Triumph People : Harry Webster CBE


Harry Webster was the man behind the small-chassis Triumphs: Herald, Vitesse, Spitfire & GT6.

 Henry George Webster was born in Coventry in 1917. He joined the Standard Motor Company in 1932 as an apprentice (he was Apprentice of the Year) after attending Coventry Technical College. Before and during WW2 Standard were involved in aircraft production and he became an inspector until, in 1946 he became Assistant Technical Engineer. In 1949 he became Chief Chassis Engineer. Ironically, cars at the time were moving away from body on chassis to monocoque construction, but he was instrumental in reintroducing this method with the innovative Triumph Herald of 1959. In 1949 he became Chief Engineer and he took responsibility for the highly successful Triumph TR series of sports cars from TR2 onwards. In 1957 he became Director of Engineering and shortly after this he became acquainted with Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti. The rest, as they say, is "history". In 1969 moved from Canley to Longbridge where he became Technical Director of the Austin Morris Division of BLMC. In 1974 he was awarded the CBE. Also in 1974 he left BLMC and moved to Automotive Products (a large supplier of BLMC components) as Group Technical Director. Although he retired from AP in 1982 he took up the post of Chairman of SKF Steel for a further five years.

He died in 2009 aged 89.