Triumph enthusiasts from as far afield as Italy attended the recent Standard Triumph Anniversary Rally (STAR 90) which brought together one of the largest gatherings of Triumph cars in Europe.
The one-off event organised jointly between the Triumph Sports Six Club, Club Triumph, the TR Register, 2000/2500/2.5 Register and the Stag Owners Club, celebrated 110 years of the formation of the Standard Motor Company and 90 years of Triumph. Notable models such as the Triumph Gloria celebrated its eightieth anniversary, sixty years of the TR2 and Standard 8, and 50 years of the Triumph 2000.
The Dolomite Register chose the occasion to also remember 40 years of the Dolomite Sprint as the first volume produced saloon to be offered with a 16-valve engine. Meanwhile the Stag Owners Club held its European meeting at the event, attracting cars from Belgium, Germany, Holland and Switzerland.
The prestigious three day event held on 17-19 May started with a welcome barbecue at the Chesford Grange Hotel, south of Kenilworth. On the Saturday, Triumph drivers were given exclusive access to the Prodrive test track at Honiley, with the sound of Triumph’s 3.0-litre V8 and much vaunted six-cylinder engines growling heartedly down the straights. During the evening there was a gala dinner, with David Richards CBE, chairman of Prodrive and Aston Martin Ltd, being the special guest speaker.
Sunday saw around 1000 cars attending the main event held at the Heritage Motor Centre. A display of many of Standards and Triumphs in the specially created arena enabled visitors to relive the glory days of these models, with commentary provided by motoring author and former Triumph Competitions Manager, Graham Robson. Strangely, this did not include a display of either the Dolomite or Acclaim, as the final saloon offerings from Triumph made at Canley and Cowley respectively, to bring the Triumph story to a close.
Among the array of interesting models were a Triumph Italia built by Vignale in Turin, the Triumph Stag fixed-head Coupe and the prototype Triumph 2000 estate featuring the Stag’s 3.0-litre V8 engine and four-wheel drive – built ten years before Audi’s quattro arrived. Also in attendance were several examples of the much-promised, but ultimately abandoned TR7 Sprint, of which only seven prototype and 28 production examples were built.
For Acclaim enthusiasts, two examples of the rare Avon model with their distinctive two-tone paintwork and leather and wood trimmed interiors turned up. Speaking with the current owners suggested that they had got quite a bargain, as previous keepers had not been aware of the rarity factor of what they were selling. One current owner had bought his very tidy example for just £350 two years ago!
Today expect to pay nearer £3000 for a mint, well cared for example… if you can find one. In the meantime, enjoy the sight of some of the Standard and Triumph models attending STAR 90 at the Heritage Motor Centre…