1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA

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Lot 141
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird
Frame no. 6T2255NA

Sold for US$ 16,100 inc. premium
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird
Frame no. 6T2255NA
Triumph boss Edward Turner knew the value of a good headline. When demands for more power emanating from both American riders and British sidecarists grew too loud to ignore, he followed up the blockbuster 500cc Speed Twin with the 6T Thunderbird, announced in September of 1949. But a simple press release wouldn't do for Triumph's first 650. A spectacular launch stunt saw three Thunderbirds lap the banked concrete Montlhéry circuit in France at over 90mph for 500 miles, after which they each achieved a flying lap of 100-plus mph and were then ridden back the 400 miles to Coventry. Message delivered to customers and competition alike.

Moto-journalist Frank Melling: "The Thunderbird is one the most pleasant, rideable and thoroughly charming classic bikes available," he wrote. "The engine spins into life with a single, easy kick and then the bike will do everything from potter around a bike rally at 5mph to genuine, reliable 70mph cruising on the Interstate."

The first bikes were painted Thunder Blue, which was more appropriate for battleships than motorcycles. This was soon supplanted by the more pleasing Polychromatic Blue, a metallic color that became the Thunderbird's trademark hue. American dealers wanted something more menacing, however, in their quest to snag 'conquest sales' away from Harley-Davidson and Indian. Triumph listened and the response was the all-ebony 'Blackbird,' offered only in the U.S.

This Blackbird was professionally restored some 10-15 years ago and has seen very few miles since. For most of that time it was on static display in a museum collection. It is presented in stock specification with the exception of megaphone-style exhaust pipes that may be part of factory race kit. In the current owner's care the bike has not been started.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the correct frame and engine numbers for this bike are 2255NA and GT2255NA respectively, and it is titled under its engine number.
Contacts
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA
1951 Triumph 6T Blackbird Frame no. 6T2255NA
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