This 1956 Pre-Unit Triumph Trophy 500 was rescued from a movie prop storage warehouse in Valencia CA almost 30 years ago.
It found its way to the south bay where it sat in a collectors garage for another 22 years.
Based on information I gathered from previous owners, it last ran in the early 1970s during a desert racing event in southern CA at which point it sucked sand into the right cylinder and seized. It has been in my possession for 8 years over which time I have returned it to a running and driving state.
The work I have performed is shown below:
- New machined performance sleeves from L.A. Sleeve ($1,100)
- New L.F. Harris Performance Pistons + Rings ($400)
- Re-Lathed Valves ($200)
- Lucas Electronic Ignition Kit ($475)
- (Original Lucas Magneto included but has weak spark)
- Full Carburetor Rebuild ($275)
- Tank internals cleaned rust-etched and sealed ($75)
- New OEM NOS Kick start gear and spring ($75)
- New OEM NOS Primary and Drive chains ($150)
- New OEM NOS Grips, Foot Peg Rubbers and tank knee pads ($180)
Many hours have been spent to return the engine to a healthy running state.
It starts first kick and shifts through all gears smoothly.
Valve clearances and timing have been set and the engine runs very strong.
Most importantly, the rest of the bike is in excellent condition.
- The rims are true and have no dents. (Still mounted with original tires)
- The fenders are clean and have no dents.
- The forks are straight and have no pitting in the stanchions.
- The original upgraded Close Fin Alloy Barrel and Racing Head are flawless. (No bent fins, no dings, no scratches)
- The rust present is surface rust only. The entire bike was very oily when I purchased it which I believe largely prevented rust from causing any significant damage.
Some additional upgrades that were likely installed in the 50s or 60s include:
- Close Fin Alloy Racing Barrel
- Close Fin Alloy Racing Head
- Performance Valve Cover Caps
- Lucas Capacitor/Rectifier (Currently removed and replaced with Lucas Electronic Ignition)
- Racing Exhaust Headers (Lowed Mufflers)
- Some sort of custom stitched leather seat
This bike is otherwise completely original and no restoration or work other than what I have listed has ever been done.
It is missing some of the 1956 factory parts but the remainder of the bike is in excellent condition for its age.
I do believe that the engine and frame numbers are not matching.
The Frame number look up results in a 1956 Trophy 500
The Engine number look up results in a 1953 Trophy 500
As this was clearly a racing motorcycle, it’s possible an entire engine swap was performed when the race upgrades were installed.
However, I can’t be sure as there seems to be some contention on whether these years had matching frame/engine numbers from the factory.
I have various extra parts shown in the pictures.
This Triumph TR5 is well on its way to a full restoration but I have lost momentum and have to many restoration projects so its time for it to find a new home.
More info: Full listing and Contact details
Originally listed on February 11, 2021.
Older listings are displayed for reference and probably will not be available.
Location: Gilroy, California, United States