Lost to the Jungle: 1965 Triumph Herald

Perhaps best known for its stint as a sailboat in an old Top Gear episode, the Triumph Herald is rarely seen today in project form. A quick check of craigslist reveals some recently deleted ads and one decent driver, but this example may best serve as a component-rich parts car for more worthwhile projects. Seemingly ensnared in years worth of undergrowth, it has since been freed and can be found here on eBay with an opening bid of $100.

The car is located in Pennsylvania and appears to have been left exposed for many years. Despite this, it looks surprisingly intact even if the underside is likely rotted out. The body doesn’t appear to be suffering from any sort of accident damage, so upper level sheetmetal may be salvageable. The top is down, or completely disintegrated, but glass also appears good. Chrome trim and other items like the gas cap and Triumph badges all look like useful bitsas.

The interior looks better than we’d expect, even though it appears the seats have simply melted into the ground. A potentially restorable wood dash, original steering wheel, factory gauges and shift knob are all components that could be worth pillaging for a project. It’s hard to tell from photos, but the dash top doesn’t even appear cracked. Door panels may be re-usable as well. What’s important to remember here is that there is easily more than $100 of useful parts potentially on this Triumph – but the low cost of entry is appealing.

Here’s where the ugliness sets in: the lower body panels are all pretty much gone. That’s not to say you can’t still use the top half of the Herald’s sheetmetal, but don’t go planning a restoration – that is, unless, you are a skilled metalworker and get this car for under $500. While we hate to see cars parted out, that may be the best fate for this Triumph, and we’re sure fellow Barn Finds writer Jamie may know someone who needs this potential parts bonanza in their garage.

Fast Finds


  1. Josh

    WOW. My parents literally have the non rusted but not running version of this in their garage. Hasn’t been started in 20 years and was parked because he couldn’t find a clutch slave cylinder. It’s even the same boring grey…

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Josh, either Kip Motors on this side of the pond or many suppliers (Rimmers for one, Moss UK, etc.) on the other side of the pond can help you with that. Heck, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t similar to the same part on a Spitfire (I don’t have my books available to me where I am right now) in which case you can easily pick one up.

    • Gene Parmesan

      Not 100%, but I think that slave cylinder is the same as an early (62 to 67) Spit. Sports Car Parts Ltd is a Moss distributor and deals a lot with British Parts Northwest also. We’ve got a rusty but complete Herald at the shop among many of our fleet of projects and parts cars, hah.

  2. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    Andy Mace? Help this poor car out!

    • Andrew S Mace Member

      Jamie, I suspect a check of this car’s documents will show that it is registered to be an organ donor!

  3. Luki

    This wasn’t even a decent car when it was new.

    • BiggYinn

      Luki are you old enough to know what these where like as new?

    • Dave Wright

      Luki………My dad had the same saying about Studebakers “why would you want an old one” so Jamie……..it has always seemed to me the sheet metal on these cars was thin and poorly prepared when new. You are the expert here…….you got some splainen to do…….unless this was a 100,000$ 356, I don’t see much left here.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        Dave, I see a parts car because Heralds are not terribly expensive for decent ones. However, they are fairly hard to find. Especially nice ones. Everything is available, I just would recommend starting with a better car to begin with.

        As far as being poor quality to start with, there will just have to agree to disagree. The panel fit has never been great on Heralds, The main part of that is due to the body being made up of many small panels that bolt together. However, the metal is quite good, and I’ve never had problems with Heralds being assembled poorly from the factory.

  4. Rodney

    “…the dash top doesn’t even appear cracked”.
    Keep digging, there must be a pony…

  5. P

    Odds of this landing in my garage?

    You have a better shot of seeing Rex Reed JUNIOR

  6. Will Owen

    Spitfire was based entirely on the Herald, and pretty much all of the systems are a straight-across fit. The one I had even had the twin-carb 1200 engine of its Spitwad sister.

    It was in fact a nice car, a very likable car, except on subzero mornings (this was in Anchorage) when even starting fluid didn’t want to ignite in there. The sovereign remedy I applied to all my other cars, the dipstick heater, would not work because the dipstick tube was too skinny. But get it going and it was game for anything, and easy to handle on the slippery stuff.

    It’s too bad that the Heralds didn’t get kept and coddled like the Spitfires did, but there ya go; unlike Morris Minors and Minis, the Triumph sedans and 4-seat convertibles inspired little love.

  7. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    This is a No-Reserve Auction so the highest bidder will take ownership of this beauty, please make sure your wife would love to see it in Her front yard and let you buy it before you win it!
    Looks like scrap to me. Maybe something there to someone that knows. I will say this site is all over the place now. Ford Aerostar vans to this. Not to mention the Miniwini that was posted three times. And a lot of newer rigs. I search Craigslist on occasion and there is far more interesting rigs that pop up. The auction listings at the heading are annoying. Miss the old days.

    • Rodney

      Agree. BF auction cars should be a different site. Look what happened to “Bring a Trailer”. Now it is, “Bring a Checkbook”. Not as much fun…

  8. angliagt

    Anyone else remember “The Mystery of Boyne Castle”?
    There was a Herald convertible featured in the movie.

  9. Ken Nelson Member

    First car I ever drove when I had a summer job at an engineering firm in Oxford England was the Herald droptop parts runner. An intact car, it just felt flimsy, dirt simple – an enlarged gokart. I didn’t know squat about Brit cars then, as my only comparison was a ’59 Borgward Isabella TS (first car!) my dad found somewhere, and my 2nd car I had left in N. Jersey – a ’59 Citroen ID19 that I’d driven straight across the country from LA to NJ to catch the plane to Europe. The Herald was a ball to drive in spite of how slow it seemed, but then the hedgerows between Oxford and Banbury made sure no one could go over 50 anyway without fear of a head-on.
    Fast forward to about 5 yrs ago and one popped up in the SF bay area – bit of a project – would have bought it but just no space to hide it anywhere. still wonder where it went – sad to see this one returning to the soil…….

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