I have owned a variety of cars over 40 years. Most of these I liked a lot and I always found it not easy to sell them. In an ideal world I would have kept them all, in a big nice garage. That 2CV, Herald, the smooth CX, even the slow Oxford had its merits.
Today’s COAL is about a series of cars of which I have owned a few, and which may not be too familiar to American Curbside Classics readers: the Triumph Big Saloon.
It got its nickname because in those days, 1963 – 1977, it was the biggest saloon (“sedan” for you Americans) Triumph made. Nowadays I am not sure anyone would call a Triumph 2000 a big car. Its length was 174 inch (439 cm) for the Mk1 – the Mk2 grew to 183 inch (465 cm). Compare this to a modern Honda Accord which is 192 inch (488 cm).
1966 Triumph range. Herald, Vitesse, Spitfire, 1300, 2000, TR4a
Triumph had a formidable array of cars back in the 60s, one of the nicest ever from any make in my opinion. Styling was sharp and up to date, and usually the mechanics were reliable. Triumph always was just a bit more special compared to your common Austin, Hillman, Ford or Vauxhall.
The Triumph Big Saloon was a 4 door unibody sedan introduced in 1963 designed by Michelotti (who was also responsible for the Herald, Spitfire and TR4). It looked smart and like nothing else.
The 2000 created a completely new market in the UK, shared with the Rover 2000 (P6) which was introduced at the same Earls Court Motor Show. At that time, both Rover and Triumph were independent makes. Later they would be companions in the big ugly British Leyland concern but let’s leave that discussion for another time. Both the Rover and the Triumph were fresh, modern, a little flashy, sporty – just the the car for the upcoming young executive. The Rover was seen as a touch more upmarket, whereas the Triumph was seen as a bit more sporty.
A wagon followed in 1966, and in 1968 the larger engined 2500PI was introduced alongside the 2000. The 2500PI (PI for Petrol Injection) was the first production British car with Fuel Injection. When all was good the PI was a formidable car (they made nearly 140 BHP against 90-105 BHP for standard carbureted engines) but it got a reputation as a troublesome car. The Lucas injection needed too much attention and after a few years Triumph reverted to twin carburetors again.
In 1969 a big makeover appeared, the Mk2. Michelotti had put on a new, longer nose similar to the Stag and also a longer rear end. This was a very happy restyle and the car sold well. In 1977, the last cars were made. Its successor was the Rover 2300/2600 “SD1” two years later but it never had the success of the “big” Triumphs.
Triumph “big saloon” Mk1 top, Mk2 bottom
All Big Saloons had the same 6 cylinder inline engine, at 2000 cc or 2500 cc. The 2000 was also used in the Triumph Vitesse and GT6. The 2500 was also used in the TR250 / TR5 and TR6. Engines were an unexciting dependable, old fashioned sturdy OHV lump of steel. What all these engines have in common is that they had no real flaws, they just go on and on. Most (except the 2500PI) had two carburetors, SU or Stromberg depending on the year. Gearbox was a standard 4 speed on the floor, with electric overdrive as an option. Optionally you could get a Borg Warner 35 three speed automatic. All cars had power brakes, front brake discs and independent rear suspension. For 1963 this was pretty much up to date stuff.
Dashboards: top is Mk1, bottom is Mk2
Where the Mk1 had a nicely styled typical 60s dashboard, the Mk2 had a very different dashboard with lots of wood, similar to the Stag. Seats were vinyl at first, leather became an (often selected) option later. The Mk2 usually has cloth seats.
Triumph Big Saloons have been in my life more than once. I have a soft spot for them. In the Netherlands they are not well known, not many were sold here, which had to do with the expensive UK Pound Sterling. A Big Saloon is a practical car, having enough room for passengers and a fairly big boot. Handling is good, a bit sporty even, acceleration was pretty good back in the days when the majority of cars were slow and is still acceptable today.
I have always liked the sleek sporty styling. At first not so much the Mk1, which I only saw on pictures. Later I came to appreciate the typical 60s detailing of the Mk1 and now I would prefer a Mk1. However a Mk2 is also a good looking car. All Big Saloons have a quality interior, with wood on the door tops and comfortable supportive seats. The view out is excellent, you can see front and rear of the car.
Triumph “big saloon” Mk1 top, Mk2 bottom
My fathers’ 2500 TC
My father never cared or knew much about cars. He bought what his usual garage had on offer at the time. Luckily I had some uncles who had much more interesting cars. In the late seventies one had a fantastic new Rover 3500 (SD1 style), another a Mercedes 350 S, and yet another uncle was the owner of a Triumph 2500 TC. Such a Triumph was a rare sight in the Netherlands. I think we (my older brother and me) talked so much about it my father agreed with my uncle to swap cars for a couple of days. Even my father got enthusiastic about the “big” Triumph then, so different compared to his Peugeot 404 wagon!
A year or two later my fathers Peugeot was on its last legs – the rust and rot had crept in too much. My brother and myself found a 4 year old Triumph 2500 TC advertised which was not too expensive. My father agreed to have a look, a short test trip later that car was his.
We all loved it. That great six cylinder engine sound! Overdrive flicked on by a switch on the gear lever, amazing! Luxurious cloth seats with head rests! A big sliding sunroof! It was fantastic – we were the family in the street with that flashy car!
Having just received my drivers license, I was allowed to use it in the weekends for the 3 or 4 years my father had the car. Fuel was expensive but I knew I had to spend it as it was such a good car to drive and realized my father would never buy something like this again.
Over the years while we owned it this car gained rust spots everywhere. Which was strange after only 7 years old or so but then we remembered the salty-air seaside town where it had lived for its first harsh years. When it got up to the point that we had to clean the oiled-up #6 spark plug every time after a journey, the end of ownership was near. I could borrow the car for one more weekend which I spend driving the car using two full tanks of petrol. I knew we would never have an interesting car again so I better had to make use of it for the last time. Indeed, after trading in the Triumph my father turned to Japanese since. Not that these were any less rusty though!
The green 2000 Mk2
Ten years passed. I had my 2CV, then my white Chamois and then my Herald. All lovely small cars. I was not a student anymore, had a job, a decent income and now wanted to experience a bigger, faster, smoother car. There was the Morris Oxford but although bigger, it was not really faster and smoother.
Remembering the 2500 TC of my father, I wanted a similar car. I knew these cars made before around 1973 were better because the steel used for the bodies were of a better quality. Also, these slightly earlier examples were just a bit nicer on the details: less plastic / more metal, often with the optional leather seats. I found a 1971 Laurel Green 2000 Mk2 with tan leather seats. The seller was the son of the original Jaguar / Triumph dealer who sold the car when new.
(As an aside – I am happy to report that that very same 1966 Morris FG truck is still alive and well, and in use by one of the dealers’ sons who owns a Car Restoration shop. What a fantastic truck – love the styling).
The trouble was the Triumph had not been running for several years. A friend and myself got to work: clean and set the ignition points and put in a new battery. It roared to life! There were still some brakes so I drove it to the next fuel station where fresh fuel was added and air to the tires. Then all the way to my house which was some 50 miles away. My friend in his Volvo 144 drove in front of me so should the brakes fail I would wreck him, not someone else 🙂
After a good service I used that 2000 as our daily driver for a couple of years. I installed an LPG system and a towing bracket. A neighbor saw me working in the garage and mentioned he had scrapped one years ago and kept the overdrive box. I could have it for a bottle of good wine! The overdrive basically is a small reduction box fitted behind the existing gearbox, switched on electrically by a switch located on the gearbox lever knob. No need to use the clutch, it works on 3rd and 4rd gear. 4 Overdrive gives a 25% reduction in engine rpm which is very useful and noticeable on the motorway. Many UK car manufacturers had the Laycock overdrive listed as an option, also Volvo used them until in the 90s.
The 20+ year old Triumph served us well. I fitted a baby seat in the back and the big trunk was perfect for all the baby stuff our newborn son seemed to need. As an everyday car, I used it for all kinds of things. The towing bracket made it useful for picking up cars or towing trailers full of garden pruning waste to the tip.
Triumph Two Thousand Towing TR4s – my freshly bought white TR4 and the red TR4 of my brother
My car had a few peculiarities. It had yellow head lamp bulbs. At first I thought a previous owner mounted these but I found out all early (1970-73) big Triumphs had these when delivered new in the Netherlands. I think the importer wanted a small extra way to distinguish the cars. In the popular 1973 Dutch movie “Turks Fruit”, sponsored by British Leyland so there are many nice Triumphs to be seen, those cars had yellow lamps as well.
My car also had orange rear lamp covers for the reversing lights. These were only fitted to cars delivered in France, why they were fitted to my car I do not know. In 1971, exterior mirrors were still not standard equipment. This meant they were fitted by dealers, the delivery dealer of my car fitted just one drivers mirror on the front wing (fender). It is up for discussion if this is the best place for an exterior mirror. They are far away from the driver but they are visible through a wiped windscreen. In the UK exterior mirrors were always fitted on the wings until the early seventies. Fact is on my car the supplying dealer did it put there and I liked it. Always have liked wing mounted mirrors, just for the fun look of it.
The green 2000 was used for holidays of course, to the top of the Alps, yearly trips to England, trips to the Beaulieu autojumble with 3 friends and a huge trailer (to be loaded with fenders, doors, an engine, rear axle and many books).
The car lived on the street. Being in the Netherlands with its salty winters, the car from the early seventies without much rust proofing from new, meant that rust also became an issue on this car. When after five years when the rust got too ugly I decided to sell the 2000. I was also changing work, I would get a new lease car at my new employer. As with many cars I have owned, I was sorry to see this car gone.
The blue 2500 Mk2 automatic
Ten years after selling the green 2000, I had switched jobs again. The new job was about 60 miles away and required me to be at the office every day. At first I used a 6 year old Citroen Xantia but within a year I decided I did not want to spend at least two hours per day in a modern boring car. I thought back at my lovely 2000 Mk2…..
So I searched and found a very good thirty year old 2500 Mk2 auto. Having an automatic was necessary because I was spending time every day in very dense traffic (stop / start / slow / stop etc).
As found. Some fettling needed to get it running smoothly.
First time out of the garage since 5 years
The car was from someone who had owned it for a number of years, the last five of which the car was stored under cover in a garage because he used his TR7 more. Covers removed, it looked very good, same colour as the car my father owned 25 years earlier. The excellent condition of the car made me buy it.
I never liked the plastic grille of the later Mk2 Saloons so I exchanged it for an early model aluminum grille. Preparing the car for the long commute consisted of exchanging the (black fabric) front seats to (black leather) seats from a Jensen I had spare. The foam of the original front seats had degraded somewhat, I would need good seats and the Jensen seats were much better.
I wanted to put in a LPG system but not the common type like I had in the 2000 which would mean a loss of around 20% in power. A new modern system used special LPG injectors drilled in the inlet manifold, a laptop-programmable ECU was used to manage this system. This worked very well. I removed the cylinder head and had hardened valve seats inserted. A noisy differential was exchanged for one I had saved years before from a scrap car. The driveshafts were replaced by better ones with less wear and the car was good to go.
At home I now had a garage so this car was parked inside, not on the street. I was rebuilding our home at the time we had the 2500, the old garage became our living room and a new garage was added to the house.
In my old garage
Yes, this is the same room. Garage door gone, three windows installed, new floor, etc
In the new garage – almost no room for cars!
There is not a lot more to say about this car. It was reliable and did not leave me stranded ever. The wiper motor packed up, I changed it for one I had spare. It needed a new water pump. I had the radiator re-cored.
Although I drove many miles behind the wheel of this one, the car never got to me like the green 2000 did. Maybe because we did not use this car for holidays, it was only used for my commute. I did not bond with it like I did with other cars. The fact that it did its work very good for a 40+ year-old car every day was not good enough for me anymore. I even began to critizise it: the green one was nicer to drive and had better (earlier) details. To be honest I knew I just did not want to spend another year commuting in this car, I wanted something different, fresh.
Next to its successor
Further reading. The Triumph 2000 / 2500 Register in the UK has a thorough history:
Great Triumphs, I actually always thought these had the Stag V8 in them because of the similar size and front end styling. I might have seen your car earlier this year around the corner of my house. I can’t remember all the details but it was the same shade of blue and also in very good condition.
It was parked with an elderly couple in it, I vaguely seem to remember that the owner looked a bit mixed Indonesian. Might be the new owner of your Triumph?
One new owner painted the hood matt black and put on fancy wheels. But that was about 6 years ago. Not sure what happened to the car after that.
Ah then its not the same car because it was all original and with a blue hood.
> I actually always thought these had the Stag V8 in them because of the similar size and front end styling
More the other way around, I believe – the prototypes were based on a shortened saloon floorplan, and the Stag was originally intended to use the 2500 six
Wow you like those cars, you should have emigrated to NZ they were hugely popular and built for longer than any other country unused CKD packs being sourced from Australia for assembly in Nelson, Triumph 2000 MK2s are still seen regularly though the numbers are thinning out as daily drivers theres still thousands around being rebuilt or hoarded in sheds For NZ assembly a number was sprayed on the bonnet hinge panel under the bonnet as my boss found out the hard run if that number is missing the car has had frontal impact they arent very strong his turned out to be 3/4 inch shorter on the left side wheel base, he detailed it and traded for a Datsun 1200 and bought a Vanguard six to tow his boat.
Wow – traded in for a Datsun 1200. That must have been a very different experience. Vanguard Six would have been much older.
I believe the 2000/2500 still have a good following in Australia and NZ.
Vanguard was a 62 from memory Triumph 74 but the little Datsun was the famuly run about and the rusty old Vanguard did the towing they had the same engine as MK1 Triumph 2000 twin carbs etc they go well but the styling was off.
Nice cars! I saw one at a car show near Detroit a while back, looks like a Mk1.
A Mark One indeed. Really rare in the US! Looks like a nice example.
Great information detailing the differences between the Mk1 and Mk2.
The dashboards are the most striking difference between these models; the Mk2 is (in my opinion) a fantastic wood tribute to the classic British sport cars that were so common in the USA in those years.
And as you mentioned, the Mk2 has a really Stag like front end. I do not believe I have ever seen either of these Triumph sedans in the metal.
Thank you for a very informative post.
As always I find it unfair to compare a car against its successor, in this case Mk1 against Mk2. Both have their merits, the successor always has the benefit of being newer and using newer ideas. Overall I like the detailing of the Mk1 better but as you see in my COAL I like the Mk2 very much as well. As a stand-alone design I think the Mk2 is very good – you would not have guessed it took most of the body form the Mk1.
These are cars I have only read about, and cannot ever recall seeing one in person. This series has given a boost to my appreciation for the kinds of British cars that were rarely seen in the US. I like these quite a bit.
It is interesting how you could bond so deeply with one version of a car and not so much with another. I wonder if the automatic transmission in the later car affected your feelings towards it. I can imagine that it would not have been as engaging to drive as one with the manual.
Bonding with a car is a nice thing. I did not have this with all cars I owned. The blue against the green is a good example. Objectively, the blue one was in a better condition. Maybe it is about the small things. I like the (cracked) leather of the green car (without head restraints) and indeed the manual and overdrive better.
The Mk1 vs Mk2 contrast is interesting, they both ended up as very handsome vehicles with no clear (to me) advantage of one over the other which is rare in such matters. Once again, excellent pictures and the story of not one, not two, but three of the same was excellent!
… and excluding the scrap cars my brother and I owned. And the cars my brother had (and has). We picked up a great Mk2 for him in the UK which surprisingly had left hand steering. He drove that car for a period, then stored in the shed. Then six years later we towed it out of the shed, mad it running again and took it to a two day 2000 mile Round Britain tour. Excellent stuff, maybe for another article.
Spotted at Minaker’s in Picton, Ontario in the early 1990’s
Minakers had some interesting cars on the property in the late 80’s early 90’s; they were the only salvage yard that might have had parts at the time for my Suzuki SJ410 or the Subaru Chaser that preceded it.
There was a senior at Loyola High in 1967-1968 that drove a black Mk I to school every day. I had lots of opportunities to look it over. The sound of its exhaust was very fine indeed.
These were relatively rare but there were some around. There was a pretty active British car dealer in Towson, and it was a good market for them, as it was a somewhat upscale area.
I can well understand your infatuation with these. Charming cars, and undoubtedly a pleasure to drive.
One of the reasons I’ve never bought a similar car to one I owned a long time ago is because I expect that it will never quite measure up to the memories and experience of the first time around.
I have a habit of choosing my cars carefully. In that sense, usually I am not disappointed when driving a similar car I once owned. Maybe a sad thing but I still like most of my older choices.
Some times when searching for some part on my cars, someone would say “it’s from a Triumph 2000” That really didn’t help me here in the USA.
Another excellent entry in your COAL series, thank you. The lead photo looks like a screen cap of a chase scene from a Bond movie. The fender sweep above the rear wheel arch, lends a Studebaker quality. Perhaps what a next gen late ’60s Studebaker Cruiser might have looked like. Though generally, I find the styling has an Eastern Bloc quality.
The main part of your comment made me smile. The last sentence however – not so much. But each to their own of course.
I think Michelotti did a great job designing these cars.
Not meant to offend you personally. As a child in the ’70s, I can be a harsh critic of some 60s designs, as some manufacturers progressed with noticeably better evolved design language, in later generations. Appealing to me, as I saw them as more modern. I craved current styling as a kid. For example, I preferred the greater tuck under of a number of 70s cars. Was generally less attracted to cars with slab sides, mostly vertical within the wheelbase, to their sills. The Ro80, being an exception among cars of the ’60s. Why, 1990s Saturns didn’t appeal to me. I find various other ’60s designs, too austere. Detailing around windows also became much cleaner on most cars, in the ’70s. Sharper corners, and cleaner looks. Not a fan of the distinctly curved corners on windows, has a ’50s quality. Of course, many ’60s designs are timeless, and iconic.
I am not that easily offended Daniel 🙂
But Eastern Europe cars usually had a styling that is a bit off (proportions not correct) and I do not think that is the case with these Big Triumphs.
As for cleaner styling – I can see the attraction but I just like fuzzy details more. Much harder to clean though.
Great post! I think that these are quite attractive cars, particularly the MK2.
I also really like the 1966 Morris truck. There was a Matchbox model – also from 1966 – that was similar to that, but it’s quite something to see one as a full-size real vehicle.
Fully agree about the Morris truck. These have a friendly, rounded design very unlike most blocky truck designs.
The FG was another typically-British brilliant, yet stupid idea.
The doors were corner-mounted so delivery drivers could open them more easily in traffic. Like a three-penny bit coin…
Unfortunately, this meant tiny, unergonomic seats offset toward the centre-line and not aligned to the pedals or column.
That, plus the twisting required to get out ruined many a driver’s back.
I was a bit critical of your Morris Oxford last week, but I love these Triumphs and I fully approve! As if my opinion matters 😀. These were not common here in the US; the most famous one belonged to Paul Newman.
I never knew Paul Newman owned one of these. I love him even more!.
Now these Triumphs ae ne of my all time favourite cars, certainly from a design perspective, and for their (mostly) advanced mechanical specification for their time.
I most say that I am not fond of the Mk1. The exterior styling I can live with but that dashboard is just ghastly. As far as I am concerned, the Mk2 was what the 2000-2500 should have been right from the start. The extra length at the extremities blended beautifully with the midsection, the new front end provided a more contemporary and yet timeless look, and that horrible dashboard was tossed away and in its place was of the finest to ever appear in a sedan.
Along with the Citroen DS of 1967, I consider it it to be one of the most successful facelifts in automotive history.
I am surprised that this model was not sold longer than it was in the US. It was stylish, solid and roomy and not too smlal like some othert imports.
Like New Zealand, these were assembled in Australia and were a good seller, so back in the day, you would see them everywhere.
Sadly, Australia never received the wagon/estate version, whilst the smaller New Zealand market did.
It is a shame that that they didn’t get a more modern engine (not the Stag V8) and that the fuel injection was not more reliable. I understand that the injection system can now be made to be more reliable.
Estates came to NZ built up the weak area on these cars is the rear axle universals but Datsun saved the day by making replacement universal joints in their 180B much stronger and longer lasting.
Yes I have heard that about Datsun parts being substituted. It seems the 180B is not totally useless.
Indeed. The sliding joints on the drive shafts are a weak point on the Triumph IRS, as are the universal joints. A pity, this should have been improved over the years. But by then Triumph was part of British Leyland which were always short of money.
You’d said earlier that you and your brother had talked your father into getting a Triumph 2500, so when I saw the headline on your Morris Oxford COAL, at first I thought it had been a car of your father’s.
The 2000 Mk1 was sold briefly, and in small numbers, in the United States in the mid-60s. I learned this only a few years ago and have never seen one in the metal. I much prefer the styling of the Mk2.
I can relate to wanting a car with automatic for the commute, but with today’s autoboxes you don’t take a hit in performance. I think the B-W 35 was widely used in European cars because it was available, not because it was a great transmission. I wonder how a Triumph 2500 with a modern automatic would do.
Exactly as you say – to use the BW35 because it was available, not because it was a fantastic automatic. A 4 speed auto with lockup would have been nice!
Here’s a really interesting account by a man in New Zealand who replaced the blown BW35 in his Rover P6B with a ZF transmission. Apparently it really improved the car. An impressive accomplishment.
It’s too bad we never got these big Triumphs in the US. In size, style and performance these were comparable to the BMW Neu Klasse we did get and probably quicker than than a Volvo 144. A 2500 with the US TR6 engine could have done well in the mid 70s as long as it was well built and didn’t overheat.
The 2500 PI was a popular British police car and motorway police had a second speedometer in front of the passenger.
The Volvo 144 was very popular here. I could never see its extra virtues. To me, a Big Triumph was better looking, faster, more comfortable and has a better interior. My friend with his 144 agreed, he bought a 2000 Mk2 a few years later.
Ever seen one in the metal, a white Mk 1 Estate in Luxembourg. Being snobbish about British cars back then and because the specimen looked rather ratty, with rust bubbles galore, I didn’t give it too much of a second look.
Way later, after reading about the technological prowess and having a closer look at quite a few photos I pretty much lust after one, specifically a Mk 1 Estate. Though the later mug is quite handsome in it’s own right, for me there is no contest. I guess that is on behalf of the Mk 2 look becoming more generic in hindsight, while the original design pulls my strings especially because of the delicious, dated Michelotti quirkiness.
I am delighted to read about your first hand modern world experience, my unrest sure is about to grow in case my occasional ebay-kleinanzeigen searches cough up a nice example one day.
A good thing you are looking into these Big Triumphs! There are not much lovers for these outside of the UK. Agree with you about the styling and quirkiness although I prefer a saloon against the estate. The estate might have been practical but it lost its nice rear roof overhang etc.
The Triumph and Rover 2000 created a new ‘executive’ market which left old duffers like the Humber and various badge engineered BMCs looking very staid. Both companies were aware that the other was developing a similar sized model but couldn’t pull off a merger. Mores the pity. BMW took note of the market impact and the premium brand sector now completely dominates.
Yellow head light bulbs mean your green 2000 was originally sourced from France by the selling dealer .Perhaps there was a shortage of the model in the Netherlands.
The only bad thing about the estate is that the Mk2 retains the tail lights from the Mk1.
My dad had a Mk 2 2.5 PI when I was a kid of about 7 or 8. It was white with a black vinyl interior, and automatic. I remember it being pretty quick – not much passed us apart from Jags and bigger engined Capris. Being white the cars in front of us used to pull over thinking it was a police car ! The UK police forces used a lot of Mk2s around the country. I don’t remember it ever giving much trouble, apart from the electric fuel pump under the boot floor packing up once, but we were at home at the time so it didn’t strand us anywhere. My dad sold it around 73 or 74 when the fuel crisis forced petrol prices up – it was around 72p a gallon ! As opposed to £1.46 a litre now ! He replaced it with a harvest gold Morris Marina 1.8 – the first of three. Just awful !
Thanks for sharing your memories Jim! The 2.5 PI was a quick car back in the day. Not sure all the police cars were 2.5 engined models?
This pictured car has the grille of the 2000 Mk2
A handsome car for sure, although I too prefer the details of the MK1.
I did see a MK2 once a few years ago, there’s a local “British Car Day” held locally and I saw one on a trailer while driving nearby. Maybe going home with it’s new owner.
I hadn’t really thought of the Netherlands as a very salty country, here in Canada they use literally tons of the stuff all winter. Our carpets sparkle with salt crystals and old British cars lasted only a few years.
Much salt is shifted here on winter days.
Even modern cars cannot escape it. Subframes and other underfloor metal gets rusty real soon.
Glad you enjoyed this Triumph of British engineering. It wasn’t until I looked at the second photo on this post that I saw the visual similarity between the 4 headlamp 2000 Mk 1 and the 2 headlamp 1300 – perhaps there’s so much going on I never noticed?
I still rate the 2000 mk2 as a successful facelift, even if the car did look a bit long and narrow from some angles.
Facelifts that improve a car visually, when looking back, are rare. The Rover SD1 is a prime example, and arguably even the Series 3 XJ6 might be superlative, the earlier cars still have a certain something.
Amazing you did not see the similarity before 🙂
Take a look at the DAF 33 / 44 /55 at the rear C style / rear window / roof area. Very much like the Dolomite, typical Michelotti style.
And yes about the Mk2 facelift!