Got this email from Peter in Australia that was news to me. Posting it looking for more info. If anyone has anything to add to this please comment or email! These probably would have just been 1954 Thunderbird's with the T110 engine plugged in, but it does make the imagination wonder as to what parts they were actually fitted with...
My name is Peter Gallagher and I live in Sydney Australia. I have a collection of around 15 or 16 pre unit Triumphs from running bikes to boxes of bits. I have been looking through your blogs and was very interested in the old magazine articles and adverts from the day. As you are in California I wonder if you can help me with some information?
In 1954 Triumph released the T110 model with a swing arm frame. What most people don't know is in that year they made 153 rigid frame Tiger 110. Out of these 153 bikes most went to JoMo who got 115. Only 15 went to TriCor and the rest were scattered across the world with 5 to Australia and the balance to Europe ( mostly to Sweden).
It seams like Bill Johnson may have been behind a request for these rigid frame bikes. The interesting facts are ALL of the US bikes had rigid rear wheels and only 9 of the total had sprung hub wheels and these went only to Australia and Sweden. None were sold in the UK. ALL 153 were solo gearing so they were not for sidecar use. It is logical to assume that because flat track racing in the US was 500cc that these bikes were not "race specials" or they would have been documented in books like the T100R,T100RR and T100RS etc.
If you know any "old guys" from that time period or ex dealer employees or JoMo staff that might have any info on these bikes I would love to hear what they have to say. Better still if you know anyone who has one or owned one. I am trying to find out what their specifications where. Did they have the same running gear as the swing arm bike with simply the rigid frame. i.e. nacelle, 8 inch scooped front brake with wavy drum, standard 6 pint oil tank etc etc.
Any info you can supply would be of help.