Classic Sports Car

Buyer’s guide Triumph 2000

The 2000 was an impressive all-rounder when new, and now makes a great family classic

- WORDS MALCOLM MCKAY PHOTOGRAPH­Y JAMES MANN

The 2000 was important in the Standard-triumph story. The firm was always a bit small to compete head-on with rivals such as BMC, and battled on with separate-chassis constructi­on for the Herald/vitesse/spitfire/gt6 family and the TRS long after others went monocoque, and its Standard marque was dying in the water. Styled by Giovanni Michelotti, the 2000 was the first monocoque Triumph, replacing the Standard Vanguard with a car that was almost infinitely more modern. It was stylish, airy, comfortabl­e, lively, smooth, quiet, economical and handled well: an outstandin­gly complete package.

The six-cylinder engine was ultimately derived from the 803cc Standard Eight ‘four’, with two cylinders added and brought up to two litres of silky straight-six. The new, all-synchro four-speed gearbox, with optional overdrive, was a great step forward; other advanced features included built-in rear seatbelt mountings and generously adjustable reclining seats that could turn the interior into a passable double bed.

Dropping in the TR5’S 2.5-litre injected lump gave the car a whole new lease of life, creating an understate­d hot rod with 0-60mph in sub-10 secs and minimal changes required to the running gear. A 5800rpm rev limiter was a wise addition to the long-stroke unit and well-chosen gearing gave a 111mph maximum in direct top, but easy 100mph cruising in overdrive. Thicker brake discs and 185x13 tyres on 5J wheels were all that was needed to cope with the extra power. An automatic transmissi­on and the estate body were offered with the PI, though rarely seen now.

Michelotti was also responsibl­e for the 1969 Mk2, which gave the car an impressive new look, with longer bonnet and tail (except the estate), new seat material and switchgear, and power steering: a formula that helped the car stay on sale until 1977. New column switches including a ‘flick-wipe’ facility were particular­ly modern, and a front seatbelt warning light (with pressure switches in the seats) was added by 1974.

Sadly, the PI’S Lucas fuel injection caused too many warranty issues and was replaced by the 2500S in 1975 with two big SUS, a hotter cam, 14in wheels and (at last) a viscous fan.

Rust is the main challenge today, and it can take time to find an original example because many parts were swapped around to keep cars going when they were worth little.

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 ??  ?? Clean, modern lines from Giovanni Michelotti made for an airy saloon body with plenty of space for passengers and luggage, and superb all-round vision
Clean, modern lines from Giovanni Michelotti made for an airy saloon body with plenty of space for passengers and luggage, and superb all-round vision
 ??  ?? The Triumph straight-six is a sturdy and dependable engine, shared with several other models and for which all parts are still available. Look out for overheatin­g from a silted-up radiator, misfires caused by burnt exhaust valves (the valve seats erode as a result of modern unleaded fuels) and general signs of wear
The Triumph straight-six is a sturdy and dependable engine, shared with several other models and for which all parts are still available. Look out for overheatin­g from a silted-up radiator, misfires caused by burnt exhaust valves (the valve seats erode as a result of modern unleaded fuels) and general signs of wear
 ??  ?? A good saloon, of any flavour, is a delight to drive. It should be remarkably quiet but for wind noise from the gutters and feel comfortabl­e, with decent handling and six-cylinder torque always giving plenty of smooth urge. Perished bushes will cause a wallowy feel, while harshness may result from over-stiff poly bushes
A good saloon, of any flavour, is a delight to drive. It should be remarkably quiet but for wind noise from the gutters and feel comfortabl­e, with decent handling and six-cylinder torque always giving plenty of smooth urge. Perished bushes will cause a wallowy feel, while harshness may result from over-stiff poly bushes
 ??  ?? Engines are prone to worn crankshaft thrust washers, wrecking crank/block. Check pulley movement when the clutch is pressed (or lever it on autos)
Engines are prone to worn crankshaft thrust washers, wrecking crank/block. Check pulley movement when the clutch is pressed (or lever it on autos)
 ??  ?? One of the trickier rot spots to repair is under the rear seat, above the trailing-arm mounts: inspect the whole body carefully, from inside and out
One of the trickier rot spots to repair is under the rear seat, above the trailing-arm mounts: inspect the whole body carefully, from inside and out
 ??  ?? Check for clunky, worn driveshaft splines and a noisy, leaky rear diff. Suspension bushes weaken with age and oil leaks, so check front and rear
Check for clunky, worn driveshaft splines and a noisy, leaky rear diff. Suspension bushes weaken with age and oil leaks, so check front and rear
 ??  ?? Early vinyl trim is durable; the later nylon is not, but both can be replaced. Instrument­s and switchgear can be hard to find, especially for early cars
Early vinyl trim is durable; the later nylon is not, but both can be replaced. Instrument­s and switchgear can be hard to find, especially for early cars

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