1940 Triumph 500cc Speed Twin
Edward Turner’s design for the 500cc vertical twin caused a sensation when it appeared at the 1937 Motorcycle Show, and it had the performance to match, with a 100mph top speed. But who could have forseen the impact that light and compact design would have had on the motorcycle industry with the formula still popular today.
Originally with a 6-bolt head, the engine was upgraded a year or so later to 8-bolts and so spawned a burgeoning racing motorcycle industry with its new-found reliability and strength.
Production ceased in 1940 with the distractions of World War II, but the model was re-introduced in 1947 and said to be responsible for the survival of Triumph.
The motorbike offered
This rare 1940 example comes to us from a ground up, nut and bolt restoration at the hands of a Southern California restorer, collector and enthusiast with a fantastic track record of producing stunning and very useable restorations. The engine and gearbox were rebuilt by world speed record holder for pre unit Triumph specialist Leif Lewis. The engine feels taut and always starts easily within a kick or two. It hangs in a fully restored frame with all cycle parts refurbished or rebuilt. It sports a new correct model Amal carb, completely rebuilt mags/dynamos, and a new wiring harness. The tank was restored and is in the correct Amaranth Red, supplied by Triumph paint guru, Don Hutchinson, with hand painted gold pinstripes to set off the chrome.
This is a rare machine, one of only a few hundred produced before the bombing of the factory. Now, completely dialed in, it is a blast to ride and gathers quite a crowd wherever it is parked.