1962-1976 Triumph TR

The Michelotti Connection

The Michelotti connection would prove to be a true blessing for Triumph. When Walter Belgrove stormed out in 1955, Standard-Triumph lost its well-respected stylist, and for the next two years the company floundered. All attempts to produce attractive new shapes for the Triumph TR sports car, and for a new small bread-and-butter sedan to replace the Standard Ten, failed.

1964 Triumph TR interior
The 1964 Triumph TR interior sported leather seats
and no-nonsense instrumentation set into a
polished walnut dashboard.

Then, out of the blue, Triumph's technical chief. Harry Webster, was introduced to Giovanni Michelotti, an ambitious young Italian stylist who was already creating some stunning shapes for Vignale and others. Set to produce a new TR "dream car" as a test, the Italian delivered a finished prototype with startling style in a mere three months. To follow it up, he penned a deft facelift for the Standard Vanguard, then secured his place in history by shaping a family of new small cars, the Triumph Herald sedan, coupe, convertible, and wagon.

Triumph put the ebullient stylist on a permanent contract -- and the results were remarkable. After completing work on the Herald, Michelotti then developed a new generation of TRs, starting with what became the TR4, and finishing with the TR250.

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