In 1938 Edward Turner unleashed his 500cc Speed Twin, followed by the higher performance T100 Tiger in 1939. Triumph’s first parallel twin was a nimble high performance machine  20 pounds, or more, lighter than typical twin and four cylinder machines made in America.  This marked the beginning of a great run for Triumph; the parallel twin design served in a wide range street and competition applications.

The Speed Twin and higher performance Tiger both received telescopic forks after World War II. By comparison the stock Tiger had 34 horsepower, about seven more than the WLDR, Harley’s flat head 750cc race bike.

Up until the “oil in frame” design of 1971, the parallel twin design Edward Turner brought to Triumph was the mainstay through its entire 75+ years at Meriden and remained so in John Bloor’s resurrection of the marque in 1995. The styling and general form of the sheet metal and the engine have lived on in today’s machines. In road racing, dirt track, enduro, drag racing and land speed record, hundreds of racers rode to fame on Edward Turner’s design, and countless racing records were set on its sound engineering.

This fine Triumph will be among hundreds of motorcycles and thousands of pieces of memorabilia offered in the John Parham Estate Collection Mecum Auction at the National Motorcycle Museum, Anamosa, Iowa, September 6 – 9, 2023. Watch for information on the Mecum Auctions website,  Mecum.com  For schedule information, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder for this and all Mecum events, visit Mecum.com, or call (262) 275-5050 for more information.


    • Engine: OHV Parallel Twin
    • Bore & Stroke: 63mm x 80mm
    • Displacement:497 cc’s
    • Crankshaft: 360 Degree
    • Lubrication: Dry Sump
    • Electrics/Ignition: 6V/Lucas MagDyno
    • Carburetor: Amal
    • Horsepower: 27HP
    • Primary: Duplex Chain
    • Transmission: 4-Speed
    • Frame: Single Downtube/Brazed Lug
    • Fork: Tubular Girder/Friction Dampers
    • Wheels/Tires: 3.00 x 20 / 3.50 x 19
    • Brakes: 7″ Drum Front & Rear
    • Wheelbase: 54 Inches
    • Weight: 365 pounds
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