From the California Auto Museum: 1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster

This 1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster is offered on consignment and currently displayed at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento, California. It’s an example of a very rare model representing a “missing link” in Triumph sports car history that bridged the successful prewar competition Dolomite, Gloria Southern Cross, and postwar TR2. The styling of the post-war Roadster reflected the 1937-’39 Dolomite Roadster Coupe, with significant differences, that was targeted to the British luxury sporting market.

This example appears to be in good, original condition with paint that was refinished “roughly 20 years ago,” per the seller. He describes the car as in “overall sound, good running order and currently registered.” No mechanical issues are reported. The car presents well, including the finish, brightwork, glass, canvas, wheels, and tires.


The 1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster is powered by a Standard-Triumph 2,088-cc overhead valve inline-four engine, mated with a three-speed all-synchro manual transmission. This engine and transmission were all-new and shared with the Standard Vanguard saloon, addressing criticism of the lack of power in the original 1946-’48 Triumph 1800 Roadster. The 2000 engine was rated at 68 horsepower at 4,200 rpm, with 108 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm. The seller states that nothing is recorded of the engine’s originality or rebuilds. It is thought to be original to the car and the current owner has not had the engine rebuilt, per the seller. Cold starts are encouraged with starter fluid if the car has been sitting for a length of time. No issues are reported with shifting the transmission. “A little weeping is noted around the oil pan and the differential,” the seller notes.


He reports that the exterior was repainted “roughly 20 years ago” as a change of color. “Some orange peel and waviness” is noted by the seller, who describes the finish as “a good but not exceptional quality repaint.” The finish is described as in “very good condition, with a couple of very minor chips along the rear edge of one of the doors.” No rust is reported on the body that is constructed of aluminum sheet over an ash frame, with steel front fenders. The very stylish but narrow “suicide doors” open forward. All brightwork is seen as complete and polished to an high level in the photos provided.

All glass is in good condition according to the seller, with small scratches seen on the unusual rear windscreen. The Roadster is equipped with a canvas top that is not shown in the photos, and a canvas boot that appears to be in very good condition. The top is removable, and the process is described by the seller as “a little tricky.” Seals are said to be in good condition, with no observed leaks, although the seller points out that the that the museum has not driven the car in the rain. All lights are reported to work, although the semaphore turn indicators are inoperable. No modifications have been made to the body or trim, in the seller’s words.


The original leather interior is finished with red hides that have naturally faded on the surface areas, although the original color can still be seen on trim areas and the rear seats. The nicely patinaed seats and door panels show no damage, and no issues are reported with the original interior trim. The simple wood dashboard includes a glove box on the driver’s side and a center section housing simple gauges and controls. No issues are reported with the gauges, but the seller notes that “the wipers work intermittently.” The steering wheel is also original, with cracks seen where the rim and center section are joined. The carpet is described in “good condition, with no wear marks or holes.” The heater is said to work, with the fan unit shown in one photo hanging below the dash. No modifications have been made to the interior, other than installation of seat belts for the driver and passenger.


Triumph 1800/2000 Roadsters were built on a chassis formed with two round steel tubes—being more readily available than sheet steel in the immediate British post-war years—with a single transverse spring at the front axle and semi-elliptical springs at the rear wheels. The dealer reports “a small amount of play” in the manual steering. The brakes are “okay.” Suspension service is unknown, although the dealer notes the rear trailing arm bushings are old. No modifications have been made to the chassis and undercarriage from new. The original 16-inch steel disc wheels were refinished with the body, feature polished hubcaps and present in very good condition with no rim damage. Period-correct 5.75×16 wide-whitewall tires are mounted on the wheels and complete the presentation. Per the seller, the tires are estimated as 10 years old with “probably 85 percent or more tread remaining.” While the tires might remain suitable for display, replacement should be considered if the car is to be driven by the next owner.

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