The history of the Triumph Motor Company, one of the most prestigious and commercially successful UK car manufacturers of the 20th century, began in Germany in 1883.

It was from there that a talented young engineer by the name of Siegfried Bettmann, left his family home in the city of Nuremberg to seek his fortune in the United Kingdom.

With the UK a hotbed of opportunity for engineersin those days, the young Siegfried soon met up with a fellow German expatriate by the name of Mauritz Schulte also looking to find his niche in the industry.

>The pair decided to pool their talents, ambition and capital, to establish a cycle manufacturing works in the Midlands city of Coventry, at that time the centre of the UK motor industry.

Over the years, Triumph grew to become one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world.

Encouraged by their success in the two-wheeled world, Bettmann and Schulte decided that the time was right to expand outwards and upwards, opening his own company to manufacture the latest hit, four-wheel motor cars, unveiling his first car in 1923.

At the same time as they released their Roadster, Triumph launched a spacious family saloon, initially marketed as the 2000, later as the Renown.

Both of these cars were powered by the same 1,776 cc four-cylinder engine, with the Renown’s spacious five-seater body standing out from the opposition, thanks to its sharp angular edged design.

Virtually a scaled-down version of the Renown, the Mayflower was released shortly after again to the same mixed reactions.

In the early Fifties, Triumph seemed to be struggling to establish an identity.

In 1953 the company’s fortunes took an upswing with the launch of the new TR2 sports car, signalling the start of a revival that lasted for the rest of the Fifties.

However, it was only when Triumph released the TR3 in 1956 did sales began to really take off, particularly in the export markets where UK soft tops were in particular demand.