Classic cars that break records are always going to be remembered. When they go on sale, it’s worth hearing about, especially when it’s the Jabbeke Triumph TR2. Driven by Ken Richardson, the car set a record of 124.889 mph on the Jabbeke motorway in 1953. This makes it arguably the most important TR in history and it’s being sold for £300,000 by Glen Hewett.
The TR2 debuted at the 1953 Geneva Motor Show, with Standard-Triumph’s Managing Director Sir John Black deciding it would be speed tested at Jabbeke. The carriageway had a history of being tested by British manufacturers like Jaguar and Healey.
Engineer Ken Richardson was chosen to drive the car because he’d contributed to redeveloping the TR2 before its 1953 launch. The car featured a cockpit cover, plastic windshield and undershield for improved streamlining. A significant amount of hype surrounded the TR2, as shown from a report in Motor Sport. “We have waited a long time for the sports Triumph to be anything more than an exhibit on show stands, but this sensational news from Belgium makes it look as if the Coventry sports car is well worth waiting for.”
After the car set the record, it was sold by Welbeck Motors in 1956 for £650. By 1971, it had been dismantled and in 1972 it was sold in a boxed state. When Hewett found the TR2 it was “absolutely dilapidated and rusted away.” This led to a full restoration that brought the car back to its former glory.
The restoration of the TR2 is a pivotal moment in car history. If the car hadn’t set the Jabbeke speed record, the future of Triumph may have been in doubt. The record had an important impact on the industry. It’ll be interesting to see where the TR2 ends up next.