Born From Sportscars – 1958 Triumph TR10

There’s something perversely fascinating about little postwar European cars – perhaps it’s their size, or their simplicity, or just that their entire philosophy runs counter to what’s mainstream in North America. Think back to 1958 – and make those Wayne’s World doodley-doo flashback sounds while you do – or at least try to imagine what it was like. Fangio was kidnapped briefly by a group of Cuban revolutionaries, the peace symbol was designed, Elvis joined the service, NASA and transatlantic jet flights both launch, and Jello Biafra is born. The 1958 Chevrolet Impala was the best-selling car in the United States. Into this world, Triumph released the TR10, likely inspired by the success of cars such as the VW Beetle and Renault Dauphine. You can find this 1958 Triumph TR10 for sale in Long Beach, CA for $1500.

1958 Triumph TR10 left front

It looks to be in nice enough shape, and is said to be complete with a rebuilt engine. It’s a tidy-looking little thing, in the same vein as the aforementioned Dauphine or a Fiat 1100. The performance (or interior comfort) were not that great. Less horsepower than a Beetle was not likely to get you anywhere very fast, especially when 4-up with luggage. Interestingly, this car was not sold as a Triumph abroad – most markets got it as the Standard 10, but Triumph was trying to make the most of its sports car heritage here in the US.

1958 Triumph TR10 left rear

The interior looks in decent condition, but the fake wood fascia, extra gauges, and velour upholstery (along with the exterior color choices) point to a 1970s restoration. So you’ll want to poke around a little further, and if you find traces of a previous restoration, make sure you check for over-zealous application of body filler. Are those heater controls to the left of the radio hole? That’s quite the extravagance….

1958 Triumph TR10 interior

Unfortunately, there is no engine shot, and it may be worth requesting one since this could help assess the quality of the rebuild, and what else may have been replaced as part of the while-you’re-in-there syndrome. Sure, this is far from being a sports car, but this predecessor of the Herald could be a fun little runabout for driving into town and toodling along back roads. If you’re not convinced, please spend a moment with these fine materials:

1958 Triumph TR10 advertisement

Thanks to Kit Foster’s Carport for the great period advertisement, showing how much car companies exaggerated about the size and capability of their lesser cars.

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4 Responses to “Born From Sportscars – 1958 Triumph TR10”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    $1500; I’ve spent more then that on a night out carousing (pre-recession of course) I can’t imagine myself driving that on the freeways of L.A. but I’d surely put-put it around here just to aggravate yokels behind me.

  2. steve in podunk Says:

    I can’t afford to it anymore, and I had plenty of cars back then too. I’m a pauper these days though.

  3. Mike of SLO Says:

    This (very one) looks like my first car. A body shop put it back together after an MD’s daughter totaled it in 1962 or so. My dad bought it for $125. What a car. When it rained, water would pour onto my feet every time I made a hard turn.

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