Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

car_show This photograph (from Charlie Choong) was taken in the early 1960s. We think it was at one of the car shows by the Triumph Car Owner’s Club. Do you remember the car show? Do YOU own a Triumph? photo This is the Triumph that  Dr Jeya was referring to. We are not normally into car sales at ipohWorld but we make an exception in this case as it suits the blog comments. If you are interested in the vehicle we can pot you in touch with the owner.

It is a very rare classic Triumph 2000 Mk1 :)

  1. mukah says:

    My father owned a Triumph 2000 MK1. It was a spacious car and a workhorse, strong and reliable. However, I noticed that the gearbox is frequently giving trouble to him when the car was older. My father’s Triumph was purchased in 1966 and scrapped in 1981. I wonder if anyone out there in Malaysia still own a running condition Triumph 2000 MK1. I once saw a unit bearing registration AF being driven around Ipoh but it was no longer seen several years ago.

    I wish to buy one unit just for nostalgic reasons.

  2. Mano says:

    Pardon me but I doubt if this is an event by the Triumph Owner’s Club. On the left, numbered 25, is an MGA, in the middle is the Austin Sprite ‘Bugeye’and on the right is the MG Midget. In the foreground is another ‘Bugeye’ and in the background is The MG Magnette. No Triumphs.
    Incidentally, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Mahadevan owned Ipoh’s only Triumph Stag.

      • Mano says:

        That would probably be the only Stag that came into M’sia some 40 odd years ago! From my understanding, ‘Stags demanded careful attention and the reputation suffered greatly due to reliability issues. However, in due time these had been identified and overcome by specialists. Today, the surviving Stags are enjoying a resurgence as a reliable everyday fun car to own and drive. A collector’s, truly! How this was achieved without the network nor backing in M’sia for one single Stag especially before the days of the internet is truly remarkable.
        Would love to hear more, Mike!

  3. ika says:

    Thanks Mano. As you probably realise by now neither Felicia nor I are very good on cars. The photo came in a plastic envelope stuck inside a Triumph Owners Club Magazine. We put two and two together and made five!

  4. Mano says:

    This was more of a racing meet than a car show. There were hardly any motoring clubs then as it would be quite a while before these cars became classics!
    The top left of the photo shows the ‘Start’ position of the car race. My hunch is this was taken in Kuala Kangsar as the Sultan was an avid motoring fan. His birthday celebrations usually included car racing on grass tracks.

  5. Brewster63 says:

    Hullo Mano, this was the One Mile Sprint at the Tasek Road. This was an annual event. The 1 Mile sprint was inaugurated at the newly built Tasek road Becoz it was very straight and it’s a measured Mile . I stand corrected.

  6. AHLAI says:

    I believe this was a hill-climb event at the Kledang Hill in Menglembu. Hill climbs were very popular in the early 60s for those who owned sport cars. It was not a race but rather a time trial where each car took turns to cover a set distance. Each driver had to try to set the quickest time.

  7. Mano says:

    Hasbi, I can’t tell if it was the Polo Ground, KK.
    Brewster63, sorry but it is unlikely this is at the Tasek Road as there isn’t any bitumen in the photo! However, Tasek was the venue where some of our most famous drivers cut their teeth. Such as Harvey Yap who went on to become the best Super Saloon Series (Ford Escort BDA)racer in Australiasia. Sonny Rajah, the first Malaysian to win the Selangor GP. It was in Tasek where this up and coming driver finished 2nd in an Alfa Berlina 2000 despite a shattered windscreen and a deep gash on his forehead! Saving the best for last,Anne Wong the first and perhaps the only female race car driver!
    AHLAI, I was not aware of the Kledang Hill Climb event but it could also be likely where this picture was taken.

  8. sk says:

    Hi Mano,
    How about Albert Poon & Bulldog Kwan?
    Anybody heard about them ?
    Yes, I was at the Tasek Road watchong from
    Perak Caves in a helicoptic view.
    It was the Datsun SSS Super Sports Saloon that stole the show.
    Albert Poon was not a local but I think was a Hongkie.
    I stand to be corrected.

  9. Mano says:

    Albert Poon was from Hong Kong. Bulldog Kwan, I believe was from Kuala Lumpur. He was a legendary street racer from the days of the British Motorcycles. If I recall correctly, it was the Triumph 500 Featherbed.
    Yes, sk, the Datsun SSS did steal the show. On track as well as on the highway. With a 4 cylinder, 1600cc engine that could drag up 92mph(147kph) on third gear, it was known as the ‘Terror of the Highway’. At that time the North South Highway hadn’t been built and the stretch between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur, especially at the Slim River Highway, was notorious for the highest number of deaths due to accidents in the country. Many of them died in a SSS.

    • Yahya Abd.Wahab Fenner says:

      I just heppened to bump in this comment by Mano. I must correct some factual error.
      1. Bulldong Kuan is from Penang and has always stayed in Penang. He is a respecteable motorcycle dealer and sit in the commitee of the Penang Motor Sports Club. To call him a street racer is I think not befitting someone who had contributed a lot to Malaysian Motor Sports.
      2. Bulldog several motorcycle brands in his racings day. The featherbed is actually a Norton and not a Triumph.

      • mano says:

        Yahya Abd. Wahab Fenner, Bulldog Kwan was featured in one of the two pioneering auto magazines of M’sia in the mid 70′s, Asian Auto and Auto Int’l. It was mentioned that he was a street racer. Perhaps in his early days in the 50′s but it was not my intention to mean that that was all that made him the legend he was. He was a well respected figure at the Batu Tiga Racing Circuit too, always going around the pits talking to our local riders especially in the Super Bike Series when they were pitted against the indomitable brothers from Singapore, Garry and Fabian Looi. Garry later crashed and died when a wheel shattered at high speed whilst leading the race at Batu Tiga but I do digress. It was Bulldog Kwan’s tenacity that brought racing back to Penang after some 20 years. I did not mean any disrespect towards him and I stand corrected that he was from Penang and, yes, another ‘boo boo’, it’s the Norton Feartherbed not Triumph. Incidentally, the Feartherbed was so superior in it’s rigidity that they were raced albeit with Jap engines at Batu Tiga in the early 70′s. Thank you for pointing out those errors. Cheers!

  10. Charlie says:

    This photo was from my uncle, Douglas Hemnell. He was with Perak Hydro and stationed at Malim Nawar during the 50s and eraly 60s. He said that in those days there were regular car races from Kampar to Batu Gajah, organised by the then expatriate community. He did enter a few races himself, driving an MGTC. Like Mano said, those cars shown above, and even the TC were normal everyday cars. Not yet classics. There was a notorious stretch between Gopeng and BG, where the road was very winding and undulating which caused many crashes, including my Uncle’s TC. I too used to use that road, travelling from Ipoh to Gopeng via Pengkalan during the 80s, sometimes in the very “early” time of the day. That stretch of road, that takes you past Kelly’s Castle is now wide and straight. No more exciting to drive on.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The Datsun SSS 1600cc was a superb car that cost about RM9000 in the 1970s. One could drag the car to 100mph on a third gear, without any modification to the engine.

    Because the front wheels were fitted with disc brakes while the back wheels with drum brakes, when one applied the brakes especially at high speed on wet roads, the car would spin 360 degrees resulting in an accident.

    I had a brand new one in 1970 registration number AM XXXX and my petrol bill was about RM450 monthly then.

  12. Mano says:

    Yes, Anonymous, and you may have been closely contested by the Mitsubishi Galant 5speed at the traffic lights! More often than not, the Galant lost out to the SSS due to that extra cog to shift!

  13. Mano says:

    But the 1750GTV was a sports car. The SSS was aptly named as it was the era of the super sports saloons. Light bodied cars with four cylinder engines of not more than 2000 cc that could scare the beejezuz out of some of the sports cars that were around that time like the MGB. Agreed, the Galant may not have been up to measure but there was Fiat’s 124ST, Alfa Romeo with their Giulia and Berlina. Then Mazda unleashed their RE which beat the then kings, Alfa, in the Series Production Race at the Batu Tiga Racing Circuit. In protest, City Motors withdrew and Alfa never raced again.

  14. Nicholas Jennings says:

    My father, Cedric Jennings, owned a Triumph Herald convertible when we lived in Ipoh in the early 1960s. It was painted British Racing Green, as all of his cars were! Although it was essentially a sporty two-seater, it served as our family car, with my two sisters and I were crammed in the back. I’ll never forget the many journeys we made to the top of the Cameron Highlands, with the three of us tucked in the back behind our mother and father, taking the winding road all the way up until we were among the clouds with the pungent smell of tea all around us from the plantations. Ah, memories.

  15. AHLAI says:

    The Datsun SSS was a very powerful saloon in its time. I could only dream about it. 9K was a lot of money that time. So I bought a second-hand Austin Cooper which served my youthful ego. The car was a mobile sauna in this tropical weather.

  16. Mano says:

    Anonymous, can you recall the rear suspension of your SSS? Apparently, instead of the independent semi-trailing arms, in some markets and quite possibly in Malaysia, the car was issued with leaf-sprung solid axle. I vaguely remember seeing the leaf-springs on the SSS. Perhaps this plus the drum brakes caused the serious mishandling?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Mine was a 1968 model, fully-imported from Japan with independent semi-trailing arm, stiffer (coil) springs, re-rated shock absorbers with stiff anti-roll bar.

    Hitachi-built engine with twin carburetors.

    Power: 109 BHP at 6000 RPM.

    Top speed: 105 mph.

    Fuel consumption: average 28 miles per gallon.

    Gear box: 4 speed manual

  18. Mano says:

    Anonymous, in that actual design configuration, I dare say that the Triple S was the finest car ever from Nissan. The clean straight lines with the thin pillars and plenty of glass made it timeless. It is still a much sought after classic here in Australia provided if one can find one that hadn’t been used for racing or rallying! That was how good they were. The moment the SSS was replaced by the 160J, it was obvious Nissan had lost the plot!
    I was too young to drive when this ‘terror’ tore up the roads in Malaysia and I envy you for having had that first hand experience with this beauty!

  19. Anonymous says:

    It was the then Nissan USA President,the legendary Yutaka Katayama’s vision and persistent requests for improvement of specs for a 410 and 411 replacement based on a car that could go head to head with the BMW 1600.

    As a result,the creation of the Datsun 1600 SSS, its body was designed by Terou Uchino a Nissan employee since 1963,that took the international racing circuits around the world by storm and launched the Datsun brand name in the Automobile market globally.

    The rest is history.

    • Madi says:

      Yes I remember the Datsun SSS as a powerful car. Later it became known as the gangster car, often stole and used for fast gate-away.

  20. Mano says:

    The getaway car the suspects used when they broke out of the Ipoh District Police Station back in 1977. The SSS, however, belonged to one of the Police personnel.

  21. ika says:

    I have just added a picture of Dr Jeya’s rare Triumph 2000 Mk 1 (above). It is a classic car and if you are interested let us know at ipohWorld and we will put you in touch.

    We are not going to make a habit of advertising cars unless they are VERY special!

  22. Mano says:

    Motorcar aficionado rule of the thumb:
    If it has chromed steel bumpers, it is a collectors’ and has value.
    If it has chromed steel bumpers with overriders, it has even more value!

    • Kerry Clark says:

      Was there in 69/70, when Nissan had three cars going round at Batu Tiga. A 2000cc driven by Harvy Yap, and 2 1600′s driven by a RAAF chap, Jim Hunter and the other by Abdul Malik. (at one stage) Were never threatened until Jock McDonald (think that names right) brought his AlfaGTA over from HK.

      • Mano says:

        Hi Kerry, as you would know, the AlfaGTA is a purpose built race car by the legendary car maker whereas the Datsuns would have been ‘race prepared’ locally with Harvey’s 2000cc , the strongest contender. I find the disparity in the engine capacities being fielded together confusing. Would you recall what class this race was? Were you a racer as well?

  23. Merrill Leong says:

    In 1978 I bought a Datsun 160J SSS. I must agree that Datsun lost the plot when they came out with this model. As it was an early version, the car had only 4 gears, unlike the later models that had 5. While it had a terrific engine, the car suffered from an uncomfortable vibration when it hit about 80 mph. Several trips to the Datsun workshop were not able to sort out the problem until the 5 gear model came out… but that variant suffered from overheating at low speeds. Viola! I found out what was wrong… in my car the cooling fan was too coarse resulting in high speed stalling of the cooling fan when the engine was at high revs. By reducing the fan blade angle in the 5 gear variant, the stalling stopped, but without sufficient airflow, the engine tended to overheat when idling.

  24. Merrill Leong says:

    BTW, my father used to have a Triumph Spitfire. Let me see whether I can dig up some old photos of that car.

    Before the Spitfire, he used to drive around in a MG TD. His dream then was to get a TF.

  25. Jim Joyce says:

    Mano,I’m with you on travel fromA toB.I used to own an M.G Magnette,Rego numberR 121.never really liked it much but I loved to travel the old road between Pinang-Taiping and Ipoh,and I really miss the scenery and all the little places you drove through.The North-South Expressway may be a lot quicker but no we’re near as enjoyable

  26. Mano says:

    Indeed, Jim, the old road in a manual car with the frequent use of all three pedals kept the driving delightfully engaging. The popular stop overs like Bagan Serai and Simpang Empat (Taiping) and their delicacies made one always time their journey accordingly and looked forward to.
    Merrill, I look forward to the photos of your dad’s cars. Imagine driving one with the top down over Bukit Berapit in the cool clean air and the ‘thrumm’ of the exhaust! The view from a convertible is second to none. Even a motorbike rider’s view or at least his peripheral vision, is limited by his helmet!
    Alas, the climatic conditions in Malaysia have deteriorated and anyone driving a convertible there today would be laughed at. Especially when sitting in a traffic jam!

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