Triumph refers to several entities in automotive and motorcycle history, most notably Triumph Motor Company (a British car manufacturer) and Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. Both have roots in the original company founded in the late 19th century, but they evolved separately over time.
Triumph Motor Company (Cars):
- Early Beginnings: Triumph was originally founded in 1885 as a bicycle company by Siegfried Bettmann in Coventry, England. It later moved into motorcycles and, in 1921, began producing cars.
- Car Production: Triumph produced a range of cars, becoming well-known for models like the Triumph Roadster, the TR series sports cars (including the iconic TR6), and the Triumph Spitfire.
- Financial Struggles and Acquisitions: The company faced financial difficulties in the post-war years, leading to various changes in ownership. It became part of Leyland Motors in 1960, which later became British Leyland.
- Decline and End: Under British Leyland, Triumph cars were produced until the 1980s. However, the brand struggled against competition and internal challenges within British Leyland, leading to the cessation of Triumph car production.
Triumph Motorcycles Ltd:
- Motorcycle Production Origins: Triumph began producing motorcycles in the early 20th century. The brand quickly became one of Britain's most significant motorcycle manufacturers, known for its performance and engineering quality.
- Iconic Models and Racing Success: Triumph motorcycles, like the Bonneville, Tiger, and Thunderbird, became icons of British motorcycling. Triumph bikes were popular in road racing and land speed records.
- Challenges and Revival: Like many British motorcycle brands, Triumph faced tough times in the 1970s due to competition from Japanese manufacturers. The original company went into receivership in 1983.
- Modern Era: The Triumph name was revived in the late 1980s by businessman John Bloor, who built a new company and factory. Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. now produces a modern range of motorcycles that blend classic Triumph styling with contemporary technology.
The Triumph name, therefore, spans a significant part of British automotive history, encompassing both classic cars and iconic motorcycles. While Triumph cars are a part of history, Triumph Motorcycles continues to be an influential and revered brand in the motorcycle industry.