‘Jabbeke’ Triumph TR2 honored as historic car of the year

‘Bullitt’ Ford Mustang was among the finalists at Historic Motoring Awards

Beating out the likes of the original Bullitt Ford Mustang and “The Lost” Land Rover, the recently restored record-breaking “Jabbeke” Triumph TR2 was acclaimed car of the year in the Historic Motoring Awards 2018 competition which culminated recently with a gala event in London.

Among other top awards, the Jaguar E-type Concept Zero, made famous as the car driven from their wedding by the royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markel was honored as Bespoke Car of the Year and racer/journalist Tony Dron received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards have been presented for the past eight years by Dennis Automotive, publisher of Octane and other British car magazines.

Restored ‘Jabbeke’ Triumph on display at the Royal Automobile club | RAC photo

In 1952, Standard Motor Company hired Ken Richardson away from BRM to lead the development of an affordable but world-class sports car. To validate the car’s capabilities, Richardson took one of the first two examples to the Jabbeke highway in Belgium, where he set land speed records for cars with engines of 2.0-liters or less, reaching nearly 125 mph (124.889) in May 1953.

Racing-prepped Triumph TR2 later raced at Le Mans, in the Mille Miglia and won the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy and RAC Rally. 

After serving as a Triumph factory test car, the “Jabbeke” TR was sold in 1956. A dozen years later it was reported to be in deteriorated condition, was dismantled and stored. The car was purchased a few years later by Glen Hewett, who with his father established Triumph restoration specialist Protek Engineering in 1985. They soon were joined by Glen Hewett’s brother-in-law Chris Soden. Earlier this year, Glen Hewett completed the “Jabbeke” car’s restoration.

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The Restoration of the Year award went to Lamborghini Polo Storico for its revival of a Lamborghini Miura.

Tony Dron was honored for his lifetime achievements as a racer and journalist. He raced in single-seaters and touring cars and posted several class victories at Le Mans in Porsches. He raced for more than 40 years, all the while working as well as an automotive journalist.

“In what has been the strongest ever year for entries – and the toughest ever for judging – all our nominees have made an invaluable contribution to the old car scene globally,” noted Robert Coucher, international editor of Octane magazine.

“Testament to the caliber of the shortlists was the fact that our panel of judges  – which included Derek Bell, Peter Stevens and Jay Leno – even asked us to split one category into two because they couldn’t separate two of the candidates.”

The other Historic Motoring Awards for 2018 went to:

•  Club of the Year: Talbot Owner’s Club

• Heritage Collection of the Year: Porsche

• Motoring Event of the Year: (Royal) Concours of Elegance

• Show of the Year: Retro Classics Stuttgart

• Museum of the Year; Museo Nicolis

• Motorsport Event of the Year: Le Mans Classic

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•  Breakthrough Event of the Year: Heveningham Hall Concours d’Elegance

  • Race Series of the Year: The 2 Litre Cup

•  Rally of the Year: The RAC 1000 Mile Trial

•  Book or Film of the Year: Gaston Grummer — The Art of Carrosserie by Phillippe Grummer and Laurent Friry

• Specialist of the Year: The Classic Motor Hub

•  Performance Car of the Year: Alpine A110

•  Industry Supporter of the Year: Richard Mille

• Personal Achievement: Madan Mohan (21 Gun Salute)

• The Vantage Award: Andy Palmer (CEO, Aston Martin) 

•  The Enzo Award: GTO Engineering

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