The Triumph Acclaim was a controversial car when launched. A joint venture with Honda, it was essentially a mildly reworked Honda Ballade - a Civic saloon - filling a large gap in the Triumph model range left when the Dolomite was discontinued. It was the first Japanese car to be built/assembled within the European Economic Community, as a way of getting around the voluntary restrictions placed on the number of Japanese cars that were allowed to be imported.
The Acclaim body panels were pressed from British steel, welded, painted trimmed and badged in Cowley, but the engine, suspension, transmission, steering and brakes were shipped over from Japan.
The Acclaim was the first UK produced car to have an injection moulded plastic dashboard.
The widely praised Dolomite Sprint had no direct Acclaim replacement, but Avon Coachworks produced a limited number of turbocharged cars at a cost of £2600 + VAT on top of the purchase price. The Turbo Technics developed Garrett T3 turbo boasted a claimed 35 horsepower increase in power. This was also offered, at even greater extra cost, in conjunction with hugely upgraded trim and fixtures, including Connolly leather seat trim, burr-walnut veneer dashboard and door cappings, metallic paint and a chrome plated radiator grille.
The Acclaim lasted from October 1981 through to Summer 1984, when it was replaced by the Rover 200 - based on the replacement Honda Ballade model.
Reliability, something not always associated with BL products, was the most memorable characteristic of our LTT Triumph Acclaim, though the spritely Honda drivetrain also won it approval