Triumph Tiger 80 Project

Sometimes it can be hard to visualise how that box of bits you bought as a ‘project’ will look when finished. This is one of the many challenges that will face the new owner of this circa 1938 Triumph Tiger 80 up for grabs with a guide price of £2,800 – 3,600 (US$4,200 – 5,300) at The Spring Stafford Sale being held at the Staffordshire County Showground by auction house Bonhams on 26 April 2015.

Whilst it’s fair to say you’re going to have to source a few additional items in order to finish it, for the most part, these are the components that you’d have probably had to replace anyway such as the wheel rims and the exhaust system. Other items such as the missing footrest, carburettor and tank knee pads to name but three will require some work to locate but that’s what auto jumbles were invented for and, to be fair, attendance at these events goes hand-in-hand with projects of this scale.

A little history

In 1936, the management at Triumph felt unable to sustain the manufacture of cars, motorcycles and bicycles and, having sold the rights to manufacture their bicycles, intended to concentrate solely on cars and to cease the production of motorcycles completely. When these plans came to the attention of Jack Sangster, the owner of Ariel motorcycles, he quickly intervened and secured the rights to the Triumph name and to that part of the Triumph works in Priory Street, Coventry used for the manufacture of motorcycles and all of the related tooling. Sangster appointed his Chief Designer at Ariel, Edward Turner, as General Manager and Chief Designer of Triumph. As part of his regeneration of the brand, Turner updated the look of the existing Mk V range of 250cc, 350cc and 500cc singles and renamed them Tiger 70, 80 and 90 respectively. The Triumph Tigers were manufactured from 1937 to 1939 when production was switched to a militarised version until the Priory Street factory was destroyed during the German bombing of Coventry on 15 November 1940.

The finished article?

When it’s restoration is complete (and assuming such a restoration is undertaken by the new owner), this Triumph Tiger 80 will probably look something like this example sold by Bonhams at The Stafford Spring Sale back in 2010 for £6,900…and what a transformation that will be.

Triumph Tiger 80

Triumph Tiger 80

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