It was known as the “new Roadster,” or by its nickname “Silver Bullet,” but for Triumph, the official and futuristic TRX proved nothing but trouble.
The smooth-lined two-seater, unveiled in 1950, was meant as a replacement for the Triumph 2000 Roadster, a delightfully old-fashioned model with its tiny cockpit, dickey seat, and huge, free-standing headlamps. Seeking a more progressive image, Triumph stylist Walter Belgrove came up with the TRX’s sleek, torpedo-like profile, which was built in double-skinned aluminum.
To maintain the flowing look, headlamps were concealed behind revolving metal covers, and the rear wheels were artfully faired-in. The new car was loaded with power-assisted gadgets. Windows, radio aerial, headlight covers, and the side-opening hood were electrically operated, and the overdrive on the three-speed gearbox was electro-hydraulically driven. A large electric motor drove the system, whose network was carefully sandwiched inside the double-skinned bodywork. With so much complexity, the Silver Bullet was plagued with problems. Soon plans were ditched, and Triumph turned to the simple TR2 sports car.
“When he pressed a button to raise the window, the seat slid back, and when he pressed the seat adjustment button, the hood was promptly raised.”
Philip Turner, motor magazine, 1973
Video model car Triumph TRX
Specification model car Triumph TRX
YEAR REVEALED: 1950
PLACE OF ORIGIN: Coventry, Warwickshire, UK
HISTORICAL STATUS: prototype
ENGINE: four-cylinder, 127ci 2, (088cc)
MAXIMUM POWER: 72bhp
LAYOUT: front-mounted engine driving the rear wheels
BODYWORK: two-door, two-seater roadster
TOP SPEED: 90mph (145kph) (projected)
NUMBER BUILT: three