1953 Triumph 650cc Thunderbird Frame no. 6T 38591 Engine no. 6T 38591
Lot 322
1953 Triumph 650cc Thunderbird Frame no. 6T 38591 Engine no. 6T 38591
Sold for £6,555 (US$ 11,017) inc. premium
Lot Details
1953 Triumph 650cc Thunderbird
Registration no. NXB 733
Frame no. 6T 38591
Engine no. 6T 38591
Always a step ahead of their rivals, Triumph followed up the trend-setting Speed Twin 500 of pre-war days by being first in the field with a 650cc parallel twin. Announced in September 1949, the 650 Thunderbird was Triumph's response to demands for more power emanating from American racers and British sidecarists alike. A spectacular launch stunt saw three Thunderbirds lap the Montlhery circuit at over 90mph for 500 miles, after which they each achieved a flying lap of 100mph-plus and were ridden back to the Meriden factory, a quite outstanding achievement. When displayed at the Earls Court Show in October, the new twin featured the headlamp nacelle and fuel tank with luggage grid first seen the previous year. An interesting change to the Thunderbird for 1952 was the adoption of an SU carburettor in place of the original Amal, a specially prepared machine managing a staggering 155mpg at a steady 30mph on a factory organised economy run. One of the most significant subsequent developments was the introduction of a swinging-arm frame for 1955 but prior to that time Triumph twins could be ordered with the optional 'sprung hub', which offered a limited amount of rear suspension movement. Finished in polychromatic blue grey, this sprung hub-equipped example was purchased by the current vendor's late father-in-law in the early 1970s and has been kept in dry storage since then. Offered in need of re-commissioning and sold strictly as viewed, the machine comes with old-style continuation logbook (issued 1968).

Saleroom notices

  • The frame number is 38591
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