At the moment, this page is really just an excuse to show a few pictures of Aneka, my newly-acquired Triumph Acclaim CD.
The last car ever to wear the Triumph badge (assuming BMW, the present owners of the marque, don't decide to try to launch another), the Triumph Acclaim was more than just a rebadged Honda Ballade: Triumph engineers introduced a number of refinements, including a completely-redesigned interior, and a huge (for BL) kit of gadgets and gimmicks: remote-operation door mirrors, headlight washers, cockpit-mounted headlamp adjusters and electric windows for example. The Acclaim, with its high-performance 1335cc OHC twin-carb Honda engine, codename (apparently) "Fireball"; its nimble steering; and excellent road-holding, continued the great tradition of sporty family saloons for which Triumph was justly famous.
As a British product wrapped in a Japanese aura, "Aneka" seems the perfect name for her. Thirty-somethings will recall Aneka (in reality, Scottish folksinger Mary Sandeman, made up and dressed up as a Geisha), having a number one hit in 1981 with "Japanese Boy".
Originally registered on 25th October, 1984, Aneka was one of the last Triumphs ever made: the Acclaim, first introduced in October 1981, ceased production in June, 1984. The very last Triumph has a serial number of 233647. Aneka is number 232714, meaning that she was one of the last thousand Acclaims ever made, and that she was probably manufactured in the last week of production. Being a CD model, she was top of the range, making her very nearly "the ultimate Triumph" in terms of specification as well!
Unfortunately, there is no documentary history accompanying this car. Anecdotally, she was originally purchased by an elderly gentleman from the Ely area. Judging by the odd golf tee found in the crevices in the boot he spent much of his time on the golf course, using the car to carry his club bag! On his death, his daughter, herself now rather elderly, sold the car to a mechanic who worked at Ely Service Centre, the place where the car had been regularly serviced throughout its life. He sold the car on to Mr. Peter Jackson, who intended it to be used by his teenage son, but when he discovered that his son was planning to gut the interior to fit a massive sound system, he took the car back, bought his son a less-pristine Acclaim, and sold the car to me. When I took delivery, she was just short of her 21st birthday, and had a little over 40,000 miles on the clock.
Sitting in this car is like wallowing in an outsize coffee cream. Ignore the over-exposure of the image: the dash and door cappings are chocolate brown; the seats are a tasteful beige, and the carpets are
a rich dark brown. Style police, please stand clear!
Those seats are part of the Triumph makeover of the original Honda design, and,
this being the CD version of the Acclaim, they are covered in deep velour, rather
than common cloth! Luxurious to look at, they are also remarkably comfortable.
Underneath, however, they are basically those of a Ford Cortina...
This is a remarkably well-designed car from the driver's perspective. The driver's seat is surrounded by levers, buttons, knobs, dials and switches,
giving the twin feelings of cocooning you and empowering you. It is a welcoming sight when you open the driver's door.
The 1335cc Honda powerplant: a transverse engine with few of the problems of earlier
transverse designs. Surprisingly powerful, and
very responsive, this is probably (sad to say) the best engine ever to power a Triumph.
Here is where it all happens, and as you can see, the layout has a futuristic feel about it
("futuristic" at least for the late seventies when it was designed!). It bears a passing resemblance to the controls
of an X-wing fighter. The layout is actually excellent, with only a few seldom-used controls located in awkward hiding places. The fact that
the hazard warning lights are operated by a sliding switch, rather than a pull-out or push-in one is bizarre, and can fairly be said never to have caught on.
This is the only serious flaw with this car - a nasty ding on the trailing edge of the bootlid. As
the steelwork here is a double fold, it would be a nightmare to beat out and repair, so I hope
shortly to source a replacement lid. It had been rumoured that MG Rover main
dealers can still supply these, but a call to my local MG Rover dealer soon disproved that, unfortunately. After having checked with "the factory" (what factory?), Parts Guy, he say no. That being the case, if anyone is breaking a Cashmere Gold Acclaim CD with a
perfect boot lid, please drop me a line.
Whilst there is an amount of information available on the Triumph Acclaim elsewhere on the web, I found that answers to many of the questions that I had as a new owner were very difficult to track down. I have now put together a Facts and Figures page for "The Ultimate Triumph" here which attempts to fill in the gaps.
This page has been designed and is maintained by Michael Hargreave Mawson. If you have any queries or comments about it, please contact me.
Last updated by Michael Hargreave Mawson on the 19th of September, 2005
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Michael Hargreave Mawson
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