Triumph Grand Prix
|Model:||Grand Prix T100|
There is a letter on file from H Woolridge of Triumph Motorcycles (Meriden) Limited; to the former owner; stating that only 150 GPs were ever built. This one was built on 31st October 1949; and shipped to New Zealand where it was raced with some success (notes on file). The bike returned to England in the mid 1980s with the NZ owner, who tragically died 20 years later at his home in Englefield Green, Berkshire. This machine was collected from that house by the winning bidder at auction and was lovingly and painstakingly restored to original specification by him over a number of years. The same gentleman still owns it and having completed the project to concours standard it has been stored inside his house, only to be run occasionally at prestigious events to which machines of this provenance are invited; Wings & Wheels and Brooklands being two such historic events/ venues. I am privileged to know this gentleman well enough for him to ask Classic Super Bikes to sell it on his behalf and I happen to know he has good reason to let her go after all these years.
It's a genuine Grand Prix; no question; all the key identifying marks and features are there including the slash-cut front downtube casting, un-crushed downtube and frame-mounted rearset footrest brackets. It came out of our NZ owner's house dismantled but complete except for crankcases and all the original parts were used in the restoration. The all-important frame number is TF27542R and factory records show the bike was originally fitted with engine number 97063R and that's the number to which the spec sheet refers. The original factory engine test sheet was found with the machine's extensive collection of paperwork so a pair of period T100 crankcases were rebuilt with a later one-piece roller bearing crankshaft, polished and balanced by Fred Cooper. 3134 racing cams and followers were fitted and it has a compression ratio of 8.5:1. Ignition is by it's original BTH TT magneto and it's only been run on 114 octane racing fuel and Castrol R racing oil. It has the correct big-valve head, no generator parts here. In fact the only other non-original part we know about is the tachometer. The carbs are correct and in superb condition; they were new replacements supplied by Amal on 23rd February 1977 (Letters, Delivery Note and Invoice on file). As you can see from the video taken in our workshop it runs well and sounds fantastic!
There is really fascinating history regarding this bike's New Zealand owner, who moved to the UK mid 1980s and later became a UK citizen. His name was Ian A McCully and he devoted much of his foreshortened life to owning, researching and documenting the Triumph Grand Prix T100 motorcycle. To say he was passionate about GPs is an understatement; his obsession and devotion drove him to start collecting information on them and all the information he collected comes with this motorcycle! There are files of documentation including Ian's personal letters to and from Triumph Motorcycles, Norton/Triumph International, Vokes, Amal, JA Hitchcock and others. There are handwritten notes on Triumph GP race results, a collection of pictures, articles, copies of factory records and lists of machines noting all the numbers and where they went to around the world. There is also a folder which looks like it might be the beginnings of a book which perhaps Mr McCully the future author was preparing to publish the results of his research into these fantastic racing motorcycles. More work to do here perhaps?