1913 Triumph 3½hp Motorcycle Combination
Registration no. AC 3574
Frame no. 215783
Engine no. 26713
This Triumph motorcycle combination was purchased new in 1913 by Henry Goddard of Henley-in-Arden, grandfather of the immediately preceding owner, Henry James 'Jim' Hammant. The prime purpose was to take Mr Goddard's wife, son and daughter out at weekends. Mr Goddard moved to Henley-on-Thames in the mid-1920s, taking over the Argyll public house as tenant. He soon discovered that Henley was surrounded by hills and that he was unable to travel out of the area as the Triumph was a direct-drive single-speeder with no gears or clutch. An NSU 'Gradua' two-speed gear/clutch was obtained and fitted by Tommy Russell, an employee of Stuart Turner's, Henley and these modifications at last enabled the family to venture out of town.
When Mr Goddard died in the mid-1930s the Argyll was taken over by his son, Royle, and the Triumph lay undisturbed in a stable at the rear of the pub until 1947. As an eleven-year-old, Jim Hammant had wanted a larger bike than the 225cc Royal Enfield Lady's model that he had been thrashing around the local fields and caught sight of the Triumph while visiting his uncle. The latter said that his nephew could have it, so the sidecar was temporarily removed and the bike taken to a shop owned by the family. The Triumph's arrival caused uproar, Jim's father declaring, "Whatever are you doing with that rusty old heap?" Nevertheless, the Triumph was soon got going again and shortly thereafter Jim spotted an article in Motor Cycle magazine about the Pioneer Run. Together, father and son began a proper renovation and the Triumph duly took part in its first Pioneer in 1949.
Ridden by father with son as passenger, the Triumph reached Brighton despite drive-belt problems, and was helped up hills on the way home by Mike Dowsett, one of the observers. The following morning it was discovered that the engine would not turn over: the shellac had melted inside the magneto and re-solidified, locking the motor. The Triumph has since completed the Pioneer Run on 17 occasions without any further problems. It was also the first Veteran combination to complete the inaugural Coventry-Brighton Run, a round trip of 300 miles, and has taken part in numerous other national events.
The machine had been laid up since the 1970s when it was offered for sale by the Hammant family at Bonhams' Stafford auction in April 2006 where it was purchased by the current vendor (Lot 496). Since acquisition the machine has been kept in storage as part of the owner's extensive private collection, and although not used has been started recently. Re-commissioning and the customary safety checks will be required before it returns to the road.
'AC 3574' is recorded in the Pioneer Register and is supplied with Certificates, old-style logbook, two expired MoTs (most recent 2009), V5C registration document and copies of various photographs showing the Triumph on the Pioneer Run. A spare NSU gear is included in the sale, complete with operating mechanism, tools and instructions, while other noteworthy features include acetylene lighting, Klaxon horn and handlebar-mounted Ingersoll clock. A wonderful opportunity to acquire a most handsome and original Pioneer combination, benefiting from long-term single family ownership and possessing impeccable provenance.
- The Engine number is 26713 MTI. A spare NSU gear is not included with this lot.