Trident Cars: Behind the Wheel of the Top 5 Classics

Trident Cars, a renowned name in the world of classic cars, has a rich history of producing iconic sports cars that have left an indelible mark on the automotive world. From the iconic Clipper to the powerful Rover, Trident has consistently delivered timeless classics that have redefined luxury and performance. In this article, we will explore the history of Trident Cars and take a closer look at some of the top classics that have shaped the brand’s legacy.

Exploring the History of Trident Cars

Trident Cars Ltd, based in Norwich, England, has a fascinating origin story that dates back to its inception in 1965. The evolution of Trident models traces the brand’s journey from its humble beginnings to the creation of iconic sports cars that have stood the test of time.

Origins of Trident Cars

“Trident Cars” was founded by Trevor Frost and Trevor Fiore, who shared a common passion for crafting high-performance sports cars. The brand’s early years were marked by the development of prototype models and participation in prestigious racing car shows, solidifying its place in the automotive industry.

Evolution of Trident Models

Trident’s journey saw the development of the iconic Trident Clipper, Venturer, Rover, and the current masterpieces Trident Iceni and Magna. Each model showcased innovative engineering and design, setting new benchmarks in the realm of sports cars.

Iconic Features of Trident Cars

Trident cars are synonymous with power and performance. The V8 engines, Triumph TR6 chassis, and Fissore’s unique design contributions have been the defining elements of Trident models, captivating enthusiasts and setting them apart in the world of classic cars.

Unveiling the Trident Clipper (1966-1974)

The Trident Clipper stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to crafting exceptional sports cars. Its performance, design, and enduring influence make it a classic in every sense.

Performance of the Trident Clipper

The Trident Clipper was a high-performance sports car that was known for its powerful engine, nimble handling, and impressive top speed. The car’s 289ci Ford V8 engine produced 270 horsepower, which was enough to propel the Clipper from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds only. The Clipper also had a top speed of 150 mph, making it one of the fastest cars on the road at the time.

In addition to its impressive engine, the Trident Clipper also had excellent handling. The car’s independent suspension and low centre of gravity made it very agile and responsive. The Clipper was also well-balanced, with a weight distribution of 53/47 front/rear. This gave the car a neutral handling balance that was both predictable and enjoyable.

Unique Design Elements of the Trident Clipper

The Trident Clipper embodied a blend of elegance and raw performance. Its design, crafted by Trevor Frost, was a testament to the era of sleek, aerodynamic lines and muscular proportions.

The Clipper’s silhouette was characterised by a long, low bonnet that flowed seamlessly into a curved windshield. The front fascia featured a pair of pop-up headlights, a design element that added a touch of drama to the car’s overall aesthetic. The bodywork, composed of both steel and aluminium, was sculpted with subtle creases and bulges, hinting at the power lurking beneath the hood.

The Clipper’s rear end was equally striking, with a sloping rear window and a pair of round taillights. The overall design was a harmonious blend of Italian flair and British sports car heritage, making the Clipper a standout among its contemporaries.

The Trident Clipper’s design was not merely aesthetic; it was also functional. The long bonnet provided ample space for the powerful Ford V8 engine, while the aerodynamic shape helped reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. The low stance and wide wheelbase enhanced the car’s handling capabilities, making it a formidable machine on the open road.

Legacy and Influence of the Trident Clipper

The Trident Clipper’s influence resonated far beyond its time. Its presence at the Geneva Motor Show and accolades from enthusiasts and critics established its legacy, inspiring future Trident models and leaving an enduring mark on the automotive industry.

The Venturer (1967-1977): A Closer Look

The Trident Venturer was a refined evolution of its predecessor, the Trident Clipper. It inherited the Clipper’s sleek design and powerful performance while introducing several notable enhancements.

Key Specifications of the Trident Venturer

The Venturer’s heart was a 3.0L Ford Essex V6 engine, an upgrade from the Clipper’s 289ci Ford V8. This change provided a smoother power delivery and improved fuel efficiency while maintaining impressive performance. The Venturer could reach a top speed of 120 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in around 8 seconds, figures that were competitive for its time.

The Venturer retained the Clipper’s basic chassis structure, a proven design that provided a stable and agile platform for the car’s performance. However, the Venturer’s wheelbase was extended, offering increased interior space and a more balanced stance. Independent coil suspension ensured a comfortable ride and responsive handling, making the Venturer a capable performer on both twisting roads and open highways.

Trident Iceni (2011-present): Revolutionising Diesel Performance

The Trident Iceni is a notable vehicle in the automotive world for several reasons, primarily for its unique combination of luxury, performance, and use of diesel power. Here are some key aspects of the Trident Iceni:

  1. Diesel Engine: One of the most distinctive features of the Trident Iceni is its reliance on a diesel engine, which is uncommon in the realm of high-performance sports cars. This choice showcases an innovative approach to achieving high performance with diesel technology.
  2. Performance: Despite being diesel-powered, the Iceni boasts impressive performance statistics. It’s known for having a remarkably high torque output, which contributes to its swift acceleration and top-speed capabilities. The car demonstrates that diesel engines can indeed compete with traditional gasoline engines in terms of power and speed.
  3. Design and Aesthetics: The Trident Iceni features a striking design that merges classic sports car elements with modern aesthetics. It often garners attention for its sleek lines, aggressive stance, and overall elegant appearance.
  4. Luxury Features: Aligning with its status as a high-end sports car, the Iceni is equipped with various luxury features and amenities. This includes a well-crafted interior, advanced infotainment systems, and customisable options to suit individual owners’ preferences.
  5. Environmental Aspect: By using a diesel engine, the Iceni positions itself as a more environmentally conscious option compared to typical high-performance sports cars. Diesel engines are often more fuel-efficient and can produce less CO2 emissions.
  6. Limited Production and Exclusivity: The Trident Iceni is not a mass-produced vehicle. Its limited production run adds to its exclusivity and appeal among car enthusiasts and collectors.

The Trident Iceni represents a unique blend of performance, luxury, and innovation, standing out in the automotive industry for its distinctive use of a high-performance diesel engine in a luxury sports car context.

Trident Magna (2013-present): A Modern Icon of Automotive Excellence

The Trident Magna, specifically the Trident Iceni Magna, is a remarkable vehicle in the automotive industry, known for its unique blend of high performance, luxury, and efficient diesel technology. Here are key aspects of the Trident Iceni Magna, supported by sources:

  1. Engine and Performance: The Iceni Magna is powered by a 6.6-litre turbocharged V8 diesel engine, originally found in heavy-duty trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra. The standard model of the Iceni Magna boasts 397 horsepower and 700 ft-lbs of torque. With performance package upgrades, these figures can reach up to 430 horsepower and 950 lbs/ft of torque, and even 660 horsepower with 1050 lbs/ft of torque in the highest upgrade package. This car achieves 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds (PH2 model) and can reach a top speed of 190 mph.
  2. Fuel Efficiency and Range: Remarkably, the Iceni Magna maintains excellent fuel efficiency, achieving around 50 mpg at 70 mph. This is roughly the same fuel efficiency as a Toyota Prius. It’s claimed to have a driving range of more than 1,500 miles on a single tank of fuel, showcasing an extraordinary blend of performance and efficiency​.
  3. Design and Practicality: The Iceni Magna is not only a high-performance sports car but also offers practicality for long trips. It has sufficient storage space and is capable of holding four soft holdalls plus a suit carrier, four suitcases, or two sets of golf clubs in the trunk. This aspect underlines its utility as a touring car, in addition to its sports car credentials.
  4. Exterior and Interior Aesthetics: The Iceni Magna features a stylish and elegant design, often compared to a blend of TVR Tuscan and Jaguar F-Type influences. This design incorporates both classic and modern elements, making it visually appealing and distinct in the sports car market​.
  5. Limited Production and Exclusivity: The Trident Iceni Magna is a limited-production car, which adds to its exclusivity and appeal among car enthusiasts and collectors. The bespoke nature and customizable options of the car further enhance its desirability in the luxury sports car segment.

Trident Cars is a British car manufacturer that left a unique mark in automotive history despite its brief existence from 1966 to 1974 and a short revival in 1976. Originating from a TVR prototype and evolving under the guidance of W.J. Last, Trident Cars showcased innovative designs and engineering, particularly with its Clipper convertible and later models. The use of fibreglass bodywork and powerful engines like the Ford 4.7-litre V8 distinguished their cars. However, financial challenges and engine issues ultimately led to the company’s closure. Today, Trident Cars stands as a testament to the dynamic and often challenging nature of the car manufacturing industry, remembered for its bold designs and ambitious engineering.

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