Jim Hiddleston Restoration
1965 Triumph T120C
Engine No. T120C DU15520
Frame No. T120C DU15520
In the 1950s and 1960s, Triumph’s 650 twins were barred from AMA Class C racing, which limited overhead valve engines to 500cc. The regulations kept the big twins off the dirt ovals. There was another form of dirt competition known as TT racing – the name was derived from the British Tourist Trophy races. American TTs were held on dirt courses, but they had to have a motocross-like jump. Some courses were simple ovals with a jump, while others had left and right turns like a road course. In this form of racing, the 650 Triumphs were allowed, and they dominated.
The T120C Competition Sports variant of the Triumph Bonneville was produced in very limited numbers during its production period of 1963-65. Just 227 of these machines in total left the Meriden factory, all but 4 (2 to Mexico in 1963, 2 to Canada in 1965) being dispatched to the Triumph Corporation (TriCor), Triumph’s US East Coast distributors.
This original, numbers matching T120C is offered in truly excellent restored condition. Purchased by the owner in this condition over a decade ago, the bike was fresh from Jim Hiddleston’s discerning expert eye. Hiddleston performed a ground-up, nut & bolt rebuild, with a full mechanical overhaul of drivetrain and all cycle parts, while a correct cosmetic restoration in the striking blue over silver livery.
The bike is accompanied by a clean, clear title and a letter from the VMCC confirming the authenticity of the machine, and that it was likely dispatched, unusually, to Johnson Motors in Los Angeles on November 3rd, 1964.
With the rarity of these ‘C’s and the number of chopped up and lost to time examples, they represent a fantastic investment, and with excellent provenance and a restoration performed by one of the very best in the business, this investment-grade example offers a great opportunity for a collector.