1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster




Triumph’s 1800 Roadster was introduced in 1946, as the battle between Williams Lyons at Jaguar and Sir John Black at Standard-Triumph heated up. The two had partnered before World War II when Standard supplied engines for Jaguar’s SS 100 sports car, but Black wasn’t planning to build any six-cylinder cars after the war, and offered to sell the tooling to Lyons. He then tried to back out, but Lyons insisted.

The battle lines were drawn, and though Jaguar would introduce the XK 120 in 1948 with their own engine, it continued to use Standard motors until then. Meanwhile, Black bought the defunct Triumph marque, sold the bombed-out factory and planned up up-market line of cars. The Triumph 1800 roadster would be perhaps the last production model ever to use a rumble seat (or dickey seat in England), and the rest of the car was just as unusual.

The new roadster was powered by the 1,776 cc OHV four-cylinder engine from Standard’s prewar Flying Fourteen, and was also used in Jaguar’s 1.5-liter sedan. The Triumph 1800 Roadster’s body was built with aluminum panels over an ash wood frame, as steel was in short supply. The 100-inch wheelbase chassis was made of large-diameter longitudinal tubes, with transverse-leaf independent front suspension, and semi-elliptic rear springs. Following the 1939 Dolomite roadster’s lead, the 1800 had three-abreast seating with a column-shift four-speed gearbox, curiously located on the right side of the steering wheel.

The long hood pointed to a grille nestled between large front fender and 10-inch freestanding headlights. Aft of the windshield, the body flowed out to full width while the trunk lid was divided horizontally. The top 18 inches hinged forward with two glass panels which would become a rear windshield. The lower part hinged back to reveal two tiny jump seats, accessible only by agile passengers on separate steps. The spare wheel was attached to the inside of the trunk lid, making it very heavy and intruding on side space, but the roadster had wind-up windows and a well-fitted top. Triumph  would then go on to build the more dedicated and popular sports cars of the TR series, but it was the 1800 and 2000 Roadster that helped set a resurgent postwar Triumph on the path to sports car success

  We are so very excited to offer this rare, special and one of a kind Triumph 2000 Roadster.  This 1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster was built on May 31 of 1949 and the date of issue was July 11 of 2019. This is a survivor type car with only 27,609 original miles.  More details on this car’s unique history:

  • The original owner was in the British Navy and owned the car until 1967
  • He then sold the car U.S. Sailor who imported the car from England to the Caribbean (Antigua).
  • It still has the Antigua license plates AG 6272 and the Antigua required exterior signals on the rear.
  • An admiral in the U.S. Navy purchased the car in 1970 (third owner) and shipped it back to Wilmington, NC when he was discharged in 1974. He became an engineer with GE and it sat in Wilmington, NC for nearly 40 years not driven.
  • Irwin of KIR Restorations purchased the car in 2013 with 23,000 miles on the car. Mr. Irwin owns a classic car restoration shop and bought this for his personal collection. He also did the work to bring this car back to make it a driver.
  • Irwin is one of the most knowledgeable Triumph 1800 and 2000 experts in the country.
  • KIR went through this car to make a driver and was taken to several shows featured in the survivor class.
  • It was driven to these cars shows and Mr. Irwin enjoyed driving this car.

  • As he said “My life is always so busy and fast paced with restoring people’s cars. This Triumph 2000 allows me to slow down to drive and enjoy the car for what it was intended for.”

  • Brake system was redone in 2015.

  • Tires replaced in 2015.

  • Changed to 12 volt system.

  • New U joints installed.

  • Newer exhaust

  • We purchased this vehicle from Mr. Irwin in March of 2019.
  • Since we purchased the car in 2019 a new clutch, valve adjustment and a rebuilt starter was installed.
  • Also, a brand new canvas soft top was installed in the summer of 2019 retaining the original rear plexiglass window.

  • It still wears some of its original paint but as we understand the car was repainted in the early 1970s and the interior was replaced around this time as well.

  • This car is featured in the book 50 Shades of Rust: Barnfinds You Wish You’d Discovered by Tom Cotter in Chapter 46 on pages 98 and 99.



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