I don’t often write up Triumphs like this TR6C Trophy because, although they’re the very embodiment of vintage motorcycles, they’re also pretty easy to find: Triumph made a boatload of them, and fans have been collecting and restoring them for years. So when I go looking for cool bikes, there’s almost always something weirder or rarer to write about.
But this particular bike caught my eye, painted up in vivid Gulf Racing colors as a nod to famous Triumph owner and racer Steve McQueen. And who doesn’t love that striking color combo?
Built between 1956 and 1973, the TR6 was designed for the North American market and their hunger for larger displacement motorcycles. It was powered by a 649cc version of Triumph’s long-lived parallel twin with iron barrels and, for the first time, a lightweight aluminum cylinder head. Earlier bikes used pre-unit construction, with the engine and four-speed transmission as separate castings, but 1964 saw Triumph’s use of unit construction that stiffened the package and simplified manufacturing.
The “C” model designation in “TR6C” stood for “competition” and referred to the desert racing at which it excelled. In fact, that tiny headlamp was designed to be easily removed at the track, and then replaced for the ride home. Of course, most people who bought these didn’t race them, but that’s always the case with race-inspired style.
From the original eBay listing: 1964 Triumph TR6C Trophy for Sale
Amazing condition throughout. Professionally restored. Nothing on the market this nice!
New custom “Gulf” paint job, complete professional rebuild with powder coated black rims and many extras. (The blue & orange in the pics look darker than what they actually are). Google Gulf Racing to see actual colors
These are the team Gulf colors that Steve McQueen used during his sponsored races in 1964 and other years.
All work was done at a reputable Triumph shop with no expense spared. Chrome swing arms, black powder coated rims, Mikuni carburetors, new chrome parts, new tires, new clutch plates & cables, etc. etc.
This bike performs and runs strong!
638 Miles on the speedometer, but this was from when it was restored.
This is a masterpiece! Over $12,000 and a lot of time invested.
Although Triumphs usually require more wrenching than your average Japanese or German or even Italian machine, they’re easy to get parts for, simple to work on, and there’s a ton of information available to help keep them running. In addition, Triumphs are the types of machines that are instantly recognizable by bikers and non-bikers alike and inspire smiles wherever you go.
With a $7,200 Buy It Now price, this one isn’t the cheapest you’ll find and is obviously not all-original, but looks to be well done and very striking in blue and orange. I’m curious to see how Triumph fans react to this bike: is the non-original paint combo going to impact offers on this bike? Is it a bit too loud for your average Triumph fan?