1958 Triumph 650cc 6T Thunderbird

1958 Triumph 650cc 6T Thunderbird

The Thunderbird has an interestingly choppy production history at Triumph, something that has become part of its charm. Introduced in 1949, it remained in steady production through 1966 with a few changes. Conceived as a way to further capture the American market with a larger bike, bigger engine and more power, the Thunderbird had a unique Euro-American style, making it a relatively unique bike. When production ended in 1966, the Thunderbird name was shelved until 1981 for just one year, before returning again in 1994. As a side note, in the 1953 film “The Wild One,” Marlon Brando rode a 1950 6T Thunderbird, something Triumph’s U.S. importers objected to in a letter to the producers. Simply put, they didn’t want their machine being associated with unruly motorcycle gangs.

The motorcycle offered

Purchased in 2005, this 6T Thunderbird is a lovely, pre-unit model with matching factory frame and engine numbers. Powered by the twin-cylinder, 650cc engine and a 4-speed transmission, the bike shows 18,542 miles on its odometer. Thanks to a recent tune-up and new battery installation, the Thunderbird starts easily and runs nicely.

Early pre-unit models are getting difficult to find, and this one appears to be a fabulous gem. Beautifully presented in red with black and polished components, the bike also sports the stunning speedometer within the headlight nacelle, a design element that makes these Triumphs a design treasure.

1958 Triumph 650cc 6T Thunderbird

Frame no. 011440
Engine no. 6T 011440

Location: Ventura, California

  • Older restoration
  • Recent service