Manufactured by British Leyland (BL) from 1981-1984, the Triumph Acclaim is a front-wheel drive, 4-door saloon ‘family’ car. Based on the Honda Ballade, and using a Honda-designed engine, the Acclaim was the last car to don a Triumph badge.
There are divided opinions about the Acclaim: some would say that it was most reliable car to leave the BL factory, while others were much less enthusiastic. The Acclaim replaced the much-loved Triumph Dolomite; a decision which wasn’t received well.
Regardless of what people thought of the Acclaim, it was indeed a reliable car to drive, owing mainly to the Honda running gear. A total 133,625 vehicles were produced, before the model was replaced by the Rover 200.
Triumph Acclaims were fitted with a 1,335cc straight-4, with either a 5-speed manual or 3-speed, semi-auto transmission. The car was capable of producing 75bhp with a top speed of 100mph, and a 0-60mph of just under 13 seconds.
Four standard models and two specials were produced. The ‘L’ base models, made in 1984, were very basic (they didn’t even come fitted with a clock), while the ‘HL’ higher-spec model was fitted with a clock and remote mirror control. The ‘HLS’ came after, which was very similar to the HL apart from a few minor changes, including a hatch in the rear seat to allow longer items to fit in the boot. The ‘CD’ was a top of the range car with electric windows and velour upholstery.
The Acclaim ‘Avon’ and ‘Avon Turbo’ were two special editions customised by coachbuilders Ladbroke Avon. These luxuriously-specced models had a vinyl roof, two-tone paint, leather seats and a wooden dashboard, while the (now exceedingly very rare) Turbo was capable of 100bhp and 0-60mph in just 9 seconds.
If you’re looking for a no-frills, comfortable, reliable classic, then the Triumph Acclaim may just be the one. It’s extremely inexpensive, with running models selling for under £1,000.