Silverstone Auctions has opened its catalogue for entries to the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show with a very rare and important car from British motorsport, the ex-works Triumph TR2 which finished 19th at the 1955 Le Mans.
The Triumph TR2 was launched in 1952 and was soon in great demand becoming very successful in motorsport competition. Motorsport was a great way for manufacturers to promote their cars and in 1954 a TR2 was privately entered into the Le Mans 24 Hours race and finished a credible 15th.
This prompted Standard-Triumph Ltd to enter a works team in 1955 with three cars all in the British Racing Green colors with consecutive number plates PKV 374, PKV 375, PKV 376. The car offered is one of these three works cars, PKV 374, driven by Leslie Brookes and Mortimer Morris-Goodall to 19th place in the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours race and for a long time was the sole surviving works car.
Sadly, the 1955 Le Mans race will be remembered for the huge accident that claiming the lives and injuring many people. Despite the accident, the race continued, and the TRs were running well with PKV 374 easily the fastest of the MGs and TRs averaging 90 mph according to the June Autosport of that year.
PKV 374 had an eventful race, with the car taking an excursion into the gravel trap where it got beached. But after 2.5 hours it was back on track and returning to the pits. For the rest of the race, the car continued with gear selection troubles but still managed to finish 19th, just behind the other two works cars.
The late King Hussein of Jordan took a fancy for PKV 374 and whilst the other two cars headed back to Coventry, PKV 374 was sold to the King and left the circuit straight for Jordan in full Le Mans race trim. In 1956, the King brought the car back to the UK and at the time it was in the Jordanian colors of blue and white with luxurious upholstery. In November of that year, the King sold the car. After changing hands several times, the car was purchased by the present owner, in 1972, which was by now in a poor state and set about restoring the car over a long period of time to its original Le Mans specification.
In 2000, PKV 374 was finally finished and went on to successfully complete the London to Istanbul leg of the Around The World In 80 Days rally. This was the start of the car’s modern era of competition, as it took part in many HERO rally events before it was decided to return the car to Le Mans, in 2005, for the One Hour Legends
Race and driven by Tony Dron and Nick Marsh, where it suffered fuel issues and retired after 6 laps. Not to be outdone, it returned the following year and finished 5th in class and 23rd overall.
PKV 374 is now being offered with an amazing history, photographs, articles, magazines, race reports and it’s old FIA HTP papers which are now out of date. Offered at £100,000 to £140,000 this is a rare and significant car which is not just any Triumph, but an ex-works car and now offering a unique opportunity to own and compete in exclusive events such as Goodwood, Le Mans Classic and many more.
Adam Rutter Classic Car Specialist for Silverstone Auctions commented: “There is so much history with this car and after 47 years of private family ownership, the car is on the next stage of its adventure, of which it is no stranger. It has been in storage for four years and is now up and running but may require some further fettling to prepare it for competition. The history file is massive there must be at least 6 box files plus folders and other boxes of articles. The car is now in our care and available for private viewings prior to the auction.”
This is the eighth year that Silverstone Auctions have been the official event partner of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show. With consignments now being invited, Silverstone Auctions have a number of important cars already consigned with four different Aston Martins and an Evanta DBR1 Evocation alongside the ex-works Triumph TR2.
Silverstone Auctions are accepting cars for their Classic Motor Show auction on the 9th and 10th of November and can be contacted on 01926 691141 or email [email protected]