Model 10

When I was in high school the name Triumph meant serious motorcycles and fast sports cars. The cars, especially the TR models, conveyed a distinctly foreign aura suggesting elegance and privilege.

As the years passed I spotted ever fewer Triumphs on the road, as the brand declined and they became collectibles. I probably hadn’t seen one in twenty years.

Yet when I came upon this Model 10 sitting abandoned and rusting next to a wheat field in eastern Washington state my first thought was…English. Had to be: there’s just something about those rounded, compact lines that’s unmistakable, and unforgettable.

It’s another photo that poses questions without answers. How did it get there? Why did the owner give up on it? An empty farmhouse sits nearby, but it too has eroded with time and no one seems likely to reclaim either relic.

Footnote: I emailed the Standard Motor Club about the car, and Phil Homer replied: “Its a Standard really, just badged as a Triumph in the USA. All Standards and Triumphs were built in the same factory in the 1950s and 60’s. Standard bought out the Triumph name in 1945 and every Postwar car was built by Standard.” The factory, he noted, “has gone, of course, covered by filling stations, a supermarket and Blockbuster. We don’t seem to make much anymore.”

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