Mystery Car


Flags, where would we be without them? Nations would have nothing to salute or go to war for, and of course more importantly, corner workers would have nothing with which to communicate with passing racers other than tonsil-taxing screams. Chaos would reign. Not only can we all sleep well at night, comfortable in the knowledge that flags exist, but we can also festoon of cars and trucks with them, you know, in their honor.

The above flags are on one such car, and it’s your Friday task to identify just what car it might be. Of course, just like there are rules for raising, lowering and washing (I recommend Woolite) flags, there are also rules to winning the Mystery Car contest. Those would be, make, model, likely engine and year range included in your answer to win. Not so tough. Now, let’s run today’s Mystery Car up the flagpole and see who salutes.

Image source: ©2013 Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved


  1. My first thought was Triumph Herald, but that stripe at the top inclines me towards the 1956-57 Standard Vanguard Sportsman (Vanguard S4 engine), which is, of course, not at all supported in this photo:
    <img src="; width="400">
    Edit: Upon review, I'm growing less confident in this answer. I'm leaning towards Triumph Herald with something red visible beyond the top edge of the fin. Anyone else care to take a definitive stab at it?

    1. Herald seems like the logical answer – I'm wondering if it's maybe the courier van or an ambulance conversion (which might explain the red stripe)?

    2. Those are the letters 'v' and 's' (in that order) in the nautical flag alphabet–so you would seem to be on the right track.

    3. Vignale Stabilimenti–they definitely appear on Triumph Italia 2000 circa 1961 (and probably other Vignale-styled models like Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2)
      Do either of those cars appear on this site somewhere?

  2. These flags were definately found on early Triumph Herald's (948cc and 1100cc) of the late 50's and early 60's. Standard Vangards and Standard 10s probably had them too.

    1. Given the number of strange cars that appear in mystery car threads alone, this is more of a taunt than a hint. 😉

  3. <img src=""width="600"&gt;
    <img src=""width="600"&gt;
    The Triumph Italia 2000 Coupé was built between 1959 and 1962, during which time 329 cars were produced. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti, the TR3 chassis and mechanical components were supplied by the Triumph Motor Company in the United Kingdom, and built by Alfredo Vignale in Turin, Italy.
    1991 cc Straight-4

  4. Well, back to the question at hand, I am sure that Nico took a good close look at that Ferrari and is quite capable of telling the difference between 'our' flags and Ferrari's other flags…so ignoring for a moment, any funny nautical terms…it would appear, that the bods at Standard-Triumph intended the flags to represent the letters S & V, or S-V, which we are (for now) taking to denote: "Stabilimento Vignale", or Vignale 'Stable' rather than the previously accepted: "Standard-Vignale".
    To me, (at this stage), that seems like a reasonable assumption, if indeed the exact same flags do appear on other manufacturer's vehicles that were also designed at the same studios…I do recall in the depths of my memory that the flags also appear on such cars as the Standard Sportsman, (1957?), the Triumph Italia and to the best of my recollection, the Ferrari America or is it Superamerica? (If I find my photos, I will know for sure).
    The plot thickens

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