The first Herald went on sale to
the general public in April 1959
as a Coup� - although
these have long since become very rare and are most
The Coup� was never really intended to be a proper
4 seater, the rear seat being available only as an
But the similarities with other British sports
cars was soon evident, such as the four speed gearbox,
948 cc engine fitted with twin SU H1 carbys and an
output of 42 bhp.
Some features of the new car were considered quite novel
at the time, such as independent rear suspension, an incredibly
tight turning circle (25 ft.), a collapsible and adjustable
steering column, and a greatly reduced maintenance schedule
through use of nylon and rubber bushes that virtually
eliminated grease fittings on the chassis.
The Coup� was soon joined by a Saloon version, which
allowed far more room for a full rear seat.
was originally powered by a single Solex-carbureted,
38.5 bhp gross/34.5 bhp net version of the same 948
cc engine, though later the twin-carb engine would
be offered as well.
By March 1960
, these two models were joined by a Convertible,
which also offered a top that folded almost completely
out of sight, a full (though a bit cramped) rear seat
and the twin-carb engine.
1960 also saw the introduction of the Herald S, a stripped-down
saloon that never caught on. Bigger news the following
year was the introduction of the 1200 series, incorporating
the same Coup�, Saloon and Convertible body styles
with a larger engine and somewhat more relaxed final
Soon added to the range was an Estate Wagon and the
short- lived Courier van, a "commercial" version of the Estate
wagon much like the once-common sedan delivery versions
of American station wagons.
A further upgrading of the
1147cc engine came with introduction of the 12/50, a 1200
Saloon with 51 hp engine, folding sunroof, different grille
(seen later in the U.S. on the Sports 1200) and uprated
trim. By the end of 1964
, the Coup� had disappeared,
perhaps falling victim to the popularity of the Spitfire!
, facing competition both from other marques and
other models in the Triumph range, the Herald received
a final, major upgrading. More power came from a single-carb
version of the 1296cc Spitfire Mk.3 (and Triumph 1300)
engine, and a front-end restyle came from adapting a variation
of the Vitesse sheetmetal.
Improvements were made also to the drivetrain and interior
- as is evidenced by the image above with the humble Herald
now offering the look and feel of more stately up-market
British saloons. The Herald was available in Saloon, Convertible
and Estate Wagon variants, replacing all previous configurations
of Herald (except for the 1200 Saloon, which continued
Sales were however to quickly disappear, and by 1971
farewelled the robust little Herald. In Australia, the
Herald was sold as the AMI 12/50 after being assembled
by Australian Motor Industries from parts shipped from
Coventry. There were a great many differences from UK
spec vehicles, such as the incorporation of a Vitesse
bonnet and no sunshine roof .
Production numbers of the Triumph Herald included:
201,142 1200 Saloons (from April 1961-Dec 1970)
5,329 1200 Coup� (fromApril 1961-0ct 1964)
43,295 1200 Convertible (from April 1961-Sept 1967)
53,267 12/50 Saloon (from March 1963-Sept 1967)
40,433 13/60 Saloon (from Oct 1967-Jan 1971)
11,772 13/60 Convertible (from Oct 1967-April 1971)
A further 15,000 13/60s (approx) were exported in knockdown form.