c.1918 Triumph 550cc Model H
Registration no. YI 983 (ROI)
Frame no. 284681
Engine no. 57219 CTC
The first Triumph motorcycle of 1902 used a Belgian Minerva engine but within a few years the Coventry firm - originally a bicycle manufacturer founded by German immigrants Siegfried Bettman and Maurice Schulte - was building its own power units. The company was soon involved in racing and the publicity generated by competition success - Jack Marshall won the 1908 Isle of Man TT's single-cylinder class for Triumph having finished 2nd the previous year - greatly stimulated sales. By the outbreak of The Great War the marque's reputation for quality and reliability was well established, leading to substantial orders for 'Trusty Triumphs' for military use.
Triumph's 3½hp model had first appeared in 1907. Originally of 453cc, its sidevalve engine was enlarged to 476cc in 1908 and finally to 499cc in 1910 before being superseded by the 550cc 4hp model in 1914. Equipped with the three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox, it was this revised 4hp - the Model H - that did such sterling service in WWI, some 30,000 'Trusty Triumphs' seeing action with British and Allied forces.
This restored Model H was first owned by Joe Carvill, founder of the Eire Cycle Company and 6th place finisher at the 1911 Isle of Man TT riding a Triumph, who passed it on to his foreman, Tommy Maguire. Harry bought the Triumph from Tommy's widow. The machine is described as in generally very good condition and offered with Registration Book. It should be noted that the latter records the date of first registration as 1922, this being shortly after vehicle registration became compulsory in the Republic of Ireland.