Almost from Day One Triumph motorcycles have been pitted against each other in just about every racing discipline. World War II stopped racing activities, but post-war adrenalin fueled a plethora of racing bikes for all kinds of racing events.
Triumph’s development shop spawned a number of competitive machines at the hand Freddie Clark and Ernie Lyons. Lyons, an amateur racer outside of his Triumph job, suggested a road racer based on the T100 Tiger. Head honcho, Edward Turner was against factory-built racing specials, so work was carried out in stealth. Success came quickly with a 1946 Isle of Man Manx Grand Prix win. With more trophies filling the shelf, Turner was forced to concede and a Tiger-based race-replica was produced.
The new Grand Prix models caught the eye of the American market, playing perfectly in to the “export or die” mantra of the post-war British motorcycle industry. Americans raced and raced a lot. They enjoyed trials events, desert racing and, of course, road racing circuits like Daytona. And Triumphs proved to be hugely successful at them all.
By the mid-1950s, the factory were producing a series of “works specials”, even though Turner’s distaste was the company line. The Tiger T100/R was produced in very low numbers by 1955 in race spec. For 1956 the road racers became the TR5R, but that returned to the T100RS for 1957, armed with the new Delta head and 5-gallon tank stolen from the Thunderbird model.
Only 132 T100RS models were built in 1957 and they featured the same alloy engines with 9:1 compression pistons, 3134 cams, new dual carb heads, rubber mounted T15 GP1 carbs with large 302/11 remote float, Lucas Racing magneto, old pattern tach drive. Half of the production run were built as road racers with swing arm frames.
The 1957 Triumph T100R Factory Roadracer offered here, numbers matching 04645, was, according to factory records (photographed) was built on January 17th, 1957 to Factory Road Racer specification, delivered new to Colquhoun Motors in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada as one of 5 Road Racers sent to Canada. It was sold in May of that year to a Canadian Navy seaman Mike Chu of HMCS Shearwater base for the princely sum of $975. He raced it at Scoudouc airport track in New Brunswick at the first Atlantic Canada road races and various other races. Mike Chu was last seen riding bike when he slid under a guard rail in Fundy Park New Bruswick and injured himself and damaged bike.
Our vendor found the bike many years later in Ontario in need of a complete restoration. And so, he embarked on a labor of love level refurbishment. The ground-up restoration was performed by RMB Motorcycle Restoration in Stratford Ontario. The engine was completely rebuilt from the reground crank including new pistons, valves, guides, springs, and all bearings. The original gearbox was also fully rebuilt, while a correct race magneto and GP carbs were installed. Cycle parts received similar meticulous treatment, including QD hub, rims, spokes, tires, chains, chain guard, fenders, stays, fork tubes/springs, exhaust system, folding rear sets. All fasteners were cad plated and chrome pieces were re-plated.
The result is a wonderfully and meticulously restored machine, rare and steeped in Triumph history.
Please note: the final photograph is 94-year-old racer Fast Eddy Fisher talking about the GP carburetor at the Canadian National Triumph Rally.
Frame no. 04645
Engine no. T100R 04645
Location: Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Winning Bid: $1,500.00
Winning Bid: $20,000.00