TRIUMPH 1300

Debunking the three most common old wives’ tales for the Triumph 1300...

TRIUMPH 1300

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1 - It Was The Only British FWD Car To End Up RWD

The convoluted development of the 1300 was so confusing that we’re not even convinced Triumph itself understood it, let alone its customers. The Triumph 1300 started out as a front-driver, but developments – the 1500, Toledo and Dolomite – saw it end up rear-driven. This was the only time this happened with a British production car... until Rover re-worked its 75 into the V8-engined MG ZT 260 and Rover 75 V8.

2 - It Was The Only FWD Triumph

This is something of a moot point. Triumph did abandon FWD in 1973, by which time the 1300 had grown into the 1500. The 1500TC of that year adopted the Dolomite’s rear-drive layout, but, of course, there was the Triumph Acclaim from 1981 to 1984, which was also front-driven. Enthusiasts maintain to this day that the Acclaim was not a real Triumph, being essentially a tweaked and re-badged Honda Ballade with a few minor detail tweaks, but it was FWD and still a Triumph, even if in name only.

3 - The 4WD Offshoot Was A Dead End

The 1300 was designed to allow the future fitment of four-wheel drive, and a single four-wheel-drive version was used in rallying until it was crashed in 1969. No more were built. However, the 4WD programme wasn’t a complete dead duck, leading as it did to the small, lightweight Pony pick-up that used 1300 underpinnings. There was an intention to launch this in the UK, but it was eventually shipped off to Israel instead, where it was manufactured by Autocars (which had links with Triumph), christened as the Pony and later the Dragoon.

THE PONY WAS A FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE OFFSHOOT OF THE 1300 DESIGN
THE PONY WAS A FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE OFFSHOOT OF THE 1300 DESIGN
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