Single family ownership from new 1928 Triumph 500cc TT Model Registration no. RA 8386 Frame no. 702952 Engine no. 122908
The first Triumph motorcycle of 1902 used a Belgian Minerva engine, but within a few years the Coventry firm - originally bicycle manufacturers - 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 - greatly stimulated sales. Like rival manufacturers, Triumph were keen to exploit their Isle of Man credentials and added the TT Roadster - a stripped-down, single-speed, sports model - to the range.
After WWI Triumph's prosperity was founded on the bread-and-butter Model P sidevalve and its many derivatives, but the firm had not abandoned the sports roadster market entirely and introduced the four-valve Ricardo model in 1921. Although the 'Riccy' was unsuccessful at the Isle of Man TT races, a works bike ridden by Frank Halford broke the world flying mile record in 1921 with a speed of 83.91mph. The first production models arrived in 1922, and although Rudge went on to make a success of their four-valve designs, Triumph's did not last into the 1930s, being dropped at the end of 1927 in favour of a new two-valve design.
Developed and raced at Brooklands by Victor Horsman, Triumph's new 498cc two-valve engine debuted in the Type TT in 1927, replacing the four-valve Ricardo as the Coventry firm's top-of-the-range sports roadster. A privately entered example ridden by Triumph agent Tommy Simister finished third in the Isle of Man Senior TT in 1927, and this stylish twin-port model remained a fixture of the Triumph range until 1931.
This TT Model Triumph was purchased new by the vendor's father-in-law and was last used on the road in 1949 (last tax disc still in holder). Since then the machine has been repainted (in 1974); the exhaust pipes and silencers replaced (in 1979); and the BTH magneto overhauled (in the 1980s). Early in the Triumph's life the lighting was changed from acetylene to electric by the owner, who also modified the lubrication system. 'RA 8386' is described as in generally good condition but will, of course, require re-commissioning after its lengthy sojourn in storage. The machine is offered with an old-style continuation logbook (issued 1947), Triumph 1928 range brochure, parts list, owner's manual, tax disc (1950), copies of period photographs, and dating correspondence from the VMCC's Triumph marque specialist Peter Cornelius. A Lucas magdyno, an acetylene headlamp shell and some minor parts are included in the sale.