Jewel Like: 1966 Triumph Herald Convertible

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Isn’t this a little jewel? Andy M. (possibly the world’s foremost Herald expert) sent us this great find that is located in Burlington, North Carolina and is up for sale here on craigslist for $8,995. While it’s undoubtedly had some work (I don’t think this is a stock Herald color and the seller tells us about other things that have been done) it has the right “look” of an original car and I’d argue the color is very period, even if not strictly correct. Besides, who is going to call you on it?

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Surprisingly, all kinds of new parts are available for these cars from British specialists. Our best Herald is nowhere near this nice, but we are slowly going in the same direction this car has been taken. The whitewalls and correct wheel covers just add to the great looks of the Giovanni Michelotti designed lines. Yes, I’m a big Herald fan, even though my wife claims ours as her own (and rightfully so, I’m just the mechanic for that car).

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There really is room for four folks in the car.  We take my 11 year old daughter around a lot in the back of ours.

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As is the norm for any 60’s Triumph, there’s a pretty wood dash (no plastic “wood” here!) that in this case has an added gauge and that all-important overdrive stalk to the left of the steering column. I should note at this point that despite the Herald being the least expensive Triumph we own, it gets far more attention going down the road than any of the others–everyone loves the car!

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Here’s part of the reason these are great classics to own; look at the access under the hood! The car has had a Triumph Spitfire engine installed for a little more power as well–understand, it’s still only 1147 cc, but you’ll be getting great mileage as you wish for even more power! I tend to sit on the tire as I’m performing a tuneup–it makes a comfortable seat.

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Here’s what it looks like under the hood. Don’t be intimidated by the twin SU’s; they aren’t bad at all to deal with once they’ve been set correctly, and this car looks like it’s all been done right (if not strictly original). I’d love it if a Barn Finds reader picked this car up; let me know and I’ll help any way I can! What other European 60’s convertible can deliver this kind of style, sportiness and mileage in a single package as well as carrying four people?

 

 

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Comments

  1. Scotty G

    Ohhhh! What a beauty.

  2. Howard A Member

    I agree with Scotty, neat car, however, I don’t think the Herald had the O/D option. One site claims there wasn’t enough room for one and Wiki claims, after 1962, all Heralds had 1 carb. Anybody? My old man had a Herald once, I remember him sitting on the front tire changing plugs. Not much room in the back seat, but always liked the Herald, just not on the freeway.

    • Dan

      My dad had one and it spent most of its life sitting in the garage waiting for parts.

  3. rusty

    Ooohhh so nice and lovely colour. Although mine has four headlamps, before I got It I always loved the original front design of hooded eyes, reverse fangs, and as sporty as any small sedan dares look of the period.. Though I do love the evil look of my four eyed AMI triumph there is something calming about the early design.

    Oh did I say I love the colour.

  4. Mike Young

    I had a light blue ’63. Clean and original. Until as a dumb kid I rolled it in Golden Gate park one night. End of story for the (twin carb) Herald. Many years ago there was a Red one around San Francisco with a personalized plate : [HARKTHE]

  5. Andrew S Mace Member

    Howard, it was only Heralds built prior to about June 1962 that “didn’t have room” for the OD gearbox. Around June 1962, Heralds gained a redesigned and stronger chassis that was shared with the six-cylinder Vitesse. One of the big changes was modification of the main rails to provide space for that OD gearbox. And no, OD was never even a “catalogued” option on a Herald, but it could easily be fitted by anyone who knows these cars, as it’s essentially identical to the Spitfire installation.

    As to the dual carburetors, you are correct that the Herald 1200 came normally with only a single downdraft Solex. However, the dual SU carb setup as seen on this car was a “catalogued” option (meaning that all required parts were listed in the factory Spare Parts Catalogue).

    Both of the above modifications are what I truly like about this particular Herald. There’s a very slim chance it could have been built this way at the factory; that was theoretically possible IF you knew the right people going up the Standard-Triumph chain and had sufficient influence with same. More likely, this was all done by someone who has “done his/her homework” and knows and respects these cars. Note that the dual SU carbs and manifolds are those from the original Spitfire 4, which would be correct per the SPC listings for the later 1200 engine. There’s no way to know, without looking very closely at serial numbers and other parts, if this is otherwise a stock Herald engine, one suitably modified, or in fact an early Spitfire engine. Again, the various engines are essentially identical in outward appearance.

    The nonstock (yet rather attractive!) color is the only deviation I can see from what otherwise could easily be a “correct” car as outlined above. Well done and worth a look if you’re interested in Heralds (and who isn’t?)!

    Like 1
  6. BMWRACER

    Mike Young. Nice plate “HARKTHE”Herald axles swing?

  7. Oingo

    I really like it and it seems to be a good price. Wouldn’t want to get into an accident with it but for me that pretty much applies for most vintage iron.

  8. Chebby

    It would be a nice garage twin for the turquoise Falcon van.

  9. Glenn

    Beutiful old herald, I had a 61 when I was a teenager. I loved that car. I hope some one picks this up and loves it as much as I did mine

  10. HeadMaster1

    I have a 62 in my garage awaiting a total resto-mod. I’m hoping to go with a 1.6 or 1.8 Miata engine and auto trans and rear suspension (so my 78yo mother can drive it)…….My dad had one in the UK when I was a toddler, very cool cars, an the first “modular car” as it could be built as a sedan, coupe, wagon, or convertible……..

    • rusty

      Been looking at that conversion on blogs. Have you investigated whether the motor and auto fits without any major cuts.

      My car was missing both motor and box and although when i got it i had a motor to use i had to leave a lot of stuff behind in an interstate move and hence i will have to source another motor and box. Although my car is a twin headlight car seemingly indicating to most a six its actually an AMI triumph 12/50 a four cylinder with a factory fitted vitesse bonnet. Alternatively been thinking about a 1500 triumph motor but they are not easy to find in australia.

      • Glenn

        I transplanted a Datsun 1200cc and 4 spd manual into my 61 in 1986 I just had to weld the Datsun engine mounts and trans mounts to the frame I also cut the driveshaft and welded the front part with the spline onto the triumph driveshaft the process was fairly easy

      • MG'zer

        I have the engine from a 65 Austin Healy, 1058cc (I think that’s right) with SU carbs. No gear box.

  11. Larry Miceli

    Without a doubt, that’s my old Herald that I restored back in the mid-1990’s in Pompano Beach, Florida. It was originally Saphire blue that I repainted Chevy Indian turquoise with a white interior. I fit a set of twin SU’s and the Spitfire O/D transmission. I had also fit a set of painted Spitfire wire wheels to it but they were pretty ratty so I’d understand if a later owner fit steel wheels back onto it. I fit the under dash oil pressure gauge as well. It still had the Herald motor in it when I had it, and I think it still does from the pictures. I put lots of new parts on it including the rubber bumpers which were hand carried back from Rimmer Brothers in England by some wonderful friends. I restored the car for my wife Susan, who always called the car, “Harry the Herald.” We drove that car all over Florida! Lots of great memories! Somewhere I have the restoration pictures still. I fit a new “Herald” badge to the trunk and still have the “Sports” emblem that was originally fit to US spec cars somewhere. I sold the car to Hayes Harris of Wire Wheel Classic Cars in Vero Beach, and he sold it to someone in NC. This is the first I’ve seen the car in at least ten years! If my wife sees it, she’ll make me buy it back! Here’s a link to my old Comcast web page detailing the restoration. Unfortunately, comcast dumped all their web pages do there’s only 2 pictures still showing… It’s a great little car! https://web.archive.org/web/20040214080057/http://home.comcast.net/~lgmiceli/restopage/heraldpg/herald.html

    Like 2
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Larry, thanks for checking in! My wife loves her Herald–sure you don’t want to tell her about it?

      Like 1
    • rusty

      Buy it back….you built it.

      oh and it’s the BEST colour I’ve seen on a single headlight herald. Twin headlight herald look best in dark colours.

      • Larry Miceli

        Thanks! I always loved the color on the Herald. We’d always win at car shows because the wives made their husbands vote for it! Lots of fun!

        Like 1
    • Larry Miceli

      I’m remembering a few more details on the restoration… I fit a new white convertible top that was every bit as tricky to fit as a Stag top! It looked great but that was 14 years ago! I also replaced the front drum brakes and fit disc brakes from a spitfire as well! The OD conversion required that I change the flywheel to a later Spitfire version so it uses the larger clutch disc. And the drive shaft was shortened, balanced and had a slip fitting fitted as I recall. Last thing I remember doing was fitting a 1500 spring in back for a little better road holding. I’ll probably remember a lot more that was done in the next few day too! I know that I couldn’t recreate the car for the asking price!

      Like 1
    • Karen

      Larry! Larry! Larry! We just purchased your beautiful 1987 Jaguar xj6. Rest assured, she is landed softly to a home that will show her the affection you and your wife clearly have done.
      We would love to learn more about her if you would ever care to share.

      Warmest regards,
      Nick and Karen Pietrocarlo

      • Larry Miceli

        Congratulations! That was a very difficult car to part with and I’m very glad she is in good hands! I’d be happy to give you all the details. Email me at lgmiceli@comcast.net

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    like…..

  13. Brian M Member

    I’ve got a 65 (?) convertible waiting for me to finish the 64 Sprite in my son’s garage next door. It has some left front corner accident damage but I have acquired a replacement bonnet assembly that someone grafted Mercedes stacked headlights onto. Couldn’t pass it up for $50 as the sheetmetal underneath is unmolested. It actually doesn’t look too bad but I want to go back to original. I have a spitfire two-carb setup waiting to go on but sure could use a windscreen as the original is totally missing. Anyone out there have an extra one?

    • rusty

      Hi Brian have you got a photo of your bonnet you could post, curious how It looks. The great thing about the herald Is you can run that bonnet and if you tire of it simply bolt on standard one.

      Like 1
      • Brian M Member

        I’ve just taken some pix. Now if I can attach them, we’ll be in business.

        Like 1
    • rusty

      That looks well done

      I’d keep it as is and acquire a standard bonnet so you have a mod and stock look to choose from.
      Besides it’s sure to be cut behind those headlights…no?

  14. Andrew S Mace Member

    Brian M, I’ve been told that SpitBits usually keeps a Herald windshield or two in stock, so you might try them. Meanwhile, Larry Miceli, thanks for reminding me that this used to be your car! Oh, and Brian M: I remember seeing that faux-Mercedes Herald bonnet on eBay. I’m glad someone got it and that it was decent under the “enhancements”! :)

    • Larry Miceli

      Good to see the car again Andy! I almost have Susan talked into reacquiring it!! Almost… I still have piles of Herald parts although Brent Owens (69 Herald 13/60) and Chad Jester have put a dent in my inventory!

  15. Andrew S Mace Member

    Larry, keep talking to her! ;) On the other hand, if it doesn’t work out, I might consider taking that “Sports” badge off your hands!

  16. Larry miceli

    Heaven help me, I just called the current owner…

    • rusty

      And??????????????

  17. Eleni Prieston

    I am a novice. How many cylinders are these cars…or this one in particular? How difficult is it to get these repaired mechanically or even cosmetically? I assume it depends where you live. I am on the Eastern end of Long Island. Are they difficult to find, well restored and for sale. Should I keep ‘the other car’ if I commute 100 miles every other week? Just some thoughts. I’d love to own one eventually and love this period color.
    Thank for any information for a novice like myself.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Short answers: How many cylinders are these cars…or this one in particular? 4, although there are Vitesses/Sports 6s available that are similar with a 6-cylinder. How difficult is it to get these repaired mechanically or even cosmetically? Pretty easy; body on frame, parts available from the UK (cosmetics) and are generally the same as Spitfires (mechanicals). I assume it depends where you live. I am on the Eastern end of Long Island. Are they difficult to find, well restored and for sale. Not terribly, although finding one in nice shape is difficult! Should I keep ‘the other car’ if I commute 100 miles every other week? They are not really set up for long highway drivers…Just some thoughts. I’d love to own one eventually and love this period color. Yup!

      Like 1
      • Andrew S Mace Member

        Jamie’s pretty well covered it! I would add that the overdrive installed in this car makes for somewhat more relaxed cruising. Even without that, they’ll do well enough for themselves up to maybe 65mph or so. That said, I haven’t been on the LIE for years, but from what I remember, you’re likely better off to keep a Herald as a fun, second car and use your current car for the commuting!

        I used a Herald for a “daily driver” are recently as 10 years ago; it still can be done! I was never afraid of it in any way, and it pretty much never let me down (just like when I was growing up in the 1960s and early 1970s with both my own Herald and my dad’s Herald). But I honestly think you’d enjoy it more as that fun, second car.

        Maintenance and/or repair? Heck, it’s simpler than your Cub Cadet lawn tractor! There’s very little that can’t be done with nothing but the most basic hand tools and the repair manual propped up nearby. Some repair parts are as close as your local NAPA store, while most others are only a few days away via mail from half a dozen or so Triumph parts suppliers in the US. The rest of it can come from England (or eBay!), also typically in a week or less.

        Find a straight and rust-free car, join the Long Island Triumph Association…and enjoy! :)

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