1948 Triumph 499cc Tiger 100 Grand Prix
Frame no. 20038R
Engine no. T100 97044R
The Triumph Grand Prix entered motorcycling legend when Ernie Lyons won the rain-soaked 1946 Senior Manx Grand Prix on the machines Isle of Man debut; the prototype's success resulting in a production version introduced in 1948. The project's starting point was the Tiger 100, its engine suitably modified with the lightweight alloy cylinder head and barrel from the wartime Triumph generator unit. Twin Amal carburettors were mounted on a special inlet manifold, high-compression pistons and race camshafts installed, and the valvegear lightened and polished. The bottom end remained close to standard, though the polished crankshaft ran in roller rather then ball bearings, and the heavy-duty rods and bearing caps ran directly on the crankpins. Primary drive was by exposed chain and the gearbox contained close ratios. Cycle parts were close to stock T100, the rear sprung hubs 8 brake being matched by an experimental one of same size up front. Built in limited numbers (thought to total between 150 and 200), the Grand Prix is among the rarest and most desirable of post-WW2 Triumphs.
This example was raced in Tasmania in the early 1950s by a Mr Beeston, a member of the armed forces, who attached a sidecar to the Triumph and competed with his brother acting as passenger. In 1955 the machine was brought back to the UK, dismantled and packed in three large boxes, with the smaller items (nut, bolts, clips, ball bearings, etc) contained in 20 tobacco tins. The Triumph remained in a shed until March 2002 when it was purchased from Mr Beestons widow by the current vendor. Starting in July 2007, the latter cleaned, greased and re-assembled the machine, fitted new mudguards and finally completed the job in October 2008. Presented in outstandingly original condition, even down to the 50-year-old tyres, this Grand Prix represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of these legendary Triumph racers. Sold strictly as viewed, the machine is offered with a selection of photographs taken before and after its re-assembly.