1924 Triumph 500cc
Year of manufacture1924
Engine number96964 GGH
Property of a deceased's estate
1924 Triumph 550cc SD
Registration no. MB 6309
Frame no. 33646
Engine no. 96964 GGH
The first Triumph motorcycle of 1902 used a Belgian Minerva engine but within a few years the Coventry firm - originally a bicycle manufacturer founded by German immigrants Siegfried Bettman and Maurice Schulte - 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 having finished second the previous year - greatly stimulated sales. By the outbreak of The Great War the marque's reputation for quality and reliability was well established, leading to substantial orders for 'Trusty Triumphs' for military use.
Triumph's 3½hp model had first appeared in 1907. Originally of 453cc, its sidevalve engine was enlarged to 476cc in 1908 and finally to 499cc in 1910 before being superseded by the 550cc 4hp model in 1914. Equipped with three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox, it was this revised 4hp - the Model H - that did such sterling service in WWI, some 30,000 'Trusty Triumphs' seeing action with British and Allied forces. Updated with chain final drive for 1920, it became known as the 'SD' (Spring Drive) because of its clutch-mounted, coil-spring shock absorber and formed the basis of the later four-valve Ricardo model.
This Triumph SD is offered for sale by the Myerscough family, whose name has for generations been synonymous with motorcycles. The family business started in 1893 when Leonard Myerscough began selling bicycles, followed by motorcycles and then automobiles. At its peak the firm operated from five locations in the Liverpool area. This Triumph SD belonged to Len Jr, Leonard's eldest son, from whom it was inherited in turn by his eldest son, the late John Myerscough. John regularly attended Vintage rallies and there is a picture on file of him riding this Triumph in the Isle of Man during TT week. It is not known when it was last used. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, the machine comes with an old-style continuation logbook (1969) and old/current V5/V5C registration documents. No reserve.