19th Oct, 2022 13:00

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Lot 73

1936 Triumph Gloria Vitesse Tourer
Older restoration from same family ownership since 1953

Sold for £28,688

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: DHT 255
Chassis No: 17.2.0377
MOT: Exempt

  • Believed to be one of only 7 surviving 1935-1937 Gloria Vitesse Tourers
  • In same family ownership since 1953
  • Full restoration in the late 1990s
  • Complete with full weather equipment
  • Offered with big collection of spares, including engines, gearbox, etc

Introduced in 1933, the Gloria model series helped cement Triumph's reputation as a manufacturer of distinctly sporting motor cars. Based on a sturdy cross-braced chassis equipped with an underslung rear axle, all-round semi-elliptic leaf-sprung suspension and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, the newcomers were powered by Coventry Climax designed - but Triumph modified and built - IOE (inlet over exhaust valve) four- and six-cylinder engines. Four-speed gearboxes were fitted as standard and incorporated an ingenious freewheeling mechanism that permitted clutchless gear changing. Able to call upon the styling talents of Frank Warner and Walter Belgrove, the Coventry firm constructed much of its own coachwork (though, Cross & Ellis, Avon and Salmons bodied various drophead coupes). Recruited some two years after his famous Monte Carlo Rally victory aboard an Invicta S-type, Donald Healey wasted little time in furthering Triumph's competition pedigree. Thus, Gloria variants claimed class victory on both the 1934 and 1935 Monte Carlo Rallies.

Decidedly rakish yet surprisingly practical, the Gloria VitesseTourer made good use of Triumph's patented system whereby the shape of its doors could be altered from a 'straight edge' to a 'cut away' profile depending upon the occupants' wishes. Surprisingly, no other manufacturer worldwide adopted this feature which for the period must have been quite a 'party piece' (though, perhaps they were deterred by the associated royalty fees). Priced at £325, the elegant four-seater was a credible rival to similar machines from the likes of Riley, SS, MG and even Aston Martin. Topped by twin Zenith carburettors, its 10.8hp, 1,232cc four-cylinder engine reputedly endowed the Vitesse with a nigh-on 70 mph top speed. However, it was the car's light, precise steering, powerful brakes and sweet gear change which charmed the contemporary motoring press. The Pre-1940 Triumph Owners' Club estimates that just 1,100 four-cylinder Glorias of all types were made between August 1935 and July 1937. Of these, just 29 are recorded as having been built as Gloria Vitesse Tourers with only 7 believed surviving.

First registered on the 28th of December 1936, 'DHT 225' was acquired by the current vendor's father in July 1953. After many years of enjoyment, the car was fully restored by him in the late 1990s. Due to ill health, the car was later stored in a dry garage where it has remained for the last fifteen years. Finished in a striking Light Green over Dark Green with a lovely Red leather interior and Red wire wheels, it is believed that the car is still fitted with the original engine and coachwork. According to the current vendor, the Triumph starts and runs well and comes with all the weather equipment including side screens.

Offered for sale with a 1953 invoice for the purchase of a 'Triumph Tourer Car' at the princely sum of £195. a ‘Buff’ log book together with a current V5C, an original owner's manual and a big collection of spare parts. These include, but are not limited to, a 4 cylinder 10.5hp Coventry Climax engine No. 12/1856, a second Coventry Climax engine number 95495, a gearbox, fuel pumps, starter motor and water pumps. A true time warp with a lovely ownership history, this very rare post-vintage thoroughbred is potentially eligible for a host of VSCC and Pre-1940 Triumph Owner’s Club events. A wonderful motor car, it is a 'must see' for those who appreciate originality and character.

For more information, please contact:
Julian Pinkster
07889 223 904


Auction: Imperial War Museum, Duxford, 19th Oct, 2022

An auction of classic & collector motorcars


Tuesday 18th October 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 19th October 2022 from 9am
Additional viewing for lots 200-254 on Thursday 20th October 2022 from 9am

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