Property of the late Chris Thomas
1920 Triumph 550cc Model H
Registration no. HA 419
Frame no. 310930
Engine no. 70925 HRX
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 second 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 Originally of 453cc, its sidevalve engine was enlarged to 476cc in 1908 and finally to 499cc in 1910 before being superseded by the 550cc 4hp model in 1914.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 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 Model H is offered from the collection belonging to former Veteran Car Club president, the late Chris Thomas. Previously owned by John Peat, 'HA 419' has been maintained by sidecar racer Tony Wakefield of 'British Magnum' fame. The machine is offered with (copy) VMCC dating document, sundry invoices, two old MoT certificates (most recent expired April 1993) and various photocopied instruction manuals.