1938 Triumph Tiger 80,
Lot 486
1938 Triumph 350cc Tiger 80 Frame no. TL30266 Engine no. 9 T80 14272
Sold for £6,900 (US$ 11,597) inc. premium
Lot Details
1938 Triumph 350cc Tiger 80
Registration no. CDA 108
Frame no. TL30266
Engine no. 9 T80 14272
Just as he had done at Ariel in the 1920s, Val Page transformed his employer's ageing range on his arrival at Meriden as Triumph's Chief Designer in 1932. The new line-up comprised overhead-valve and sidevalve singles in capacities ranging from 250cc to 500cc, plus the range-topping 650cc 6/1 sidecar tug. Endowed with distinctive timing-gear covers - a feature Page would employ at BSA later in the decade - the engines were simple yet robust in construction and amenable to a fair degree of tuning in the case of the overhead-valve units.

Edward Turner's arrival at Triumph in 1936 resulted in extensive improvements to the range. A brilliant stylist, Turner transformed the Page-designed overhead-valve singles by adopting sports specification engines, high level exhausts, chromed fuel tanks and a new name: 'Tiger'. Frames, forks, engines and gearboxes were all improved for 1937 and a trio of randomly selected Tigers successfully completed a series of arduous speed trails to secure the Maudes Trophy for Triumph later in the year. Today, Turner's Tigers are widely recognised as the most stylish sports roadsters of the period and thus are highly sought after.

The current vendor purchased this Tiger 80 - a rusty but complete basket case - in 2006 from its previous owner in Wolverhampton. It appears that 'CDA 108' may have spent its entire life in that area: remains of a brass 'Copes of Wolverhampton' plaque were found on the original mudguard and the registration is a Wolverhampton CBC mark issued between October 1938 and February 1939. Between 2006 and 2009 the vendor carried out a complete restoration to factory specification (including the optional 21" front wheel) using many new parts, though unfortunately many receipts were lost during a house move. Lewis & Templeton restored the fuel tank and painted and lined the mudguards and wheel rim centres (invoice on file). Wheelwise rebuilt the wheels with Deluxe rims and stainless steel spokes while Hawker Engineering rebuilt the magdyno and installed a one-off electronic voltage regulator inside the original casing.

Since completion in 2009 the Tiger has been ridden on various VMCC runs and was awarded the 'Best Pre-War Machine' trophy at last year's Wolds Run in Lincolnshire. Only offered for sale because of a change in the vendor's personal circumstances, 'CDA 108' comes with Swansea V5C and will be freshly taxed and MoT'd prior to sale. The only notified deviation from factory specification concerns the clutch, which has been up-rated to incorporate four friction plates (same as the pre-war Tiger 100) to alleviate slip.

Saleroom notices

  • MOT through March 2011