Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Triumph Mayflower

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Manufacturer  Standard Motor Company
Transmission  3-speed manual
Triumph Mayflower

Production  1949–5335,000 were made
Assembly  Coventry, EnglandPort Melbourne, Australia
Body style  2-door saloon2-door drophead coupé2-door coupé utility (Australia)
Engine  1,247 cc straight-4 side-valve

The Triumph Mayflower is a British four-seat 1 14 litre small luxury car noted for its razor-edge styling. It was built by the Standard Motor Company and sold by Standard's subsidiary, The Triumph Motor Company (1945). It was announced at the October 1949 British International Motor Show, but deliveries did not commence until the middle of 1950. The Mayflower was manufactured from 1949 until 1953.


The Mayflower's "upscale small car" position did not find a ready market and sales did not meet Standard's expectations. Standard's next small car, the Standard Eight of 1953, was a basic 0.8-litre economy car.

Design and engineering

The Mayflower used a version of the pre-war Standard Flying Ten's side-valve Engine updated by having an aluminium cylinder head and single Solex carburettor. The engine developed 38 bhp (28 kW) at 4200 rpm. The 3-speed gearbox, with column shift, came from the Standard Vanguard and had synchromesh on all the forward ratios. There was independent suspension at the front using coil springs and telescopic dampers, but a solid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, also based on the Vanguard's design, was at the rear. Lockheed hydraulic brakes were fitted.

The Mayflower was the first car with unitary construction to be manufactured either by Standard or by the Triumph company that existed before Standard bought its assets. The body was designed by Leslie Moore, chief body designer of Mulliners of Birmingham with input from Standard's Walter Belgrove. The body shells were built by Fisher and Ludlow at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham.

The Mayflower had traditional "razor edge" styling similar to that of the Triumph Renown imitating the style then still used by Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars. Standard's managing director Sir John Black believed this would be especially appealing to the American market. One advantage of The Car's upright styling was that it could seat four people in comfort despite its small size, although there were complaints about the rear seat being constrained by the rear axle and being too narrow as a result.

Non-saloon versions

Ten drophead coupés were built in 1950.

Standard Motor Company (Australia) Limited produced a coupe utility variant of the Mayflower at their Port Melbourne plant in Victoria, Australia. 150 examples were built from Mayflower saloon CKD kits imported from the United Kingdom, with bodywork locally modified to form a rear load area to which timber floor and side panels were added.


A Mayflower tested by British magazine The Motor in 1950 had a top speed of 62.9 mph (101.2 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–50 mph (80 km/h) in 26.6 seconds. A fuel consumption of 28.3 miles per imperial gallon (10.0 L/100 km; 23.6 mpg‑US) was recorded. The test car cost £505 including taxes.


The Mayflower was announced and displayed for the first time on 28 September 1949, the first day of the Earls Court Motor Show. Deliveries, including complete knock down (CKD) kits for overseas markets, began in the middle of 1950.

Despite its low performance, the Mayflower impressed automobile testers, including Tom McCahill from Mechanix Illustrated and The Scribe from Autocar.


The Mayflower had been an attempt to create a small car with an upmarket image, but it failed to meet its sales targets. Standard announced the Mayflower's replacement in a press release in early February 1952; the announcement further stated that the replacement would probably not be on sale until 1953. The Standard Eight, which replaced the Mayflower, had a basic specification and was aimed at a different type of buyer. From the ending of Mayflower production in 1953 there was no small saloon with the Triumph name available in the United Kingdom until the launch of the Triumph Herald in 1959. The Standard Ten saloon and Standard Companion estate were sold as Triumphs in the United States.

The front suspension design from the Mayflower was used on the Triumph 20TS prototype and, with modifications, on the Triumph TR2.

The Mayflower's "razor-edge" styling proved controversial and tends to polarise opinion. Motoring journalist James May has described it as being the ugliest car of all time.

Cultural impact

The Mayflower is the subject of a well-known painting by Australian artist John BrackThe Car.

Die-cast models

Die-cast models of the Mayflower include Mikansue models from the 1980s, Lansdowne models from the 2000s, and Oxford Diecast 00 scale models from 2008.


Triumph Mayflower Wikipedia