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Following the recent announcement of their plans to celebrate next year’s 120th anniversary of the iconic British motorcycle brand and the production of the millionth Hinckley Triumph produced, Triumph announce the discovery of the very first Triumph prototype ever built. The historic find, discovered and restored by leading vintage Triumph collector Dick Shepherd, the 1901 Prototype rewrites the history books, adding a whole new chapter prior to Triumph’s official sales starting in 1902. 

This first Triumph prototype was developed from a standard Triumph bicycle, with an engine provided by Belgian manufacturer Minerva.

Triumph 1901 prototype
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Triumph 1901 prototype

Dick Shepherd said “Having been approached by a friend of a collector, who had sadly recently passed away, to evaluate an old Triumph I was incredibly excited to discover that the bike they had featured unique details that were not present on the first production Triumphs. Along with the bike, the collector had also received a letter from Triumph, dated in 1937, that outlined the bike’s unique origins and provided key details."

“With an engine number that is consistent with references in Minerva’s engine records of a 1901 first Triumph engagement the historic significance of this motorcycle became incredibly clear."

“As a lifelong passionate fan of the history and achievements of this incredible British brand, to have discovered this amazing survivor and restored it to the glorious condition it would have been in when it first went on display in 1901, has given me an immense amount of satisfaction."

First unveiled at the UK’s Motorcycle Live show the 1901 prototype will feature in dedicated event at Triumph’s Factory Visitor Experience on the 14th December, where the machine will be ridden in public for the very first time in over 100 years. 

This historic motorcycle will then be on display, alongside the millionth Hinckley Triumph, in a new, specially created 120-year anniversary display, hosted within Triumph’s Factory Visitor Experience which is free to visit and is located at Triumph’s HQ in Hinckley, England.

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