Triumph People : Stanley Markland



 Stanley Markland was the MD of Standard-Triumph who gave the go ahead for the building of the Spitfire, the "Bomb" project.

Born in 1903, he joined Leyland in 1920 as an apprentice (he was awarded the first engineering scholarship granted by the company). He became Chief Engineer in 1945 and was awarded the OBE for his wartime work. In 1946 he joined the Board and in 1953 became Works Director. He was also Managing Director of Albion Motors Limited (a subsidiary of Leyland). After the acquisition of Standard-Triumph in 1960, for £20m, most of the incumbent members of the board of Directors were asked to resign, and Markland was appointed MD, replacing Alick Dick. A production expert, he is credited with turning the company around, helped by the introduction of new cars, in particular the Spitfire (codenamed 'Bomb') and the Triumph 2000 (codenamed 'Barb'). The story of how the Spitfire came into existence was described by Michelotti's son Edgardo* as "so improbable that it often sounds as though it had been written up by an author of popular love stories". In 1961 Markland, who was in the habit of walking around the whole factory, asked to see a car he spotted underneath a tarpaulin. In the words of Edgardo again "Markland continued walking around the vehicle, looking at it carefully before opening the driver's door and sitting at the wheel. 'That's good. We'll make that' [he said]"

* In his, and Giancarlo Cavallini's book "Giovanni Michelotti - a free stylist".