Words by Frank Melling; Photos by Carol Melling/Mortons Archive
IN 1958, MIKE HAILWOOD and Dan Shorey won the Thruxton long distance race and a year later the Thruxton Bonnevilles were born. Strictly speaking, the name Thruxton only applies to the 49 machines made for homologation purposes in 1964/65.
However, it was Triumph practice to put a ‘Thruxton’ note in the build book when the bike was a 650 intended only for racing. These bikes were nominally available with a whole list of optional extras from the High Performance List; high compression pistons, carburettors, cams and followers and, with a good tuner, it was possible to build a quick Triumph.
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There was some criticism that the factory was not keeping to the spirit of production racing, so Triumph decided to build a batch of true production racers to works specification. The key modification was to provide a positive oil feed to the exhaust cams, which were prone to seize under extreme conditions.
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