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My cars

My Triumph Herald Convertible

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BOUGHT from a private seller in Salisbury in April 1967, my second car was a 1961 Triumph Herald 1200 Convertible that had been souped up and fitted with twin SU carburettors.

Its registration number was 434 LRL (Cornish). It cost me around £225, as I remember. It was green with a white flash; it was my only convertible and I loved it.

I lavished lots of love and care, and every spare penny I could rake up to load the Herald to the hilt with all the extras that were trendy at the time.

Interior extras included a Helphos spotlight mounted on the windscreen that you could twist and point to illuminate road signs at night, should you feel the need; there was a St Christopher, an extendable torch, a cigar lighter, a stick-on notepad, an ammeter, headrests, a Jaguar ashtray, a wooden steering wheel, countless flashing lights and switches with long, toggle-style extensions.

The external ‘bling’ included two (!) chromed Jaguar emblems mounted on the bonnet, reflecting my passion even in those young days for Jaguars. There were two spotlights on the front and one mounted on the boot, plus black go-faster stripes and sporty, conical wing mirrors. 

With all that paraphernalia, it was a wonder the car could move at all, but it did – in fact, it was a very nippy little mover by the standards if the day. It was hardly the acme of comfort, though – the hood leaked, the plastic rear window was cracked and virtually opaque and the heater was unreliable. I do, however, remember the amazingly tight turning circle for which the Herald was famed.

Despite all the affection and cash that I expended on that car, I actually kept it for only a year, moving it on in April 1968. 

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