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1969 Triumph T100C Part 1
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Richard Holt has always wanted a Triumph T100C. The one he found has been halfway around the world and back again. This, then, is the first installment in the Bonfire of the Anoraks...

This tale has been compiled and prepared by an individual owner wishing to express thanks and delight after buying and carrying out basic maintenance and repair work on a Triumph 500cc of unit construction. However, some of what is written and illustrated here applies equally to any impassioned overhaul.

Gentle Reader, allow me to introduce the motorcycle I have wanted since before I could lawfully ride the Queen's Highway. This is a green, high-pipe 500 twin, by Meriden.

Moody Johanna the 69 Triumph T100C 1969 Triumph T100C

Its frame and engine numbers were stamped on the sixteenth of January 1969 and on the 22nd of that month the bike was despatched to Triumph Corporation, Towson, Baltimore 4 MD, USA. The order number was 907 and the invoice number was FMMC109. This is an East Coast model.

Thereafter details are a little scant but it is or appears to be established that Mr Miller of Stockbridge, Michigan acquired the 490cc pushrod twin on 2/4/86 and signed it over to College Bike Shop, Lansing on 7/5/86, with the odometer mileage at 15,547.

Lansing is the capital of Michigan and the College Bike Shop was founded in 1944 in East Lansing by Vaughan and Billie Vandecar. They first sold motor-bicycles in 1956. In 1969, the shop discontinued bicycle sales in order to focus on the growing demand for motorcycles, four-wheelers and dirt bikes and in 1980 ownership of the shop passed from the Vandecar family to long-term employee, Doug Sears. On 12/3/91 Doug Sears reassigned the vehicle to D&A Motorcycle Salvage of Decatur, Indiana. It appears D & A Motorcycle Salvage is still trading at 3919 N Salem Rd, Decatur (telephone 001 724-7055).

Anyway those are the first and last stops on my little bike's transatlantic adventure, and some of the bits in between.

Your papers, please...

Somewhere over there it had a rebore, was painted Peacock Blue and was generally ridden hard and put away wet.

On 2/12/91 Cyril George Chell of CG Chell Motorcycles of Stafford certified that car tax due on my beautiful Trumpet had been or would be paid. So, She Who Must Be Overhauled was back in Blighty after a 22 year sojourn in the Home of the Brave. CG Motorcycles now deals in Royal Enfields apparently. Royal Enfields are now made in India.

It's poignant that these smaller businesses which each played a role in the bike's early life are still in business while the factory which shaped the metal and the dreams has been demolished to make way for a housing development - Daytona Drive and Bonneville Close, I went there just to check back in the nineties.

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Sometime later, Jim Pogson, then of East Bridgford, Nottingham (from whom more directly), took the brave bolide to his shed and on 24/2/94 Roy Shilling, Machine Registrar, Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club confirmed by letter that T100CAC09### was a true Meriden machine of January 1969, a T100C Trophy Competition and that there were three T100Cs registered with the TOMCC at that time. Roy Shilling also noted that the model was made from 1968 to 1972.

Then I spotted the bike on eBay and more was revealed…


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