While many would-be collectors are priced out of the classic car market for highly desirable examples, there are still great vintage motorcycles that are affordable and present tremendous value.
There are classic motorcycles that sell for more than $100,000, but there also are plenty of gems out there that cost less that the cost of a new Harley-Davidson.
The Pick of the Day is one of those, a 1948 Triumph 5T Speed Twin advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in St. Charles, Missouri. (Ignore the incorrect headline if you click on the ad as this is not a TR4 as listed.)
The T5 Speed Twin was the first production twin-cylinder motorcycle offered by Triumph, the brainchild of the British company’s chief designer and general manager, the legendary Edward Turner. It was introduced in July 1937 at the Olympia Show in London and was a smash hit from the start.
The Speed Twin’s 500c twin-cylinder engine would be the genesis for all the Bonneville, Daytona and other Triumph twins that followed.
When put on sale in 1938, the Triumph sold very well, but production was halted in 1940 due to a bit of unpleasantness happening in Europe. The Speed Twin would go back on sale after the war, when it received some needed updates, the most important being a telescopic front fork. The Pick is one of these models.
The bike has been ridden just 2 miles since it received a total restoration a number of years ago, according to the ad. The engine number is 48 5T 96311 and the frame Number is 36611. It features correct 3.25×19 Dunlop front and 3.50×19 rear tires.
The Triumph is being sold as-is and in non-running condition, although the seller says the engine has good compression. The pictures show a motorcycle that appears to be correctly restored and looking nice, although there are many details on these bikes that would need to be closely examined for accuracy.
Now, the not-running part might tend to put people off a bit, but this is a project that I would, and still might, purchase myself. I am pretty handy around old Triumph motorcycles, and since the engine has good compression, I would be willing to tackle it.
The worst thing that likely could be wrong is that the magneto is faulty, which would prevent the engine from starting, and requires a rebuild, a repair that would cost between $500 and $700.
Factor that into the modest $13,995 asking price for this bike and I challenge anyone to find something this iconic and special for less money, especially pre-1960.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.