1948 Triumph 499cc 'Tiger 100 Grand Prix' Replica
Frame no. 30548
Engine no. 59 90676
The Triumph Grand Prix entered motorcycling legend when Ernie Lyons won the rain-soaked 1946 Senior Manx Grand Prix on the machine's Isle of Man debut; the prototype's success resulting in a production version introduced in 1948. The Tiger 100 was the project's starting point, its engine suitably modified with the lightweight alloy cylinder head and barrel from the wartime Triumph generator unit. Twin Amal carburettors were mounted on a special inlet manifold, high-compression pistons and race camshafts installed, and the valve gear lightened and polished. The bottom end remained close to standard, though the polished crankshaft ran in roller rather then ball bearings, and the heavy-duty rods and bearing caps ran directly on the crank pins. Primary drive was by exposed chain, and the gearbox contained close ratios. Cycle parts were close to stock T100, the rear sprung hub's 8" brake being matched by an experimental one of the same size up front.
Built in limited numbers (thought to total between 150 and 200), the Grand Prix is among the rarest and most desirable of post-WW2 Triumphs. As with all such exotica, there is a continuing demand for replicas. This example of the latter was built as a sprint bike by the vendor over a six-month period circa 1995, some £5,000 being spent (bills available). Consisting of a 1948 Speed Twin frame and a 1959 Tiger 100 engine, the machine was raced for two years before being stripped and rebuilt in its present form, and since completion has covered around 190 competition miles only. A DVD included in the sale shows the Triumph in action both before and after the rebuild. Unregistered, the machine has been kept in dry storage for the last 6-7 years and should only require minimal re-commissioning before resuming its competition career.
- It should be noted that since the photographs used in the catalogue were taken, the machine has been fitted with a different fuel tank and a single Amal Concentric carburettor, replacing the twin Monoblocs illustrated. The latter change was made to improve starting and running, and the machine may be seen and heard in action on two accompanying DVDs. Other items included in the sale are as follows: a rear wheel stand; chain and lock; two straight-through exhaust pipes (chromed); framed photograph; replica metal sign; and a sprint meeting time/speed certificate.