Saturday, May 30, 2009

************* The Devil's Arrow ************* 193 MPH Triumph Thunderbird

In 1954 this little Texas streamliner was first brought to Bonneville for testing. The speeds were not impressive and the parachute seems to be the main point of interest. It was yet to be named and was outperformed by Rich Richards and his unfaired Triumph 650 Fuel burner. The important thing is that it didn't crash and the tuning process had begun.

Now we're cooking! With a new paint job the streamliner starts to show its potential in 1955. Further tuning promising even higher speeds.

The Texas team took the spotlight, but Mike Ward grabbed a new record of 136.47 MPH on his fuel burning Triumph T100. I love this picture with the eight ball painted on his helmet and gas tank and with the tinted goggles he looks like he's blasting off into a atom bomb test site. This bike is running a Mustang gas tank, a race kit tach and MCM valve covers. Also worthy of mention was Rich Richards run of 151.51 MPH on his Triumph Thunderbird Fuel bike.

Nowhere in these articles do I see the streamliner called by its name of "The Devil's Arrow". It is referred to as "The Mangham Streamliner" and it's later permanent name of "The Texas Cigar". In the end the F.I.M. did not recognise these runs as a new world record, setting the stage for a comeback of the Jack Wilson tuned Arrow to prove without a doubt to the international motorcyclist community that the Texas boys had the fastest motorcycle in the world.

I believe this is a picture of the Devil's Arrow on tour in England?

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Modern Triumph T100 Drag Racer

Shinya just sent me a note of support for the Show & Go blog. He is from Japan, but living in England to live out his drag racing dreams or Sprinting as they call it in the UK.

Drag racing = broken parts. It takes dedication to do this with a vintage motorcycle. He has a blog chronicling his efforts. Check it out:

More 1955 Triumph T100R pics

A restored survivor. The 20" skinny front wheel is talking to me.

Another T100R turned drag bike. Check the shifting linkage and the handlebars mounted to the lower triple tree.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

1955 JoMo Field Rep.

Man, what a sweet setup. This guy had the life.

Texas Trials Ace on Rigid Triumph Trophy

Expert rider with sprung hub and street lights. From 1955. The real Fonzie?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bud Ekins wins 1955 Catalina races on Triumph Trophy

The one thing Bud didn't win at Catalina was best looking machine. This beast was built for all go and not show. Some interesting details are the non-Triumph conical hub front wheel with 21" rim and the custom built high level exhaust pipes. Ekins led the race from start to finish with a 12 minute lead at the end ahead of a Ariel Huntmaster Twin and knocked off ten minutes from the previous track record.

All out success for the Triumph team with Cub and Terrier winners alongside the Ekins Trophy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Walt Fulton's Swingarm Triumph T100

Drilled out muffler hangers and MCM valve caps. I like the look with the MCM high level exhaust pipes in the Dodge City pics below too.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Bobby Sirkegian Triumph Drag Bike's

Click here to see the auction listing for the 500 and click here to see auction page listing for the 6T. The Mid America Auctions website says the 500 was bid up to $33,000 and the 6T up to 64,500! History?
What to say about a guy trying to sell a supposedly "restored" Triumph dragbike for $65,000? There are actually a trio of bikes involved here named "Pretty Boy" one, two and three. The first two were listed together at one of the recent motorcycle auctions for sale at $125,000 as a package deal or seperately at $65,000 each. Even if they were pristine unrestored originals that would be a stretch, but the story gets even more interesting. These are now being advertised as the actual machines that Bobby raced in 1953, BUT the first Pretty Boy build was originally touted as a accurate recreation when his website first popped up. I have seen the bike in person and although a pretty nice job it does have the look of a recreation. I have checked his website again and the main picture feed still lists Pretty Boy One as a recreation so why the auction info stating the bikes as Thee record setting motorcycles he raced? I guess you can say whatever you want to the auction house and have it listed as truth. The info on his website is thin and the "before" picture of one of the bikes shows it with a sprung hub?

Here is a quote pulled off the site where I found the picture above made by "The Vintagent" a well respected authority in the vintage motorcycle community.

"One of 8,000 'Bobby Sirkegian Replicas' made by BS himself, each being touted as THE bike he set his records on in '53. Not surprisingly, none sold - his reserve was $97k! Trying to sell two identical machines with the same catalog description / claim of racing provenance is perhaps a poor choice... "

Then there is this ad from the Oct. 1956 issue of CYCLE magazine. Sure he might have bought the bikes back at some point, but did he destretch the frames back to original? I think not. No info on the website to support that and just one more bit of information to dubunk his originality claims. Unrestored motorcycles have gained their proper standing as the most desireable, with restorations coming second and the value of "recreations" based on the rarity and value of the sum parts. Although some rare parts are used on this bike I could recreate "Pretty Boy" with parts in my garage now. You can not recreate history into a machine. If the guy was just showing the bikes at museums and touring the bike shows it wouldn't really be a big deal, but when he's trying to break sales records for this type of bike by attempting to fool the motorcycle community someone needs to set the record straight. I call bullshit. Comments invited from all parties.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

1955 Dodge City Races

Mimono shuts down the Sirkegian's!

Friday, May 22, 2009

1955 Triumph T100R & 1957 T100RR

A few pics of the new 1955 T100R from clips found in Motorcyclist and CYCLE magazines. The small size of the pictures and the low quality of the magazine print is the reason begind the low resolution. Apparantly very little information or pictures have survived of this model.

From the "Triumph Racing Motorcycles in America" book.

I've identified this bike as the later 1957-1959 T100RR as found in a 1960 issue of Hot Rod Magazine. The bike is easily identified by the 1957 type lower fork sliders and the cylindrical oil tank as opposed to the standard type used on the T100R. Another difference I'm seeing is that the 1955 T100R has the wide TR5 gas tank and the later T100RR has the smaller type. This machine looks almost box stock with the exception of the custom paint job and seat as well as a standard type left side exhaust pipe. In my opinion this is one of the coolest Triumph's to have ever been made available directly from the dealership and this mildly customized drag bike is the ultimate!