Some photos taken during the Triumph 2000’s development programme…
Once the cat was out of the bag regarding Ford's future plans and their decision to introduce their "reverse rake" models, the reaction at Triumph was to effect a rather panic-stricken facelift. This is the Zebu model with a later (and more pleasant) front end treatment shorn of its characteristic rear window.
The Herald was treated to a rudimentary "chop and grow" operation, where it was widened and lengthened in order to clothe the Zebu's mechanics.
Following the expanded Herald's failure to impress management, Michelotti was asked to produce a developed version of the concept. This prototype was considered too bland to be taken seriously, even though it possessed a certain understated style that served Peugeot and BMW so well during the 1960s.
It took Michelotti just three months to produce this original full-sized model of the Barb concept, and it was liked by all that viewed it. As can be seen from the evidence of added clay (this model was made of wood), around the top of the rear window, in-house stylists added their own tweaks.
Michelotti's initial sketch for a revamped 2000 model, following the brief given to him by Triumph management
During the development of Barb, there was a serious amount of thought put into the concept of a 2000 fastback. This would use an uprated version of the straight-six engine, and would serve as a stylish high speed executive express. This fully-built model was evaluated and then passed over in favour of tbe more conventional estate model. This did not stop Triumph using it for themselves as a company car...
The fastback under construction - a double-sided scheme at this time.