Lot Details
1962 Triumph 500cc T110 ‘Bathtub’
Frame no. TBD
Edward Turner came to Triumph as Chief Designer in 1936. In 1938, the Triumph T100 500cc Speed Twin was introduced. It offered a combination of speed, reliability and finish unseen at the price until then, and created a template on which the post-World War II British motorcycle industry was based.

In America, the larger displacement 650cc Triumph Thunderbirds, Trophies and Bonnevilles were preferred because of sport riders’ need for speed and the vast distances to be covered in this country. They also won many clubman’s scrambles and the legendary California and Nevada desert races over incredibly rugged courses.

Because of the successes of the 650 Triumphs, there was a large cadre of sporting riders who preferred these bikes, but in 1958, Triumph made the first of many marketing mistakes in the United States. Triumph began introducing motorcycles with enclosed bodywork that appealed to English and Continental riders who used their bikes for everyday transportation, so protection from the elements was welcome. Americans rode for pleasure and preferred motorcycles that resembled what they saw winning on the race tracks. When the so-called ‘bathtub‘ bodywork was put on some of Triumph’s most popular sport bikes in the late 1950s, American riders stayed away in droves. The 500cc bikes introduced unit construction and the 650s were as powerful and agile as ever, but the unconventional styling resulted in both lines being shunned. Only when racing legend Bud Ekins took Triumph design chief, Jack Wickes behind his shop in California in 1962 and showed him the stripped body shells he had replaced with standard styling, did the Brits finally got the message. This conversation trend was nationwide, most of the bathtub body panels were scrapped and the fully enclosed models are now quite rare and collectable.

The offered T110 Bathtub has the full two-piece, stamped steel enclosure of 1961-62 production, as opposed to the compromise ‘bikini‘ model, which was a step back toward conventional styling. The power plant is Triumph’s legendary 650cc twin, the marque’s flagship until the introduction of the Trident in 1969. This T110 has an older restoration and is in good condition. The purchaser will enjoy an exceptional riding experience as well as being sure his mount is a conversation piece at any gathering of enthusiasts.

Without reserve

Saleroom notices

  • The engine number for lot 198, a 1962 Triumph 500cc T110 ‘Bathtub’, is T110 D5160. Additionally, the engine is a 650cc motor.
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