Some cars just cross every expectation one can keep from it. Standard Herald was one such car. It was the most advanced family car of its time. The luxury elegance which came to our shores in the 1960s was a class apart from its rivals. This luxury 4-door saloon was the Indian version of Triumph Herald, the UK based company which Standard collaborated with. Let’s take a look at history.
The Triumph Herald
This 2-door saloon came into existence back in 1959 in Coventry, UK. Triumph had great success with the Herald in the market and the saloon can still be seen on the roads of the UK.
The Indian Herald
Watching the success of Herald globally, Indian automobile manufacturer, Standard decided to bring the car to India. Initially after the collaboration with Triumph, Standard used to source majority parts of the Herald from the UK. Indian customers had two options: a 4-door saloon and 5-door estate version.
Talking about the car, a 1.0-litre engine powered the Herald which produced around 42hp of power and 67Nm of torque. For your reference, the bigger 1.5-litre engine at the Hindustan Ambassador produced a 55hp of power. The Herald could easily reach a top speed of 112kmph, which might not be much but was enough for cruising in this luxury.
The Standard Herald was equipped with independent suspension at all the wheels, a feature which is still not present in every car. This made the Herald a highly comfortable car. The car was available in 5 different exquisite colours: Sebring White, Powder Blue, Phantom Grey, Black and Conifer Green.
The Unique Futuristic Design
The Indian automotive industry had just begun to flourish. There were very few cars that had a design other than the old school saloons. The Standard Herald came in as an exception. Although one might say that the design is still a traditional one, the Herald sported a bolder and sleeker chassis. With optimum curves and cuts, Herald easily stood apart from the key opponents.
The round headlamps with a chrome grille at the front and a sloping bonnet with the badging added to the luxury looks. The interiors were pretty good too. The separate front seats with adjustable driver seat just added more. The upholstery was another addition to the grandeur of the Standard Herald. The extremely slim front and rear pillars of the car made it a pleasant car to drive.
Mark II & Mark III
The first generation of Standard Herald did pretty well in the Indian market. This generation was based on the Triumph Vitesse. This model of Herald was pretty well received too, all thanks to the unique design and reliable luxury.
Mark III, which was launched in 1968, was made indigenously to meet the expectations of the Indian buyers. Herald was also given an estate counterpart named Companion which, like the other station wagons, was not able to make any mark in the Indian market.
In 1972, the company revamped the Standard Herald which came with a different front grille and wide-apart headlights. Another major change was at the rear suspension where the car received leaf springs instead of the swing-axle suspension as it was not able to perform well on the Indian roads.
Did it perform well?
The rivals were strong and cheaper than the Herald. The Standard Herald had to compete with the HM Ambassador and Premier Padmini. This does not mean that the car failed. Standard Herald is one of the very few foreign models that have made it big in the Indian automotive industry. But the company was not able to keep this up with the next models introduced. One such is the Standard 2000.
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