Bonhams : The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122
The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122

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Lot 315
The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials
Registration no. 612 BFD Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122

Sold for £ 21,850 (US$ 28,256) inc. premium
The ex-works; Roy Peplow
1961 Triumph 490cc Trials
Registration no. 612 BFD
Frame no. H24122
Engine no. T100A 424122
• Built by Roy Peplow while at Triumph
• The only unitary construction '500' works entry
• Known ownership history
• Owned by Bob Gardiner since 1993

The unique machine offered here is the only unitary construction '500' built in trials specification at the Triumph factory, and was ridden as an official works entry by Roy Peplow. A works rider for Triumph and a regular ISDT competitor, Peplow is perhaps best known for his stunning overall victory in the 1959 Scottish Six Days Trial riding a 199cc Triumph Tiger Cub, a landmark victory that demonstrated the emerging capabilities of lightweight machines and sounded the death knell for the previously dominant heavyweight four-strokes.

Yet despite the Cub's many successes it never proved consistent enough to bring Triumph the British championship. Only a '200', the Cub was up against the 250cc BSA C15 and similar-sized Villiers-engined trials irons of Greeves and Dot. To counter this emerging threat, Peplow and team-mate John Giles pressured the Triumph management to produce a larger-engined twin for them to ride. Despite Triumph's twins having proved themselves in long-distance events, most notably the International Six Days Trial, the management refused to sanction development of a one-day trials version.

Determined to prove them wrong, Peplow decided to build his own, as he told Don Morley in 1985 for an article in Classic Bike: 'They (Triumph) wouldn't help at all. They charged me almost full price for a duff bike which had come back under guarantee, and what's more they asked the full price for all the bits I needed. Then when it all worked they claimed it back!'
Registered '612 BFD', Peplow's unit-construction trials special would be entered by Triumph as a works bike, after Roy had been repaid for it. Eventually Triumph realised that the unitary construction twin had potential and built a 350 version for John Giles. 'It (Peplow's) and Giles' 350 were relatively successful, winning regular first-class awards and numerous 350cc and 500cc cups during their short career in 1963-64,' wrote Morley. 'To this day he (Peplow) reckons it was the best trials bike he ever rode.' Giles, however, considered the more powerful 500 'an animal'.

After the factory trials team was disbanded, Peplow bought back '612 BFD', which he sold on to fellow trials competitor Harry Raynor in 1967. The Triumph was next owned by Paul Westbrook followed by Dick Archer, who went on to dominate the South Eastern Centre's new Pre-'65 four-stroke class on the ex-Peplow Triumph during the early 1970s, including winning the Talmag Trial. When he wrote the aforementioned article for Classic Bike (December 1985 edition) Don Morley had owned '612 BFD' for some ten years, having bought it from Dick Archer in 1975. Roy Peplow is pictured riding his special Triumph in Don's book Classic British Trials Bikes (page 176) and the machine has appeared in numerous other publications over the years.

Stripping the engine for a top-end rebuild, Don was surprised to find that almost everything was non-standard; the valves were much larger, and the pistons were 10.5:1 compression – not at all what one would expect in a trials engine. Indeed, once run-in the rebuilt engine proved so fierce that Don had to de-tune it with low-compression pistons. He also found that the front fork internals were completely different from standard, and that in addition to its ultra-rare factory alloy cylinder barrel the Triumph also had a lightweight Dural clutch basket.

Don competed on the ex-Peplow Triumph in Pre-'65 events for many years before selling it to Stanley Robinson in June 1987. Bob Gardiner bought the machine from Stanley Robinson in November 1993. The accompanying file contains Bob's hand-written notes on the machine's specification and history; a list of publications in which it has featured; copy old V5 documents; and old/current V5C Registration Certificates.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
Contacts
The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122
The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122
The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122
The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122
The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122
The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122
The ex-works; Roy Peplow, 1961 Triumph 490cc Trials Frame no. H24122 Engine no. T100A 424122
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