The Triumph Factory


The GT6 was made at the then Standard-Triumph factory in Canley, a suburban neighbourhood located in southwest Coventry. The image below is of the site under construction.

In 1916 Standards had been asked by the government to help in building aircraft for the War effort. As their existing site in the centre of Coventry was too small, Standard’s founder and MD Reginald Maudsley looked for a larger site to build a new factory. What he found at Canley was a greenfield site which belonged to Lord Leigh, who was happy to sell to help with the war effort. The first aircraft manufactured there was the de Havilland BE-12. After the war the site was used to manufacture Standard cars starting with the 9.5 HP model "S". Over the next 20 years, as Standard expanded, so did the factory at Canley with additional land being bought from Lord Leigh; it eventually covered several acres. In preparation for the Second World War, nine new or “shadow” factories were built to help with the manufacture of aircraft, and one of these was at Fletchamstead, next to the original Canley site. After the War, Standards needed more space - they had just bought the remnants of Triumph Cars, and intended to build new cars bearing this name so they took over the whole site. Eventually only Triumphs were made there as the Standard marque was dropped.

The above picture was taken in the mid 1960s. At about this time, as I was taking my A Levels, I went for an interview at the then new greenfield University of Warwick in Coventry (not a million miles from Canley). As I walked from the main train station to the University I purchased a street map, which I have recently discovered. Below is the section containing the "Standard Works" with Tile Hill Lane at the top, Canley Road to the right and Fletchamstead Highway (later the A45 Southern Bypass) to the left. Of course the works were demolished in 1996, and the site is now a retail park with a large Sainsburys, fast food outlets and offices.

Below is a picture of the works in its heyday (from showing its vast size.

However, amongst the newer builds one original feature still remains – the Standard Triumph Social Club (9 in the picture above):