This is a 1938 Triumph Tiger 80 with a fascinating history.
The frame is a 1938 model but the engine is a wartime 3HW version. Let me explain.
When war broke out in Sept 1939, Triumph's entire stock of civil machines was requisitioned by the War Office. Production of the 350 (ex-Tiger 80) at Coventry continued until the plant was destroyed in an air raid in November 1940 and production of the 350 was moved to Meriden in Warwickshire. The frame of this bike is a Coventry made Tiger 80 frame.
Due to lack of aluminium (needed for aircraft), the Triumph Tiger 80 sports roadster engines were modified to incorporate rocker boxes cast integrally with the cylinder head - these were coded 3SW for the side valve model and 3HW for the overhead cam model. This is definitely a 3HW Meriden made engine.
The two parts (a 1938 Coventry made frame and a 1942/3 3HW Meriden made engine) were assembled under a military contract placed in April 1943 using a 1938 Tiger 80 frame and a 3HW engine for use with the Royal Navy - see Orchard & Madden's book "British Forces Motorcycles 1925-45" to clarify the frame and engine numbers. It was mainly used for despatch duties and general liaison until the end of the war when it was sent out to Italy.
This vehicle was used (like many other Triumph bikes of the era) in post-war ravaged Italy for general transport and was formally registered by Giuseppe Luigino in Vicenza in June 1950. The documents used to register the bike state that the frame was manufactured in December 1938. He sold it to Renato Mastrotto in 1952 who refurbished the bike (receipt on file) and the vehicle was then purchased by an Italian collector in 1964 who kept in his Lake Como collection for over 50 years until 2015 when I bought it. There is a V5C in my name and it is UK registered.
The only modifications that I can see are the upswept exhaust system (Military 3HWs had low level exhausts that were often damaged due to the poor condition of the roads in Italy at the time, and many owners raised the exhausts to mimic the Tiger 80 swooping high level system), chrome mudguards, and alloy rims.
I have displayed this bike at Vintage Motorcycle Club events, local shows, and have covered a total of 105 miles since I bought it. It's gorgeous. The reason I'm selling is because I have purchased some very old vintage Triumphs that I need to restore and I need the space and the money to do so. Triumph for sale