The 'Ghost' Mayflower

The Standard Car Review incorporating Triumph News

Nov. 1951 [Vol.13 No. 11]

'The Motor'. 28 September 1949.

"UNIQUE STYLING - The new Triumph Mayflower boldly combines the knife edge styling with a full width body. A traditional radiator is retained, and although blended into the main form, the head lamps are a distinctive feature of the front aspect of the car".

The 'Ghost'

Not much is known about the background of the 'Ghost Mayflower' other than it was a laboriously sectioned saloon on the off side (right hand drive) displaying literally every interior and mechanical detail, each metal part polished to a mirror finish or chromed. Frank Perkins's, a craftsman extraordinaire, oversaw four men at Standard Triumph who built all the special show display cars, engines and gearboxes. He oversaw the Ghost Mayflower and Perspex TR, together with special Standard Ten and Eight bits and show finish Vanguards. The 'Ghost' was made by apprentices under Frank and mature motor technicians in the Standard Triumph Experimental Shop. I have also heard that perhaps there were two 'Ghosts' but have never found anything to substantiate this claim, like the mythical design balsa-wood model Mayflower.

The "All that's best in Britain" advertising campaign for the Triumph Mayflower, Standard Vanguard and Triumph Renown was featured in almost all of the official literature for the Festival of Britain. The 'Ghost' Triumph Mayflower was displayed at the South Bank Exhibition's Transport Pavilion from the 22nd June to the 10th of August, 1951 while the Vanguard was displayed in the Transport Pavilion between the 17th July and the 4th of August, 1951. The Renown was also on display as a scale model (along with a 1906 Standard single-cylinder) in the Transport Pavilion of the South Bank exhibition. The 'Ghost' is described on page 75 of the South Bank Exhibition exhibitors catalogue as "B684 Sectioned replica of the Triumph 'Mayflower' saloon; Triumph Motor Co. (1945) Ltd., Fletchamstead Works, Coventry, Warwicks."

After the Festival of Britain exhibition the 'Ghost' was acquired by Standard Triumph dealership Byatts of Fenton, Stoke on Trent, England. The 'Ghost' was later given, or sold, to the Northern College of Further Education (Langton Annexe) College Road, Stoke and was used to train apprentice mechanics. Several of the present lecturers at the college: Harry Bowyer; Ken Burgess; Charlie Challinor and Peter Syrett were all trained on it and remember it well. Harry Bowyer recalls "It had clean cut lines as if cut by a laser!"

In the mid 1970's the 'Ghost' was surplus to training requirements at the college and lecturer Herbert Kane took it with him to Blurton High School, Stoke when he left the college. The school was short of space and so the 'Ghost' was stripped down to its component parts for ease of handling and storage. The body shell was scrapped. In 1985 the school demolished the workshops to make way for larger and improved facilities and the remaining parts of the 'Ghost' were put in a skip as scrap!

The Northern College of Further Education also owned a Triumph Courier Van that was used as a training aid during the seventies along with several Triumph Herald engine rigs. Unfortunately these have also been scrapped.

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Revised: October 2012