The ex-Jim Sandiford, ISDT
1970 Cheney Triumph 504cc Tiger 100C
Registration no. WCG 102H
Frame no. MK2 102
Engine no. JD24845 T100C Jim Sandiford
The Cheney-framed Triumph Tiger 100C offered here was ridden by Jim Sandiford in the 1970 International Six Days Trial (ISDT). A works trials rider for both BSA and Greeves, Jim Sandiford was a member of Great Britain's Trophy team in the '70 ISDT, held that year in Escorial, Spain. He is perhaps best remembered for developing Montesa's trials bikes and helping to establish the Spanish make's reputation in the UK.
For the 1970 event, the A-CU arranged for Great Britain's ISDT team to be supplied with special Triumphs built by Eric Cheney, the former moto-cross star who had turned to frame-making in the mid-1960s after illness terminated his career as a rider. The twin-cylinder Tiger 100 motors were supplied by the Triumph factory and installed in Cheney's trademark lightweight moto-cross frame, which carried the engine oil in its nickel-plated tubes. On assembly, the rider's name was stamped on the crankcase next to the engine number. Cheney's own telescopic front fork was used, while the rear suspension was controlled by Koni dampers. Both wheels were quickly detachable, the front being built around an alloy Cheney hub and the rear a steel BSA item. Modifications made especially for the ISDT included a crankcase shield, a centre stand, raised footrests and an air bottle for tyre inflation. The alloy fuel tank held a little over two gallons, and thus equipped the ISDT Cheney Triumph tipped the scales at 285lbs. Six machines were supplied to the Great Britian team, registered consecutively 'WCG 101H' to 'WCG 106H', with a seventh 'WCG 112H' as a spare.
ISDT rules required that teams compete in two different capacity classes so three of the six Cheney Triumphs were enlarged to 504cc to get them into the 750 category, where the principal opposition was the West German team's 750cc BMWs. Jim Sandiford was one of three riders assigned the 504cc version, the others being Bill Wilkinson and the team captain, Ken Heanes, while in the '500' class Great Britain was represented by John Giles, Malcolm Rathmell and John Pease. Riding 'WCG 102H', Jim Sandiford won a Gold Medal, helping Great Britain to defeat the West German favourites and take the '750' class award. GB's Trophy team finished sixth overall.
After the Spanish event the bikes went back to Eric Cheney for overhaul and next saw action in the 1971 ISDT, held that year in the Isle of Man. Jim Sandiford rode 'WCG 102H' again that year and is pictured fixing the Cheney Triumph's punctured rear tyre on page 139 of 'International Six Days Trial' by Mick Walker and Rob Carrick. Sadly, on this occasion the Great Britain team was outclassed by the more modern machinery of the Eastern European opposition and finished well down the field. After the ISDT - won by Czechoslovakia for the second year in a row - the Cheney Triumphs were sold on.
What happened to 'WCG 102H' then is not known but the photocopy of an old-style Swansea V5 logbook on file shows that as far back as December 1978 at least, it was owned by Mr Dennis Cairns of Sarre, near Birchington, Kent. On this document the machine is recorded as first registered on 13th May 1970 and described as 'kit built assembled from new parts supplied by the manufacturer.' The current vendor, a friend of Mr Cairns, bought the Cheney Triumph from him in March 1996. Other accompanying documentation includes six expired MoTs (most recent 2006); numerous old tax discs dating back to the 1980s; a quantity of press cuttings and magazines; and old/current Swansea V5/V5C documents.
Competition motorcycles with ISDT credentials are offered for sale only rarely and are highly sought after by collectors. 'WCG 102H' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire one that has the extra cachet of being a Gold Medal-winner at the 'Olympics of Motorcycling', ridden by one of this country's foremost off-road stars of the day.
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