The 13 stood for the capacity 1300 ccs and the 60 for the power ie 60 bhp.


 The Triumph Herald was really my sons car, but I had a lot to do with it during the inevitable fettling. It originally belonged to an elderly gentleman neighbor who asked us about the fact that the engine would not turn over.


We had a look and yes it would lock up after a partial revolution. Either way it didn't matter it would just gradually tighten up right up rather than a sudden stop. Interesting...so I borrowed a building endoscope and had a look inside the engine but couldn't see anything obviously wrong. Anyway we brought the car and pushed it three houses down to our garage.


Engine out and a partial strip down revealed a stiff and partially seized camshaft follower which prevented the push rod traveling the whole distance. Careful freeing and replacement meant the engine was alright again.


However, the chassis was a different story. All the outriggers and a part of the main frame were rusted or missing. The meant removing the body the get at the rusted areas. Luckily the Herald body is basically in three parts, all bolted together and then bolted to the chassis. So it was just a matter of patiently removing the bolts and straps that held it altogether. We left the scuttle and windscreen in place to act as a reference point when we put it all back again.


Getting the required replacement sections was easy and we used our traveling welding man to weld them all into place. Then it was just a matter of replacing everything. Of course nothing fitted perfectly. Particularly the doors as they are very heavy and required a good slam to shut. However in the end it was all back together again and off to the MOT station for the test. Driving it down I noticed the brake pedal went up and down when you braked and sure enough it failed on warped disks. Given the ease of access to the front end on a Herald it didn't take too long before the disks were replaced and a MOT certificate was ours!


With the bonnet up you could sit on the front wheel and attend to the engine etc. You just had to watch your head on the bonnet edge when getting up.


My son intended using the car to go to school and had been building up the excitement there for weeks so it was an event when he drove it there the first time. I got call lunchtime....it would not start...loss of image etc. I checked the fuel tank...low fuel levels. Now the Herald has a reserve tap on the tank, located in the boot and switching this over allowed the car to start...regained image. both for son and dad.


He used the car regularly for band practice. The amp just fitted into the boot and the guitar case went in the back seat. All was well until I drove it once and detected a lot of movement when the clutch was depressed. A look under the bonnet reveals crankshaft movement beyond the few thou usually allowed by the thrust washers. This Triumph engine was noted for it's tendency to drop it's thrust washers and this one was no exception. Son, of course had noticed nothing wrong! So engine out again and sump off. Nicely rounded shoulders on both crankshaft and block meant we had two lumps of scrap cast iron!


After a while we located another engine and went to pick it up. I had the Rover 213 at the time and we managed to put the entire engine into the boot over the rather high boot cill. (the later model had a much lower cill) When we got home I found that we could not get the engine out. It required some maneuvering and it was simply too heavy to lift and twist. So I had to partially dismantle the thing in the boot until it was light enough to get out!!!!


With this engine rebuilt and replaced all was well for a while until a newly mechanically aware son reported a clonking at the rear. The fully independent rear suspension on these cars consisted of a transverse spring and exposed driveshafts to a hub set into a carrier. This meant two Hardy Spicer universal joints per shaft and these were prone to failure if not lubricated by owners. Of course, ours was the more difficult one the get out and required a press to remove the yoke in the hub. I took the hub to a Triumph specialist and had the part repaired, we also replaced the rear spring using the van version with extra leaves. At last it was all together and running quite well. The car was in fact running when I got the first company car and gave my son the old Rover 213 which was still running well.


As I had just moved to a place which had a large garage the Herald was put away for future fettling etc. Which of course never happened as I was rebuilding my Turner and then got the MGB GT. It slowly disappeared under the usual garage stuff for a few years.


My son was never going to do anything with it so I finally decided that it would make a good basis to a period kit as it had chassis and there was already a suitable design. This was called the Midge. It looked like the early MG midgets and would be a suitable closing of the circle from my old MG J2. The idea was that you constructed a body from plywood. The Midge Owners Club would sell you a set of full sized patterns and even a fibreglass moulding of the twin humped scuttle of the old MGs. Really you could make of it what you liked.


I started to collect the bits and pieces you would need for such a period car...side lights, dashboard switches and gauges. I got as far as a box of items and a set of patterns when life overtook my plans and the project was abandoned.


Sadly, the last I saw of the Herald was it being towed away loaded down with all the loose and spare parts.

1970 TRIUMPH HERALD 13/60