Triumph Gloria Southern Cross

A popular vehicle that was made by Triumph Motor Company in Coventry, England the Triumph Gloria was produced from 1933 until 1938. The Gloria was available in a very large and quite confusing range of Gloria sporting salons, tourers, coupes, drophead coupes, 2-seater sports vehicle and golfer's coupes.

A short chassis sports vehicle, the Gloria Southern Cross which was also a 'SX' was available in a variety of tourer and saloon bodies that were equipped with either four or six-cylinder engine. Quite a modern vehicle mechanically, the Gloria SX featured Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes, Luvax adjustable shocks that could be adjusted via a knob between the seats, and a 12 volt electrical system. Power was found from the Climax 4-cylinder engine which was now upgraded to 1232 cc alternatively. In 1935 only a 6 cylinder 1476 cc engine was available too.

All of these Gloria models, except for the final two models; 1.5 liter Saloon and Fourteen Six-Light Saloon, were powered by 1087 or 1232 cc four cylinder or 1467 or 1991 cc six cylinder Coventry Climax overhead inlet and side exhaust valve designed engines. Two different length chassis were available for the Gloria, with an additional 8 inches ahead of the passenger compartment depending on whether the four or six cylinder engine was fitted. The chassis also had conventional non-independent suspension with semi elliptic leaf springs. The brakes inside the Gloria were hydraulically operated by utilizing the Lockheed system large 12 inch drums. Allowing for 'clutchless' gear changing, a four-speed transmission was fitted with an optional free wheel mechanism. On the final Fourteen and 1.5 liter models were fitted with synchromesh.

From 1934 until 1936 the Gloria range expanded to include Gloria Vitesse models which were up-rated with twin carb engine and equipment, versions of the standard Gloria but with slightly different bodywork in the case of a few saloons. In 2008, Lansdowne Models introduced a die-cast model of the 1935/6 Gloria Vitesse Sports Saloon.

The 4-cylinder engine could be ordered with the 'Vitesse' option which meant polished ports, a sharper cam, and double SU carbs. Top speed was set around 120 kph for the 4-cylinder and around 130 kph for the 6-cylinder model. The Gloria SX was entered again into the Monte Carlo rally in 1936 and achieved second place in the light car class. In the ladies cup, another Gloria SX took third place.

The Gloria Southern Cross was extremely effective in achieving the popularity of the later Triumph roadsters based on its pre-war success in competition.

By Jessica DonaldsonIntroduced in 1932, the Southern Cross was Triumph's Sports vehicle with a primary export market in both Australia and New Zealand during the pre-war years. Even today, prewar Triumphs are found more often ‘down under' than any other location outside of the U.K. Named after a constellation that was visible only in the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross was produced until 1937.

Featuring two-seat roadster bodywork, the 1935-1937 Southern Cross came with twin spares on the rear, and had a classic slab gas tank. Though wider and appearing larger, the four cylinder vehicles have a profile and length quite similar to a T series MG. The very unique six-cylinder vehicles were stretched 9' between the radiator and the firewall which attributed to the sweeping body lines. The models were designed and styled by Walter Belgrove, the only true carryover into the post-war era.

The name was broken down and abbreviated to 'SX' on the body ID plates and was featured as a sports version of the Triumph Super Nine. A four seat sports tourer, the SX could be driven with a tonneau over the rear seats. The SX was the basis of Triumph's original works competition vehicles at the Alpine Trials and the Monte Carlo Rally of 1934.

In comparison to other compact sport vehicles, the Southern Cross was quite popular and excelled magnificently in rallies and trials where strength won out over the lighter and more fragile vehicles. This would become the standard of Triumph's success later on in history. Largely due the results of the Southern Crosses agility on the race course, CEO John Black later acquired Triumph for the sporting reputation it brought.

By Jessica Donaldson
Triumph Models

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Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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