1959 Triumph T20 Tiger Cub
Smart example of this nippy single-cylinder four-stroke; original and transferable Somerset-issued number plate
Designed by Edward Turner, the Tiger Cub was intended to blow rival BSA Bantam and Villiers-engined two-stroke offerings into the weeds – a task it accomplished with ease.
Stylish enough to mix it with its bigger brothers and sisters at the café and the chip shop, the buzzy single-cylinder four-stroke turned out 10bhp at 6,000rpm, good enough to propel bike and rider down the bypass at 66mph, and 70mph if the rider got down on the tank. It would also manage more than 90mpg if ridden carefully – an important consideration when petrol was four shillings a gallon and you were lucky if you were paid more than £4 a week.
The Tiger Cub was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic and competitively priced. In the UK it cost £127, while the US price was $449. With the exchange rate at around 2.5:1, this shows how much those dollar sales contributed to Triumph’s profits. It looked and felt like a proper motorcycle, with a solid four-stroke thump from the exhaust and lively performance.
Supplied new by Jim Alves Ltd of Somerset in April 1959, this T20 has had eight owners to date, according to the V5C, five of whom are named in a buff logbook and an old V5 on file, all of them in the West Country. Eight old MOTs suggest that the bike was in regular use between 1984 and 2003 but the recorded mileage sticks resolutely at 33,258 on most of them and the clock shows 13,884 today so it seems likely that the speedo has been swapped or recalibrated at some point.
Whatever the true mileage, it certainly looks like a nice machine and the engine and frame numbers on the bike appear to match those on the original buff logbook, although the numbers on the frame are fairly hard to read so you will have to satisfy yourselves on that score (see photos). It retains its original (transferable) Somerset-issued number plate, 692 DYC.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
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