Lot 160 - 1970 12870 (Triumph) Rocket 3 (Ex-Works)
|Odometer reading||904 miles|
|Estimate||£14,000 - £16,000|
|Result||Sold - £25,760|
The BSA Rocket 3 (Triumph Trident) was the last major motorcycle developed by Triumph Engineering at Meriden in the West Midlands. It was a 750cc air-cooled unit construction (engine and gearbox components sharing a single casing), pushrod triple with four gears with conventional chassis and suspension design. The motorcycle was badge engineered, therefore, sold under both the BSA and Triumph marque names. Created to meet the demands of the US market, the smooth 750cc three cylinder engines had less vibration than the existing 360° twins.
This one, however, has quite a different history. It represents one of the five travelling marshals bikes supplied to the TT Race on the Isle of Man in 1972 by the factory. Whilst a BSA machine, it was just after a contract had been signed with Norton-Villiers allowing Triumph to supply their bikes to the TT marshals so their marketing department insisted they be re-branded with the standard Triumph logo on the fuel tanks. Ron Barrett, the respected Triumph development engineer, then up-rated it to make it more 'useful' at the TT. This included Fontana twin leading-shoe; double-sided drum brakes as per the MV's of the time, a modified exhaust and fixed/dropped handlebars. Marshalls, Des Evans and Randall Cowall both used the bike in 1972-1975 to their great liking and later, in 1974, Neil Kelly used it at the 1974 TT and Roger Sutcliffe, later the same year at the Manx Grand Prix. The Triumph race boss, Doug Hele, then acquired the ex-works bike for his son who entered into production races for two seasons. Indeed, on page 140 of the book, "Triumph Experimental - Doug Hele and his development team 1962 -1975", CUE 762 J is clearly identified in the line-up of 750cc TT Marshals' machines. It was laid up in Wales for 20 years before being bought by collector, Terence Moring. He then orchestrated a reunion (and tank signing) at the TT in 2007 with both bike and marshals, the later confessing to becoming "quite nostalgic". Now part of an extensive private collection, it has remained unused in recent years but is offered in excellent condition and complete with all associated documentation including the log book with the registered keeper as Triumph and the second, Brendan Douglas Hele as well as a copy of 'Travelling Marshals' by David Wright featuring this motorcycle and a range of photographs of the bike throughout its life.
Previous lotLot 159 - 1972 13048 TR6 Triumph Weslake
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