2006 Shannons Sydney Classic Auction - May 15
Lot
13

1959 Triumph Thunderbird 650cc Motorcycle

PASSED IN

Passed In

Specifications

Engine Twin-cylinder, 649cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Colour Black & Red

Description

This lot is no longer available

Triumph are one of the best known and most established British motorcycle manufacturers and post-war were exporting nearly all their production to the United States, where the brand had been popularised by Marlon Brando's appearance on a Thunderbird 6T in the 1953 movie "The Wild One". The Thunderbird was based on Edward Turner's classic Speed Twin and when launched in 1950 was the most powerful parallel twin available on the market. Indeed, the 650cc engine successfully held the world speed record for motorcycles from 1955 until 1970 set on the dry lakes at Bonneville and much of the success of the model can be attributed to the American desire for more cubic inches and horsepower. The Thunderbird had such an abundance of power and torque that the bike was capable of cruising at more than 150km/h without any fuss - perfect for the long, straight roads of countries like America and Australia. Without doubt one of the all-time classics, the Triumph Thunderbird is a truly rewarding motorcycle to own and the opportunity to acquire one is all too rare.

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