1949 Triumph 6T Thunderbird Sprung Hub. V5C. Restored. Great Runner. Classic
Price: £6 101 ≈ $7659 ≈ €7121
Item location: Chesterfield, UK
Seller notes: “Older restoration that still looks good, great runner, V5C, historic, ready to roll.”
This is a 1949 Triumph 6T Thunderbird. This is the first year of this model and quite sort after.
V5C is present. Classed as historic, so no Tax or MOT required although the bike is currently Mot'd to the 23rd of September 2023. Non-matching numbers, but Triumph numbers did not start to match until the following year 1950 so it is considered less critical on pre 1950 machines generally. They started with identical engine and frame numbers for the 1950 season. This is the year before. Age related non transferrable reg.
So, this is the very first year of the legendary Triumph Thunderbird and this is rigid, with telescopic forks and has a sprung hub fitted at the rear. These caused a sensation when they were launched and the press stunt to launch them at Montlhéry is quite something. here is the link:
Stock Stories: 1952 Triumph Thunderbird (ntnoa.org)
Triumph Thunderbird 1950 (cybermotorcycle.com)
The first-year model was a darker blue, which this bike has been painted in. I think they called in Thunder blue or something. Later Thunderbirds were painted a much lighter shade of blue. But for the first year only they were dark blue.
The story with this machine is that it was restored but not used or registered by an Australian chap who basically could not get to grips with our registration system with the DVLA. He restored this several years ago, brought it over to the UK where he has been working with the intention of using it whilst he was here. He stood it in a container in storage whilst he got around to registering it, which he never quite managed, and has now returned home to Australia. Because of Covid etc, it turns out that the price of shipping has become eye watering, so he has sold it here before returning home. It has actually taken me several months to get it registered myself as I picked up the story with the DVLA halfway through sort of thing. So, although it has been restored, I would describe it as an older restoration as the work is probably five to seven years old now and it has been in storage since. As a result, it has not really been used. It does start perfectly and runs great. There is a video link above. I rode it briefly to check it out and it pulls through all the gears fine, the clutch and brakes work etc, the lights all work etc and it does have an MOT with eleven months left, which was part of the final stages of getting it registered. A lot of money was spent on it at the time. The guy told me he had stripped everything down and rebuilt the lot. Look at the nicely rebuilt and blue lined wheels as one obvious example. The chrome and paintwork is all pretty respectable, but the rear of the silencers is showing some bubbling due to the time in storage etc. This is great looking bike and one that is now ready to start to enjoy. It is very clean and tidy, but not mint.
The first year Triumph 6T Thunderbird in the darker "Thunder blue" is the iconic one. This has the optional Sprung Hub fitted and has had all the hard work done. Now is the nice stuff like detailing to do and bedding in. These were a sensation when they came out and are Triumphs only 650 rigid model. They always sell well as they are one of the very best engines in one of the best chassis. They look pretty much best of the lot, with that styling bands tank badge, nacelle that was brand new that year, and that fantastic launch stunt hot in the press. Triumph knocked the competition for six and they all scrambled to keep up with most bringing out 650s in answer to it, but the Triumph was the one to have. BSAs answer was the Golden Flash for 1950, Norton stretched their Dominator a bit more, and all the other brands like Enfield, AJS. Matchless etc all brought out models in response. None quite had the cache of a dark blue T-Bird. In 1949 this was the 650 to have and generally in 1940s terms this was a pretty top of the range ship. They remain a fantastic looking bike to this day and modern Triumphs still pick up on many of the early styling touches to this day. If you have never owned an early Thunderbird, try one, you won't regret it.
Viewing is welcome. Collection is preferred, but delivery in the UK by courier to your door is £ 150. No Paypal or credit cards.