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Motorcycles were produced at Coventry until early in World War II when the town of Coventry was obliterated during The Blitz (September 7, 1940 to May, 1941). Tooling and machinery was recovered from the devastate site of the factory and production restarted at the new plant at Meriden, West Midlands in 1942.
The Speed Twin designed by Edward Turner before the war was produced in large numbers after the war. Efforts to settle the lend-lease debts caused nearly 70% of Triumph's post war production to be shipped to the United States. Post War, the Speed Twin and Tiger 100 were available with a sprung rear hub, Triumph's first attempt at rear suspension.
In 1948 a motorcycle based on the generator engine produced in the war years appeared. The 499cc TR5 Trophy Twin was introduced at the 1948 Motor Cycle Show. It used a single carburettor, low compression version of the Grand Prix engine which had been produced in limited quantities using alloy components built during the war. Britain won the prestigious 1948 International Six Days Trial. The Triumph works team had finished unpenalised. One team member, Allan Jefferies, had been riding what amounted to a prototype version.
To satisfy the American appetite for motorcycles suited to long distance riding, Turner built a 650 cc version of the Speed Twin design. The new bike was named the Thunderbird (A name Triumph would later license to the Ford Motor Company for use on a car). Only one year after the Thunderbird was introduced a hot rodder in Southern California mated the 650 Thunderbird with a twin carb head originally intended for GP racing and named the new creation the Wonderbird. That 650 cc motor, designed in 1939, held the world's absolute speed record for motorcycles from 1955 until 1970.
Models of the 1940s
Triumph T5 500 1946 Triumph Speed Twin 1947 Triumph Tiger 100 1946, 1947 Triumph Tiger 85 1946 Triumph 3T 1946 Triumph 3T De Luxe 350 c.c. Twin 1946, 1947
Foreword 1948 The Triumph motor cycle has earned the overwhelming approval of discriminating motor cyclists over the entire globe: whether it be for sport, trials, racing or business, the Triumph Twin has proved its unquestioned superiority. Triumph 498cc Speed Twin Triumph 498cc Tiger 100 Triumph 349cc 3T De Luxe
1949 Models Triumph 349cc 3T OHV Triumph 498cc 5T OHV Triumph 498cc T100 OHV
Sources include tomcc.org