engine in with lots more ponies and have a neet driver! The nice thing about Triumphs is parts interchangability and price! over all it looks decent as is!

  12. Martin Horrocks

    @ Madbrit

    Thanks for that! I don´t actually know, but the pre war SS/Jags used Standard engines and the 1800 was a Standard engine, so maybe the 1.5 litre SS/Jag engine was the same family?

    @ Milt

    Agree totally on the Sunbeam (Talbot) Alpine, which was also designed for the US market but walked the walk, unlike cynical efforts like the Austin Atlantic. The Alpine was one of the first old cars which made an impression on me in pre-Beatles UK. The other was a Bristol 400…..

  13. Alan Northcott

    I owned TRA995 for a number of years, from Uni times onwards. You will never see a Roadster without some rust in the front wings, I believe it was blamed on the quality of steel they could get after the war.

    This one’s missing a few odd parts – a boot handle, a chrome pancake connection between the air filter and the carb – but I sure would love to get back into one. It is a great touring car.

    • Glynn Ford

      TRA995 is still around.

  14. Ian

    ..one on carandclassic….states a top notch resto…£34000…..

  15. charlie Member

    I, for one, love the looks of it – the epitome of 1930’s styling ten years too late. Although MG kept the format going till ’54 or so, and Morgan kept on (keeps on?) making them. So if you want a drivable sports car, that looks like this, get a newer Morgan. But to buy groceries or a Sunday drive to the park, this would be great.

  16. Ian

    Neat cars, but after seeing one in person, I have no desire to own one. Holy crap is the interior tight.

  17. rob pearcey

    Had a Renown which share the same engine. A museum bought a Roadster and them came to me for parts. Regrettable I’d sold it the day before.

  18. Troyce

    I bought the Green Dragon. Sweet runner. Needs some work.

    • Jose Delgadillo

      That looks like a great car. Keep us informed of your progress;

    • Whippeteer

      Congratulations. I loved it.

  19. David Prowse

    I’ve owned more than a few English cars of every mark excepting Rolls/Bentley and Bristol (although Bristol is still on the bucket list) but including several Triumphs. THIS Triumph, however, leaves me searching for any part or application that one could call attractive. For the first time in my life, I find myself feeling even sorry for the cows and trees, sacrificed for this auto’s interiors.

  20. Wayne

    Congrats Troyce! That is a very cool ride. Good luck and keep us up to date.

  21. Danny Jones

    Steve, get one of those girls pit together and sell her to me! Love these roadsters! Every time I find one the price is through the roof!

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