When is a Convertible Not a Convertible?

Available for sale in Australia this particular car looks pretty good upon first inspection. It looks a good restoration, perhaps the non-original colour doesn’t help – nor the rather expensive price tag – but a solid looking car however the date on a 1959 Triumph Herald convertible starts to ring alarm bells!

Triumph Herald Convertible - er not!

Triumph Herald Convertible – er not!

We asked the vendor for more info but received nothing back – but we were contacted by a potential buyer of the car who, like us, wanted to check the authenticity of the car. So we looked closer again alarmed by the fact the vendor said the commission number was missing however, he did give a Body Number and Engine Number that indicated it was once an AMI assembled coupe.

To be fair, it’s quite apparent when you look even closer – the door cards are grey, whereas the seats are AMI-styled red – the grey door cards enable an educated guess to the original colour. Then on the above photo, you can see the rear seat of the convertible is missing – instead it has the grey panel of a coupe. Case solved.

Typical AMI seats - but not matching the door cards

Typical AMI seats – but not matching the door cards

Ultimately it would be great to know the commission number/origins of this coupe, especially as we could add it to the database of remaining cars – but this car remains with no real identity at all!

The car was originally purchased new by a Neurosurgeon from Sydney and driven as his daily car then he restored the car some years ago and placed the car in a Museum until he passed away the car was auctioned as part of his estate and was purchased by the person who traded it to the dealer/seller recently, who has owned it for the past 13 years.

The car is not what it is supposed to be and there were far fewer 948 convertibles (960) made than 948 coupes (3,622) by AMI – hence the rarity now and higher value. From a traders point of view – don’t, whatever you do, imply you are selling something that its not!


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