Don Andreina’s recent photo of a 2 door RAV4 bracketed by more modern cars, with beautiful lighting and a Soviet-looking apartment block in the (Melbourne) background, really caught my eye. It was still in my mind when I spotted this more common 4 door RAV4 with an unlikely neighbor, just a few days after Don’s CC Outtake.
The 4 door RAV4 is a very common sight here, but seems quite small compared to the newer RAV4’s, which I sometimes mistake for Highlanders. But this old one looms over a Triumph Herald, which is a rare sight now anywhere in the US. Pretty much the only things they have in common are 4 wheels, 4 cylinders, and color. Oh, and a manufacturer’s name starting with “T”. The Herald has been covered in detail by Paul and by Roger Carr, so I can’t add anything, except to note that I think the styling has aged well. Or perhaps I should say I’ve finally come to accept it, as I really didn’t like these cars when I was young: too narrow, and the fins just didn’t work for me on an English car, despite their prevalence on various Farina-styled BMC products, and Sunbeam Alpines.
There’s a Union Jack badge on the trunk lid, under the Herald badge. As for the crossed flags on the rear fender, they look appropriate but I had to do a little research to identify them. The one on the left is St Patrick’s Cross, associated with Ireland and the origin of that shape on the British flag. The one on the right is a black rectangle on white background … any ideas?
A white flag with a black square signifies the approach of a cold front. I suspect the purpose is to notify the driver of the effectiveness of the heater 🙂
That explains why, when I returned to the parking lot later in the afternoon and the cool fog was rolling in, the Herald was gone. Thanks for the comment.
The flags reference the car’s Italian styling – they’re the insignia for Vignale-Michelotti.
damn. if i could give you a star i would.
That it has a 283 under the hood instead of a 327?
I have moved the other direction on the Herald. When I first became aware of these in recent years I liked them. Today, the white car shows up that odd upper body ridge that begins under the headlight and climbs upwards as it moves to the rear of the car, completely oblivious to every other line and shape on the car. The chrome strip sort of disguises it, but now I cannot unsee it.
Most early Heralds were two-tone, with the colour changing along that crease. With the roof painted to match the lower panel it all balanced out nicely.
My Herald was topless for an hour or two, while I removed the original roof and replaced it with one from a Herald 12/50 (with standard folding sunroof). I remember I had to get a few mates to sit on the roof over the “B” pillars so that I could bolt them up.
Looking at the side, the old fashioned fender shape that transitions into a side crease jars with me.
Did you try jacking under the body to lift it to meet the roof?
I always liked these Heralds – along with most of the other Italian styling jobs for BMC. And for VW and Peugeot as well, come to think of it. The Italians had a design language that produced stylish, trim, and functional cars that to my eye have a timeless quality to them as well (my age may be showing).
The simplicity of this particular design stands out to me, probably connected to a need to make it cheaply, and yet it still has a certain style and liveliness. It’s not the best example of the era, but it’s recognizably part of the family.
James May’s sailboat!
Um, that’s all I brought to the table…
One of the Herald/Vitesse claims to fame was the amazingly small turning circle – 25 feet if I remember correctly. It made parking an easy task, but played havoc with the life of the front tyres.
With the OE cross-ply 5.25×13 front tyres at the recommended 19psi pressure, the rubber would start to squeal at the merest suggestion of going round a corner !
Also the front suspension uprights were used for numerous open-wheel racing cars.
The Herald looks a lot better from the rear than from the front.
That’s the Herald 12/50 – the later 13/60 looks irritated but sleeker
That was a bit of British Leyland cost-saving – use the front end of the Vitessi for a Herald “restyle”.
The first two generations of RAV4 were small even compared to other compact CUVs of their time. By modern standards, they’re basically subcompacts. It wasn’t until the third gen LWB model in 2006 that the RAV4 actually surpassed the Escape, CR-V, and Forester.
Though all compact CUVs have been steadily growing over the past 20 years, it’s only the most recent RAV4 that comes within spitting distance dimensionally of the original Highlander.
The crossed flags only appeared on the twin carb coupe in 59 not on any of the 1200 Heralds, so either those or the 1200 badge has been added the early coupe had a smaller engine 998cc or something like that the 1200 was 1147, my first road legal cars was a 61 Herald 1200 sedan I later had a 63 1200 coupe which is a steel top version of the convertible pictured easy to spot a real one there are numerous roofless sedans in NZ masquerading as convertibles as all the roofs unbolt but the panel the boot hinges mount to is much shorter on sedans, Nice find real ones are getting rare.
That earlier engine was 948cc – same capacity, same bore and stroke even, as arch-rival BMC were using in their A-series. Nothing in common, of course…
Heralds were fairly common in the ’60s. I didn’t appreciate them then, but now I love the shape.
The taillights resemble Pininfarina’s proposed 1955 Nash, which unfortunately didn’t make it to production.
Nice. I like these. They were a bit like the original Corvette gang; ragtop, coupe and two-door wagon plus they had an airy saloon top as well. First front clip for me.
The crossed flags were added because of a weird UK govt regulation from October 1961 for swing-axle cars to indicate that if you lifted off in a corner taken beyond 15mph, the car would pole-vault over it’s own suspension and, in the convertible, roll and remove your head. The tiny Henry the Eighth “many rolling heads” motif in the second flag is the giveaway
I actually really like the Herald, I should add. Though probably more in contemplation than use.
I did not think much of those when they were new – even in 60s Israel they were thought of as only one step up from the horrid Israeli-made Susita. If you were looking for a respectable car in that class you went for something like a Ford Anglia. Working on them later in life when they became “collectable” did not help to change my mind – it is as if the person who designed them was a very intelligent, talented… 12 year old.
But I can see the attraction of building one as a sleeper, using proper underpinnings and another form of motivation:)