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Ron T. in KY
Ron T. in KY
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A friend asked me what this up-for-auction 1979 Triumph is worth, it seems a friend of a friend is going to look at it:

New 1979 T140 at Mecum auction

- Brand new 1979 Triumph
- 1979 was the last year of the original Triumph T140E prior to shutdown of operations of the company
- This bike had never had oil or fuel
- A no oil in tank
- Sticker still remains on the speedometer
- Owner's Manual
- Tool kit
====================================================

I replied that it might be OK for a museum that would never start it, but it's not for me, and I have no idea of what it might be worth, just depends on who's willing to pay how much. I mean, what could go wrong with a bike that's sat for 37 years?

I sent him the link to this T140. Maybe he could stop by on his way to Florida?

So, what's anyone think about the NOS Mecum bike?


Kurt

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Only really of interest IMHO if you are a museum.
If you ran it and put miles on it then it would become just another 79 T140E----not particularly rare.
How many of us buy a bike with the intention of never using it?--not many I guess.
If you are a museum and really want it then it is worth $1 more than any other museum is prepared to pay.

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$3,700.64
Not a penny more.

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Just because the outside isn't corroded doesn't mean the inside isn't (corroded).

Another way I'd ask it is, how much would you pay for a non-running 37-year old motorcycle?


Kurt

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500cc or above; $1500
Below 500cc: $500.
With variations depending on state of completeness, title/no title, overall condition etc.
Just my view of course.

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Hi Kurt,

Originally Posted by kurt fischer
1979 was the last year of the original Triumph T140E prior to shutdown of operations of the company

Errrm ... that's [***] on so many levels ...

For a start, from the picture, it's blatantly-obvious it's a "D", not an "E"? Or, if the VIN says "T140E", it's had all the "D" bits fitted to it ...

... apart from the wheels, which are late (4-hole front disc and later than '79/'80) Morris's, not the D's 6-hole Lesters.

D's were made in '79 and '80 only? The "company" - actually a Co-operative - didn't "shutdown" 'til 1983.

If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck ...? If the auction house has done that much laughing due diligence, I'd be walking rapidly in the opposite direction with my money and my hands stuffed firmly in my pockets.

Or, as someone well-known did at one of the Stafford auctions a few years ago, when a bike alleged to be made by him was for sale - standing up in the middle of the auction and pointing out to the assembled bidders all the places it was a fake ... clap

Hth.

Regards,

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Thanks, Stuart, but how do you really feel about it? laugh

It looked like some degree of BS to me, good to know the particulars of the BS.

Tool kit, owners Manual, and sticker on the speedo? Heck, I've got all of that on my 650

[Linked Image]

And, as the Mecum fine print puts it,

"Information found on the website is presented as advance information for the auction lot. Photos, materials for videos, descriptions and other information are provided by the consignor/seller and is deemed reliable, but Mecum Auction does not verify, warrant or guarantee this information. The lot and information presented at auction on the auction block supersedes any previous descriptions or information. Mecum is not responsible for information that may be changed or updated prior to the auction. The decision to purchase should be based solely on the buyers personal inspection of the lot at the auction site prior to the auction."


Kurt

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the auction site pics show a bit of paper under the seat that has "T140 D" on it.


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Speedo stickers are $0.29 at any Brit parts supplier.


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I guess I might have a skewed perception of its value, because one of my past regrets (along with the $900 running Indian Chief I passed up on in 1979, and the running two-owner 1969 GTO convertible I sold in 1983 for $1200) was that I didn't buy a brand-new jewel-like red 1979 Triumph in 1980 when the shop was going out of business. $2500 it was, and I passed on it, I don't know why.

If I found another one, new, just like it today, I'd be very tempted, even though I knew it would need some work. At least I wouldn't be cleaning out any sludge traps or fixing PO bodges and fighting stripped bolt heads!

Have no idea what it would go for, though, in a world of cash-flush and easily-fooled "collectors" ....

Lannis


"Why do you wear that thing, Dobby?" "This, sir? 'Tis a mark of the house-elf’s enslavement, sir."
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Originally Posted by GrandPaul
Speedo stickers are $0.29 at any Brit parts supplier.


I'm sure that the auction house is operating on the aura from when they sell an old Corvette.

In the world of Corvettes, if buyers see the words "Tank Sticker" on the description of a Corvette, they'll let a little wee out, involuntarily.

A car with an original Tank Sticker is the Holy Grail of Corvettes and is worth anything you care to ask. A car without one is just an old used car.

So I'm betting that's why the "speedo sticker" thing. They're hoping it's the same sort of thing ....

Lannis


"Why do you wear that thing, Dobby?" "This, sir? 'Tis a mark of the house-elf’s enslavement, sir."
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Hi Kurt,

Originally Posted by kurt fischer
as the Mecum fine print puts it,

Mmmm ... weasel-words. On the About page, "The Mecum Auction Company is the world leader of collector car, vintage and antique motorcycle, and Road Art sales,". Triumph isn't some 100-year-old, here-today-gone-tomorrow name; along with Hardly, it has to be the best-known in motorcycles. Unless you want your company to look dumb at every second turn, you must employ someone to review the "advance information ... provided by the consignor/seller" before it goes on the company website? If that person knows so little about Triumph less than forty years ago that they don't even know where to cross-check information provided by sellers ...? shocked

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Originally Posted by Stuart
weasel-words.


Ain't that the truth.


Kurt

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Originally Posted by Stuart


Unless you want your company to look dumb at every second turn, you must employ someone to review the "advance information ... provided by the consignor/seller" before it goes on the company website? If that person knows so little about Triumph less than forty years ago that they don't even know where to cross-check information provided by sellers ...? shocked

Regards,


That's a good point, and MANY entities in today's world fail to do even the simplest overchecks, and pay the price.

For example, owner's manuals for equipment built in non-English-speaking countries that are meant to be sold in the USA and UK. It looks like they hire some high-school kid to transliterate (not translate) the local vernacular into something that looks like English. It makes the equipment builders look incompetent when we get the equivalent of "Tootle horn melodiously if pedestrian is hove into view. If not work, tootle louder saying Hi Hi" in an owner's Manual.

Or these auction sites. The REASON that they don't overcheck the buyer's submission of condition is because said submission will tend to overstate the value of the vehicle, or present it as rarer or more desirable than it actually is, and the auction house is not against doing that. They just (weasel words) don't want to be responsible for it.

In either case above, there are 200 people right here right now on Britbike that would take on the part-time job of fielding Emails from the overseas companies or local auction houses, CORRECTING errors of fact and grammar in auction descriptions or manuals, and sending it back clean and correct, for not a lot of money. I know I would. But for some reason, companies don't think that's important.

They're wrong ....

Lannis


"Why do you wear that thing, Dobby?" "This, sir? 'Tis a mark of the house-elf’s enslavement, sir."
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For comparison [Linked Image] here is a low mileage T140D
For under 5 grand
http://corvallis.craigslist.org/mcy/5406143430.html
.

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Uuuh, where is the third exhaust port?

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I'm surprised no one raised the question (that is, if the claim were actually true), where was this bike stored for the past 36 years, by whom, and why? That would have to be verifiable, unless it were owned by some recluse with no ties to the motorcycle world.



Mark Z

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For what it's worth, I knew a fella in Spring Valley, New York that bought 5 new Cadillacs on what was supposed to be the last production year of their convertible (forget the year/model).

Anyway, when I first met him around 1980 he showed me the warehouse he rented, and the cars that he had been storing there. His idea was to sell the cars (un-driven from the day he stored them) in 20-30 years, and retire.

Well, GM later re-introduced the model, and his cars were now just plain cars.

Point is, some people will go to great lengths to potentially make a buck BUT these same people don't always have the best judgement on what has real value.

The two oldest possessions I have are a flattened penny from Rye, Playland amusement park circa 1969, and my machinist block set from high school. Neither has any value but you'd be hard pressed getting either of them.

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...ok, I want to buy that motorcycle. I can pay 6000 Dollars or more (with the exchange here: 1 Dollar 32 Pesos) plus import taxes, logistic, shipping cost, etc.
If that engine is factory new; is a dream for me; an old bike with new engine from factory. However, hod do we know if it really never ridden?
In this country you only can buy a NEW bike; so I think they are referring to a 2016 bike; so may be I need to ask first.

-regarding the stickers seems that they refer to the quality control sticker, not the others.


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Originally Posted by Mark Z
I'm surprised no one raised the question (that is, if the claim were actually true), where was this bike stored for the past 36 years, by whom, and why? That would have to be verifiable, unless it were owned by some recluse with no ties to the motorcycle world.

Mark, yes, and the question of storage conditions makes me kind of uneasy, like was the motor never turned over? or was it kicked over now and then, dry, no oil, no splash ... . If this bike landed in my lap, not that I'd buy it, but let's say someone gave it to me, I'd either donate it to a museum and get the tax benefit of a donation, or if I wanted to run and ride it, I'd tear the motor down. And what about the grease in the wheel bearings, steering bearings, swing arm pivots, how is it after sitting 37 years unused. And take the forks apart to flush out the 37-year old fork oil and replace the seals, and so on and so forth. And 37-year-old brake fluid, and ... .

But maybe I'm "over-thinking" it? Just add oil and gas, and kick away?

In any event, my friend said he would let me know what the friend of his friend does. Looks like that lot comes up for auction in two days. Better travel to Florida ASAP before the snow hits the East Coast!

It would be better approach, in my view, if you wanted a "new" 1979 T140, to buy a decent used bike and then restore it or pay a top restorer to restore it, that way it would be better than new, rebuilt with the last 37 years worth of BritBike knowledge and techniques.


Originally Posted by reverb
In this country you only can buy a NEW bike; so I think they are referring to a 2016 bike; so may be I need to ask first.

Reverb, I'm curious about the rule you mentioned, about being able to buy only new bikes, does that mean you can import only new bikes, and not any used bikes? Maybe has to do with safety and emission standards?


Kurt

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Quote
That would have to be verifiable, unless it were owned by some recluse


I, and a lot of others, resemble that remark...

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This is the second non-titled 1979 T140D models Mecum has auctioned. the other one had 300 "parade miles on the speedo and brought $8500 plus premium and is listed as sold.

There was another used T140D in nice shape and the bidding reached $6500, but did not sell.

Kurt your friend or your friends friend contacted me, and without looking into the Mecum results I said 6,000 on a bad day (for the sellor) and 8,000 to 9,000 on a good day.

As far as servicing I just spent some time rebuilding the brakes on some of my MSO bikes. New hoses master cylinders and rebuilt calipers front and rear. Even if they sit they need the occasional service.

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I just heard from my friend that this T140 went for $12,000 at the Mecum auction today.

Turns out that the friend of my friend's friend did not get it:
"Thankfully it was auctioned off in the AM, and they were still sober enough to pass on the Triumph."

Last edited by kurt fischer; 01/25/16 3:39 pm. Reason: sober

Kurt

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...hello Kurt, yes only new bikes and new spare parts (that s a big problem). I do not know exactly why.

Regarding buying a bike in similar conditions to this one or buying another and rebuild it; well, here there s no any fine builder or Triumph mechanic, so you need to do it by yourself; like I do with my motorcycles.
Plus there s no dynamic balance for motorcycles crankshafts, etc

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The bike looks untouched from New. It absolutely has the correct Lester wheels on it. There are a few indicators that it is genuine and not a restoration. I would think the condition of the bike and the fact that there are no glaring red flags gives credence to it being genuine. In person the bolt head markings and oil hose clamps could be verified. In my opinion it is what it says it is. Of course the description is laughable but the bike appears new.

Scott

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