Property of a deceased's estate
1952 Triumph 498cc Speed Twin
Registration no. SPB 956
Frame no. 29998
Engine no. 5T 29998
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, and from certain angles looked just like a twin-port single. Performance proved exemplary for a road-going 500, better than 100mph being attainable under favourable conditions. The example offered here dates from 1952, by which time the Speed Twin had been upgraded with a stronger 8-stud cylinder barrel (replacing the original 6-stud) and Triumph's own telescopic front fork. 'SPB 965' carries a tax disc that expired in March 1965 and comes with an MoT certificate that expired in January 1966, which is almost certainly when it was last on the road. The deceased owner is the only one listed in the old-style continuation logbook (issued 1960) indicating that he owned it for at least 50-plus years. An instruction manual, a copy of 'The Book of the Triumph' and old-style Swansea V5 come with the machine also.