1959 Triumph 650cc Thunderbird Frame no. 028152 Engine no. 6T 028152
Lot 405
1959 Triumph 650cc Thunderbird
Registration no. TJU 349 Frame no. 028152 Engine no. 6T 028152
Sold for £4,600 (US$ 7,731) inc. premium
Lot Details
1959 Triumph 650cc Thunderbird
Registration no. TJU 349
Frame no. 028152
Engine no. 6T 028152
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 banked Montlhéry circuit in France 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 650cc twin featured the headlamp nacelle and fuel tank with luggage grid first seen on Triumphs the previous year. The Thunderbird remained in production in fundamentally its original form until 1962, though with progressively updated cycle parts, one of the most significant developments along the way being the introduction of a swinging arm frame for 1955.The example offered here will require re-commissioning following long-term storage. Prospective purchasers should be aware that the rear mudguard, fuel tank and seat are only loosely attached and there is no main stand fitted. The machine comes with (copy) old-style Swansea V5, V5C and is sold strictly as viewed.
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Contacts
  1. Ben Walker
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 8963 2819
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801
  2. James Stensel
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 8963 2818
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801