1953 Triumph T100 (C)

Forgive me if you are starting to see a trend in the Classic Sports Bikes that I have been highlighting in the last few months. But the Triumphs from the 1950’s are something that I have been fixating on because I have started my 1950’s Triumph winter project. So when I saw this 1953 Triumph T100 on eBay UK, I had to stop, look and research. And what I found it that this is a tribute bike and not the real T100C that it is listed as.

After WWII Triumph got back into racing in a small way. They offered the T100 Tiger in a Grand Prix form in which the factory could go racing. For the rest of us Triumph would box up all the go fast parts into a “race kit” that you could add to your off the shelf T100 and go racing. Finally in 1953 after pressure from Triumphs West Coast distributer Johnson Motors of Pasadena, and their East Coast Triumph Corp. (TriCor), Triumph pulled 100 motors off the assembly line, added all the go fast parts from the race kit, stamped a “C” on the case and sent them off to America as the Triumph T100C Competition. This bike offered on eBay UK is not one of those.

From the Seller

Here we have an ultra rare Triumph T100C model frm 1953 with the close fin cylinder and head.  This pre unit model was only available as a 1953 model. Ridgid whit the sprung hub. It has the original rearset lugs on the frame. Has about 3000 kms. (2000 miles) on the engine. Frame number 42802. Engine number 52760 (From 1954)


The frame number is from 1953, but without writing the VMCC vintage motorcycle club in England who holds all of Triumphs production books from the period, there is no other way to confirm if it is an original T100C frame. The seller lists that the engine is from 1954, and a close look at the engine number shows no “C” stamped next to the T100.Triumph did not add rear suspension until 1954 so the only travel for the rear wheel is limited to the springs located inside the sprung hub. 


The major feature of the competition bikes were the cylinder and head would have close gapped cooling fins, as this bike does. Other external features distinctive to the T100C are the dual Amal 276 carbs with remote floats, and this appears to have a single carb. The frames would have come with rear set lugs, and this bike appears to have rear pegs, but the distinction between rear-set and passenger pegs might be very minute. Any T100C that ended up staying inEnglandwould have gotten 8:1 CR pistons while the US received 9:1.

 I don’t think that this seller is trying to deceive anyone in claiming that this is a real T100C. They state the vin# for the engine and say that it is a 1954. I do think that they tried to build a replica of a rare bike and overall it looks to be a very well sorted bike. I will also be taking influences from the T100C and seeing this one on eBay UK helps me through the long winter nights. BB


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  1. November 4, 2011

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