The “Acclaim”-ed Triumph

The Triumph Motor Company is a former automobile and motorcycle manufacturer that produced vehicles for almost 100 years. The company was founded in 1885 and closed in 1984. The Triumph 10/20 was the company’s first automobile and was produced from 1923 to 1925. The Acclaim was manufactured from 1981 to 1984 and was the last car to be made by this once glorious company.

Triumph AcclaimThe Triumph Acclaim was classified as a medium-sized family car and was based on the Japanese Honda Ballade. As mentioned above the car was manufactured from 1981 to 1984 and was the first fundamentally Japanese automobile to be assembled on the European continent. The Acclaim was put together in Longbridge, Birmingham and met in full the United Kingdom component-content requirements.

The automobile was fitted with a 1335 cc Straight-4 Honda engine and was produced with either a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic gearbox. It dimensions were:

  • Wheelbase: 231.1 centimetres
  • Length: 408.9 centimetres
  • Height: 134.6 centimetres
  • Width: 160 centimetres

The development of the Acclaim commence three years before it was officially launched on the automotive market. The idea was for the car to replace the Triumph Dolomite which was in production from the early 1970s to 1980. The manufacturing of the Acclaim commence in 1979 and the automobile was official introduced on the 7th of October, 1981 and put for sale two days later. At the time of its presentation, the Acclaim became the only car to wear the Triumph badge as the company had ceased the manufacturing of the aforementioned Dolomite and TR7.

In 1982 the Acclaim became Britain’s seventh best selling automobile which was considered to be a success by the already struggling to keep above water Triumph Motor Company. The next year, the car maintained its position in Britain’s top ten best selling automobiles by raking in eight place. Despite the encouraging numbers, the company didn’t manage to keep its doors open and the production of the Acclaim was halted during the summer of 1984. By that time Triumph had manufactured a total of 133.626 units.

In 2011, Acclaim aficionados gathered to celebrates the automobile’s 30th anniversary. A total of 23 car owners met at the Cowley and the Heritage Motor Centre. Amongst the gathered automobiles were the late Acclaim to be produced, the oldest known surviving Acclaim, the first Avon Turbo (a limited tuned edition of the Acclaim) to even be manufactured and the only nut and bolt restored Acclaim in the world.

Red Triumph AcclaimAnother interesting myth surrounds the Acclaim. According to the legend the company had to re-badge the units that were meant for the German market as the name “Triumph Acclaim” meant “Sieg Heil” in German. The truth however is that the car was never meant to be sold on the German market and the only units that were ever transported to Germany were bought by British servicemen who were based in the country through the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes shortly known as NAAFI.

Despite not being considered as a collector’s item, the Acclaim plays in important role in the history of automobile production as it was the last car to be produced by one of the most influential motor companies in the automotive world. This is why automobile enthusiasts from all over the world know about the Acclaim and treat it with the respects that its brand deserves. So if you come across the car make sure to stop for a while and look at it because as times goes fewer and fewer units of the Acclaim will be seen throughout the streets of the United Kingdom and the world.

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