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Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society caters for veteran cars, vintage cars & classic cars, as well as commercials and motorcycles.

:: [  1935 Triumph Gloria Six Flow Free  ] ::

QUESTION   :    Stuart Owen gave us the photo shown below at the Dinner asking if we could provide any information on this car. It was known to be a Triumph but not much more. Fortunately we had Jon Quiney at the Dinner who knew the car immediately. Jon is a Triumph expert and has a couple of exotic Triumphs himself. Jon kindly provided the following info which we thought would be of general interest.

1935 Triumph Gloria 6 Flow Free saloon front

ANSWER          :         Triumph Gloria Six Flow Free Saloon              by Jon Quiney
This model was designed by Triumph's in-house stylist, Walter Belgrove, who in 1974 said  "I designed this model around 1934-35 in what was a 'streamline' year with nearly all the manufacturers exhibiting at the Olympia Motor Show showing their versions of the ideal 'windcheater'. We gave the Triumph model the name 'Flow-Free' and I do remember that at speed it was remarkably free from wind roar. The British motoring public in those far off days were more conventional and conservative than they are today and few of the advanced exhibits got beyond the prototype stage. We at Triumph, however, were well received and we put the model into production." However of the 50 Flow-free cars sanctioned for production it is believed that only about half were built in 1935 since despite their undoubted good looks they failed to sell at 425. There are no survivors of the original production cars but this particular example is effectively the only re-creation of such a model and which also has a very interesting history.

1931 Bentley then wearing the Triumph Flow Free body

In the hungry '30s there was a thriving cottage industry of small companies fitting surplus bodies that had not previously been sold, to an alternative chassis. One of these fringe operators was Cooper Motor Bodies of Putney Bridge Road, London who specialised in buying end-of-the-run bodies inexpensively from major motor manufacturers. They decided to fit the body of this car onto a 1931 Bentley Four-Litre chassis. Photo above is of a Bentley with a Flow Free body. Apparently with a minimum of alteration the basic Triumph body tub was adapted to suit the Bentley chassis. But the rear end had to be extended downwards, as was the bodywork beneath the doors at the sides to accommodate the increased depth of the larger car's chassis. The rear wings were also considerably enlarged to cope with the bigger tyres and wheels. A new bonnet and front wings were  constructed.
 1935 Triumph Gloria 6 Flow Free saloon back

In 1994 by good fortune, acknowledged pre-war Triumph expert and restorer Rob Green was able to purchase this original body when the then Bentley owner decided to re-body his car with Vanden Plas replica coachwork. At the same time Rob was also able to obtain a 1938 Triumph Vitesse saloon that was beyond practical restoration (the ultimate development of the Gloria model) and so with a great deal of work the Flow-Free body was grafted to a period Triumph chassis. In effect Rob had to reverse all the previous alterations made to the main body. It has the later two litre six cylinder ohv engine as fitted to the 1938 Vitesse car but overall it is as near as possible to an original 1935 Flow-Free model other than the later Vitesse radiator grille. The finished car is a real eye catcher and of course very unique in being the only surviving example of one.

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