After legendary Triumph boss Edward Turner retired from the motorcycle factory in 1963, he holed up in a BSA subsidiary, CarBodies Ltd of Coventry, and simply couldn't keep his hand out of the old business. Having entered the hallowed pantheon of Motorcycle Greats with his popular, stylish, and sometimes avant-garde machines from the 1920s onwards, he is best remembered as the man who made a parallel-twin engine look like a twin-exhaust-port single cylinder machine (the 500cc Speed Twin of 1938), which fit snugly into the existing 'Tiger 90' (a beauty as well) single-cylinder chassis. This new combination had magic in name, looks, and performance, and set the tone for the British motorcycle industry for the nearly 50 years, for better or worse (worse at the end!).
|Turner with his 650cc Triumph engine, ca.1960|
|The radical 1930 Ariel 'Square Four' ohc 500cc engine|
|Wesley Wall of the NMM staff tests the prototype.|
|Chain-driven camshaft drive...|
|Pull the pin, lad, and it'll shortly explode...|
Many thanks to Mick Duckworth for forwarding these photos and information about the prototype!