Acquired from the estate of Bud Hoopes
1939 Triumph 498cc Tiger 100
Frame no. 1794
Engine no. 9T10019318
Although Edward Turner's Triumph Speed Twin caused a sensation when it appeared at the 1937 Motorcycle Show, few of its admirers can have guessed how influential the design would prove to be. True, there had been vertical twins before; indeed, Turner's predecessor at Meriden - Val Page - had designed one a few years previously, but Triumph's newcomer established a formula that would be adopted by all of Britain's major motorcycle manufacturers in the succeeding decade. And whereas previous vertical twins had suffered from excess bulk, Turner's was lighter and narrower across the crankcase than the contemporary single-cylinder Tiger 90, whose cycle parts it shared, and from certain angles looked just like a twin-port single. This was just what the conservatively minded motorcycling public wanted and the Speed Twin proved an enormous success for Triumph, lifting the company out of the economic doldrums and setting it on the road to future prosperity. Performance proved exemplary for a road-going 500, around 85mph being attainable by the Speed Twin while the Tiger 100 sports version was even faster.
The Tiger 100 was launched in 1938. Performance was boosted by the use of high-compression forged pistons and polished ports and internals, the result being a machine that could touch 100mph in road trim and exceed it with the silencer end-caps removed. When production resumed in 1946, the T100 reappeared with telescopic forks in place of the original girders, and separate dynamo and magneto instead of the pre-war version's magdyno.
Last licensed in New York in 1951 and retaining its '51 plate (number '20532'), this pre-war Tiger 100 was purchased by Lex du Pont circa 1952/53 from the estate of Canadian former champion racer, Bud Hoopes. Substantially complete though with some components missing, most obviously the primary drive and clutch, the machine has a bronze cylinder head and once had an Arnott supercharger fitted, which is offered with the motorcycle together with associated fixtures and fittings.
- Please note that the correct frame and engine numbers are TF1794, and 9T10019328 respectively.