Bonhams Pioneer, Vintage
& Classic Motorcycle Auctions

Bonhams Motorcycle Department

1956 Triumph Thunderbird. Café Racer. Converted in 1960 and Hidden away for 45 years

Date Published:
25 Apr 2013
Sussex, UK

1956 Triumph Thunderbird. “Café Racer” built in 1960 and Hidden away for 45 years. Matching numbers. Original registration. 3 Owners. Remarkable. Please click on this link to see our Video of the Bike 1956 Triumph Thunderbird “Café Racer”. Still retains complete matching numbers. Frame number 6T77178. Engine number S77178. Registration number WNK 71. This Triumph Thunderbird was sold new by Triumph main dealer “Eversheds” of Bognor Regis, Sussex, on 15th March 1956. It remained with the 1st owner for 48 years. In 1960 this Triumph Thunderbird was converted to a “Café Racer”. We were very fortunate to have been supplied much information by the 2nd owner, who acquired the Triumph in 2004 but had known the 1st owner and the Bike since the early 1960`s and has supplied a letter confirming many details. The specification is extensive and includes the following (much of it period fittings): Believed factory competition rear hub with tapered bearings/changeable sprocket etc., Tiger 110 big valve cast cylinder head, Ramp cams (as standard), one off rewire with hidden on/off switch (no ignition), Auto advance Magneto, 12v Conversion, High Compression pistons, “Eureka” oil pressure gauge, Vented front brakes, “Manx” style genuine 1960 refurbished fiberglass fuel tank, one off rear bob seat, “John Tickle” Headlamp mounts, Doherty quick action throttle, Tiger 110 front Hub and brakes, Uprated front fork springs, slim line Oil tank (original factory item altered and recessed inside frame line), Slim line Battery/tool box (original factory item altered and recessed inside the frame line), Aluminum mudguards and many other items to extensive to list. The 2nd owner acquired this bike in 2004 after looking after it for the 1st owner for approx 25 years, a retired toolmaker over a 5 year period he refurbished much of the bike; his work was extensive and much of it “one off” type engineering, nearly every nut and bolt was replaced with Stainless Steel, rebuilt front forks, new wheel bearings, Clutch, cables, controls, chains. He also refurbished many other items too extensive to list here, he is a skilled engineer and much of this Bike is a credit to him. In 2009 the Triumph was finally put back on the road after being stored for approx 45 years, that same year it was acquired by the 3rd owner who stored the Bike in his house until 2012. We acquired the bike in December 2012. It comes with a V5C Registration Document, letters from the last 2 Owners, an old MOT from 2009 and assorted receipts etc. It was serviced and checked in our workshops and we rode the Bike in the last week of December 2012, testing it extensively covering approx 30 miles, pushing the Bike harder as the miles progressed. The handling and performance was extraordinary… In our workshop this bike has been stripped, frame bead blasted and powder coated and then detailed and re-assembled keeping as much as original as possible. It has new Stainless Steel Rims and Spokes, all the paintwork is new and we hope the photographs and video will clearly demonstrate the condition of this wonderful machine. Please look at all the photographs (enlargements). You can view approx 40 more high resolution images on our website. Please click on this link Please click on this link to see our Video of the Bike Contact We will answer any questions you have, please make contact Tim Collins 01243 586110/07834 086565. Email via ebay or Visit our website: Part Exchange welcome. For a Classic Motorbike, dismantled project etc/Automobilia/Parts and other interesting Classic items. Shipping We are prepared to ship this Triumph Thunderbird anywhere in the world in a specially built crate from £600.00. We will deliver it personally to mainland Europe and the UK. UK & Europe delivery £1.30 per mile one way from UK Post code PO22 6DL.