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Triumph 2500TC

1974 - 1977
United Kingdom
6 cyl. OHV
2498 cc
99 bhp
4 spd. man overdrive 3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
104 mph
Number Built:
1 star
Triumph 2500TC
Triumph 2500TC
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1


The Triumph 2500TC and 2000TC were introduced by British Leyland following continued problems with the previous models fuel injection system. In what could only be considered a backward step, the new model Triumph dropped fuel injection and instead used (what Triumph knew was tried and tested) a twin carb configuration.

Such was the damage to the reputation of the car with the previous model (P.I.) that the marketers even included the designation "TC" (for Twin Carb) into the name. One shouldn't be too quick to denounce the car, however, as at that time there were only a handful of manufacturers that were successfully implementing fuel injection on the production line - naturally Mercedes being one of them.

The previous iteration was available in two engine capacities, the original 1998cc unit and a stroked 2498cc engine introduced with the 2.5 P.I. But the step up from the 2000's somewhat undernourished 90 bhp to the Pi's 132 bhp was a rather large one, the car gaining some 10 mph extra in top speed and slicing around five seconds from the 0-60 mph time.

The twin carb 2498cc motor produced a healthy 99bhp, which in turn gave the car a top speed of just on 105mph. It used the 2000's twin Stromberg carburettors to produce a marginal power improvement of 10 bhp, plus a considerable torque increase from 117 ft cs. to 141 ft.'lbs. The aim of the Triumph engineers was to ensure sufficient low-speed flexibility and the fact that both power and torque figures were produced at much lower rpm figures than the 2000 indicated that the objectives were reached. Options included overdrive or automatic gearboxes, and the 2500TC could be ordered as either a saloon or estate.

The 2500TC was trimmed identically to the 2000, and was not equipped with some of the Pi's "sports" equipment such as tachometer and three-spoke vinyl-rimmed steering wheel, but the low-revving characteristics of the engine didn't really encourage that sort of driving anyway. The super-smooth six always happy to glide along at traffic-jam speeds, with the power coming on readily as the throttle was opened.

What the 2500 engine really lent itself to was an automatic transmission. Triumph used the T-bar Borg Warner 35 auto transmission and the combination was very satisfactory - although it must be said that the Borg Warner transmission was widely praised in just about every car that it was fitted to. The actual acceleration figures of the 2500TC were not particularly fast, but this was due more to the engine's deliberately restrained performance rather than a lack of efficiency in the gearbox. Top speed with the optional automatic was a very adequate 102 mph. with the tall 3.45:1 final drive allowing the car to lope along in dignified silence (the 2000 used a 3.7:1 final drive).

Behind the Wheel

In fact the most impressive aspect of the 2500TC was the very good insulation from mechanical, road and wind noise. With the extreme smoothness of the engine and gearbox, this added up to relaxed cruising in either urban or country driving situations. The car felt every inch a quality British automobile - at a time when "Built in Britain" was starting to be on the nose. Interior appointments in the TC included genuine wood capping on the doors and in the instrument panel, adjustable rake for the steering column and an efficient flow-through ventilation system with four adjustable fascia vents.

All regular-use controls were incorporated into two steering column stalks and there was a clever circular grouping of warning lights directly in front of the driver. Heater and air flow controls were located awkwardly on a central console and, not having their own illumination, were difficult to use at night. But the car was economically sound in all other important respects. The TC came with 175 x 13 radial-ply tyres as standard equipment and, despite the relatively low-geared rack and pinion steering system, these tended to increase wheel effort to an undesirable extent, particularly when parking the car. A.M.I. had the foresight to offer power steering as an option - although it is available only on automatic models.

The car's ride and handling were generally in keeping with what you would have expected of a European prestige vehicle of the era - although there were other cars in it's class which were superior - and the fully independent suspension did a good job in providing maximum grip on poor surfaces. Many road testers felt the system was better tuned for Australian road conditions than previous Triumph's, having slightly less thumping over rutted bitumen and transmitting less tyre rumble. With it's semi-trailing arm rear suspension set up into a positive-camber attitude, the TC2500 would oversteer when pressed to its limits and while this was fine in the hands of an experienced driver, those with slower reactions may have find it somewhat of a handful. Still, this was much more preferrable to heavy understeer, which was prevalent on cars from the 1970s.

In terms of driver vision, the Triumph scored very strongly. It was one of the few cars in which it is possible to see both front and rear corners clearly - parking in tight spaces was a simple matter once you developed the strength to turn the wheel. The driver's side windscreen wiper on the TC2500 was equipped with a pantograph-type arm to give a wider sweep and the blades were mounted on thin wire anti-lift frames. So vision was good in wet weather, too. The standard of finish is the A.M.I. assembled car was extremely good. There was a general air of quality in both the materials used and in the way everything fitted together in a neat, tailor-made fashion. Even the carpeted boot had the finesse of finish that was evident in the interior.

Seating was upholstered with "Chamois-kin" and the front buckets had (by 1974 compulsory) head restraints. Backrest contouring left a little to be desired in the provision of lateral support, but the cushioning had a good balance between firmness and softness to ensure fatigue-free interstate trips. Legroom was generous in both the front and rear of the car -even more so than in the 111" wheelbase local cars, something that the British cars were always good at. At release, an automatic Triumph 2500 TC would set you back $4649 - not cheap, but worth the money. It was not quite a 2.5 P.I. - but that would have set you back a further $310, and you would have also had to deal with the aforementioned fuel injection issues..

The last variant of the Triumph 2000 / 2500 series made its debut in 1975, the range topping and rather sporty 2500S. While it kept the twin carb configuration, tweaks to the motor provided an increase in bhp, now up to 106. In theme with the sporty nature of the car, a full compliment of instruments, stiffened suspension, plush upholstery and "Stag" type, five spoke alloy wheels were fitted. However, with the introduction of the new Rover SD1 2600 saloon in 1977, the Triumph was ultimately pensioned off.

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