2017 Shannons Melbourne Late Summer Classic Auction

c1951 Triumph T100 Tiger Racing Motorcycle


Passed In


Engine Twin-cylinder, 498cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Colour Grey & Silver
Interior Black


This lot is no longer available

With origins dating back to 1902, Triumph established a long tradition of building powerful and rapid motorcycles but it wasn’t until the Thirties that the company, under new ownership and Edward Turner’s skilled management, began to build a series of truly successful machines, beginning with the Tiger range of singles and later Speed Twins. Launched in 1939, the legendary T100 Tiger was a sporting development of the Speed Twin, one that was both more powerful and agile than anything previously made at Coventry. Drawing heavily on Triumph’s success in competition, the super sports T100’s vertical twin utilised forged alloy pistons with 7.75:1 compression and a polished cylinder head (an optional bronze head was also available at additional cost) while other features included a larger oil tank and ribbed front brake drums for better cooling. Rated at 34 horsepower at 7000 rpm on open megaphone exhausts, the T100 was capable of touching 100 mph with acceleration described by Motor Cycling as “breathtaking” in their road test. Such was Triumph’s confidence in their new product, every T100 was issued with a test card showing the horsepower reading obtained while the engine was undergoing bench testing. Triumph took the unusual step of launching the new model with an endurance run from John O’Groats to Land’s End followed by six hours of high-speed testing at the Brooklands circuit in Surrey. Following the destruction of the Coventry works during the war, T100 production resumed once hostilities had ceased at the new Meriden factory, with a new telescopic fork design replacing the old girder fork. The 5T Speed Twin and Tiger 100 Triumphs proved ideally suited to the production-based regulations imposed by the American Motorcycle Association and the small number of imports before the war grew rapidly once a dealer network was established in the late 1940s. Regarded as the best high performance motorcycle in the 500cc class for many years, the T100 is a genuine classic, with genuine survivors always in high demand.