|Condition:||Very good (4)|
This charming example of Triumph's iconic 1948 500cc twin has a history to treasure and a story to tell. Condition is good older restoration so it's not a concours winner (although it has won show trophies in recent years) but patina and character it has by the mile. Matching numbers with the original registration and only three owners from new in 72 years. That's really nice and quite unusual. It's all documented and there is even an old photograph on file showing the bike; clearly recogniseable from the number plate; on the first day of ownership on 11th October 1948. The original manuals are still with the bike after all these years with the first owner's name hand written on them, his first insurance document is in the file along with the 1948 petrol allowance application and further comprehensive notes from the same family ownership after the first owner from 1979 to the present day. Not much in the way of service history but we know it was restored over a seven year period by the second owner between 1979 and 1986 and it was passed to his daughter in 1995. There is an invoice for a top end rebuild using genuine Triumph pistons in 1999 and a magneto rebuild in 2010. Used infrequently and displayed regularly at classic shows, the paintwork has been refreshed in the current owner's time but it isn't perfect as you can see in the pictures. There is a collection of old MOTs and tax discs and the MOTs show that the speedometer was reset when the bike was restored so it's done 15k miles in the last forty years.
Some highlights from the family history...." The bike was first registered on 10th September 1948 by Harry Nash Motorcycles 391 King Street London W6 and bought new by Mr EH (name witheld) and registered in his name on 11th October 1948. It is believed that the original cost was £149.00. The bike was used daily and E decided to make it a little more sporty. He added a dual seat, removed one set of mudguard stays and cut 6" off the rear mudguard to make wheel changes easier, and fitted a sprung hub. It remains the same today. The bike was ridden until 1966 when E moved to Bournemouth. He put the bike in his garage, covered it with a sheet and there it remained for 13 years. A neighbour got to know of its existence and, having been a Triumph motorcycle mechanic, he endeavoured to get E to part with it. After some persuasion and waiting E decided to sell to his neighbour; Mr EW; and so in August 1979 EW proudly wheeled it home. Over the next seven years it was gradually rebuilt and EW remained the owner until 1995 when he passed his pride and joy over to the present owners (his daughter and her husband) thus keeping it in the family..." Rarely have I seen such pride of ownership and it has been hard for the current owners to let it go, but the time is right for the fourth owner in 72 years to come forth!
The original rear wheel rim is present and will be supplied with the bike so restoration to the original rigid specification is possible but considering how long ago the sprung hub was fitted it might be nice to keep it that way. As for the mudguard and the single seats, well yes I'd reinstate them at some time probably but that's down to the next owner. Recommissioning by Classic Bike Workshop has involved the usual setting up of ignition and carburation, the dynamo is away being reconditioned and carburettor internals are ordered to clean up the fuelling. Workshop inspection confirms a high-volume oil pump and timing-side oil seal has been fitted, in light of which we have checked oil pressure and PSV effectiveness independently of the tank-mounted instrument, which does work. Healthy oil pressure tells us that the big-end bearings are good but we suspect the bottom end hasn't been apart from new and we can just detect some wear in the main bearings. Lots of life in the old girl yet though. Some of the later wiring has been tidied up since these pictures were taken and it's generally very presentable. It starts and runs as you can see in the video but significant improvements have been made in many areas and it will be sold with everything working and ready to ride.