"The 6T Thunderbird was launched publicly at Montlhéry near Paris in 1949 where three standard-production bikes were ridden around a circuit by a team of riders who between them averaged a speed of 92mph over a distance of 500 miles. All three machines were ridden to the circuit and back to the Meriden factory. Triumph obtained further lasting publicity with Marlon Brando's 1953 motion picture ‘The Wild One’, in which he rode a 1950 6T Thunderbird. In the book ‘Triumph Motorcycles in America’, there is a letter reproduced from Triumph's importers to the producers objecting to the use of their machine in this film about rowdy motorcycle gangs. From 1960, the Thunderbird acquired Turner's rear fairing nicknamed the 'bathtub' on account of its shape; a feature which was quickly dropped in the USA market but remained in ever-abbreviated forms for the home market before disappearing altogether for the final year of production, 1966. Before then in 1963, the Thunderbird, along with Triumph's other 650cc models, was given the Turner-designed unit engine. Throughout this time, however, the Thunderbird retained its distinctive nacelle.
This handsome motorcycle, with the smaller rear mudguard, is a matching numbers example and appears to be pretty original. She is supplied with a V5C registration document and a current MoT test certificate valid until 14th November 2018."