Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by 79x100

  1. The photo doesn't show the Triumph factory but is the Royal Army Service Corps depot at Feltham. Up until mid-1940, the factories did not paint on the WD serial numbers and it was done at the depot. It looks as if this batch at least didn't have rear numbers. Maybe because they were intended for active service in France where a unit marking would generally be applied. Rear lights were fitted but I suspect delivered separately to avoid damage in transit (they were sent from the factory by train, I believe). The wiring is there.
  2. 79x100

    Karrier WDS

  3. The AB412 listed all the tools and equipment...This one is BSA M20 but it's clear that most of the additional items were standardised. I wonder if Mark 'Tiger 80' can still be contacted ? He didn't scan the page from his AB412 which shows the tools...maybe it hadn't been completed, but if it has then you'll have the definitive answer. http://hmvf.co.uk/profile/13288-tiger80/
  4. I have no specific knowledge of the Triumph situation but it seems likely that there was a similar practice to the better known kits supplied with Norton, BSA and Royal Enfield....The Ministry of Supply agreed a basic toolkit with the manufacturer which was based on the standard pre-war civilian tools and roll. To this was added a list of extra tools and equipment to scale such as oil cans, where supplied, chain spares, tyre repair kits etc. This situation doesn't seem to have been entirely static. Sometimes these were supplied by the manufacturer, at other times via WD stocks and the contract price adjusted accordingly. I now have three pre- and early-war Norton Spare Parts Lists which include these additional pages. Somewhere around 5 or 10 percent of the books seem to have the extra lists. Without these or a similar insert, it is very difficult to ascertain what should have been included.
  5. 79x100

    Triumph 3SW

    Unfortunately, Pawel, I tend to classify my 'saved' motorcycle images by make and serial number rather than user...Unless I recall a photo, it's difficult. I think that 17954 'could' have fallen within C5108 or been an associated spare frame. Orchard & Madden though state that the following contract C6128 ran from 17300 to 18299 but I haven't been able to trace their sources for this. There is no doubt in my mind that all the motorcycles produced for the War Office during 1939 / 1940 were Khaki Green No.3
  6. 79x100

    Triumph 3SW

    The Ministry of Supply documentation for C5108 is incomplete and only refers to the initial order for 300 machines...But most contracts included an extra 10% spare frames and engines and 5% spare gearboxes. At this early stage of the war with frame numbers not 'married' to WD serial numbers, it seems likely that most manufacturers supplied frames from factory stocks and that these were numbered. This could mean that your frame was a spare part, or that there had been batches of spares taken from an earlier production sequence. It's guesswork really.
  7. 79x100

    Triumph 3SW

    In terms of provenance, I think it's necessary to research how or when these could have been delivered. British Lend-Lease to Russia didn't start until October 1941. It would seem unlikely, bearing in mind the great shortage of vehicles after the Fall of France that these Triumphs made in early to mid 1940 would have been kept in store for over a year. https://www.o5m6.de/redarmy_old/Numbers_Foreign.html The alternatives would seem to me that they were captured by Germany in 1940 and maybe used together in an area that became part of the Eastern Block...maybe an airfield or base depot etc. They could well have been used by Polish formations in the UK but in general most units were re-equipped for the campaign in NW Europe and four-year old obsolete motorcycles for which 21st Army Group carried no spare parts are not likely to have been taken. Perhaps more likely is that they formed part of the UNRRA convoy or shipment to Poland during 1945 / 1946. It has certainly been documented that Royal Enfields arrived there by this means. The Triumphs could then have been rebuilt machines used for escorting UN food distribution convoys etc. I do think by the way that the damage to the crankcase half looks to be typical of an engine left standing on damp alkaline ground. It has simply rotted.
  8. 40 3S tells you what you need to know about the model. C5108 was the Ministry of Supply contract for initially 300 machines and then a further 3000. At that early period of 1940 it is likely that they would have been used to supply the BEF in France. It seems that sometimes they stamped the individual WD serial number and sometimes the contract number. The Polish identification plate is interesting. Clearly someone arrived at an incorrect year of manufacture. The '40' prefix should have told them that 🙂 The Polish Airforce in the UK used vehicles from War Department stock and RAF vehicles as well as Army were painted 'Service Colour' which in 1940 was Khaki Green. The RAF had used blue/grey before the war but the risk of air attack caused a switch to a less visible colour. This Enfield WD/C is I believe with Polish airmen in Scotland.
  9. I would say, based on the early 1940 dates of these machines that they are most likely to have been abandoned by the British Army in 1940 and travelled eastwards after being captured by the Wehrmacht. Are there any other stampings such as WD serial or inspection marks on the crankcases such as those below ? Quite a lot of the inotial WD machines were to full civilian specification and simply overpainted. Unfortunately, all the Triumph factory records were lost during the bombing of Coventry, so we are often filling in the gaps using those which have survived. Photos of your engine numbers would be really helpful. Polish forces in the UK used machines as supplied to the War Office so the base colour would be Khaki Green No.3
  10. This Prefect badged to 60 Coy. AMPC almost certainly didn't see further service with the Wehrmacht...
  11. The position as I understand it is that tyres made since the 1970s, even if they have an old-fashioned tread pattern, share their carcass and side-wall construction with the more recent tyres of similar type in the range. 1940s tyres had stiff sidewalls and if subjected to high pressure lost all suspension effect. Recently produced tyres need higher pressures or they will squirm and wobble. I tend to aim for a 3 psi difference front to rear, usually around 27 / 30 psi. Weight of rider will make a difference but less than 25psi at the front in my experience will cause most tyres to wander and low twenties will have you getting off to see what's wrong with the forks.
  12. It's really nice to see these early bikes looking 'early', Ron... The Chilwell records for Triumph 3SW Contract C7828 have an indistinct pencil notation. I think that it says "Particulars obtained from Triumph. Range of Chassis Nos. must be forwarded. 29/6/40" ...it doesn't look as if they ever did.... Deliveries commenced 29/6/1940 with the last entry being 7/11/1940..."Received 1,318. Balance cancelled owing to enemy action"...."This contract was terminated at 1,322 machines" (There had been post-dated entries for five further machines...It looks as if they weren't even sure how many they had. In between times starting on 3/9/1940 they delivered the 145 5SWs of C8575. Production ran concurrently with 3SW RASC contracts C6128 (which was completed) and C8079 which was also curtailed.
  13. Did James use BSF ? Should the wiring be cloth-covered ? The cables should ! In terms of replicas being considered original, best to have sufficient funds and commission a restored aeroplane...An identification plate is sufficient. The CAA has a far lower burden of proof than DVLA !
  14. 79x100

    RAF Royal Enfield

    I almost wondered whether it was the rear 'inspection lamp' part of an MT110 ? What would the job of these two warrant officers on motorcycles have been ? Something to do with bombers taking off at night ? They were certainly off-roading.... It looks as if the 'Royal Oilfield' was living up to its nickname too.
  15. 79x100

    RAF Royal Enfield

    500 Nortons were fitted with proper protective legshields...A supremely stylish accessory ! What's that switch underneath the handlebar on the M20, Ron ?
  16. You first need to know which battalion and then decide on a time period which will enable you to check which division they were with and their seniority within the relevant brigade.
  17. The whole point about arm of service serials is that they were a form of code for security purposes. The pre-war habit of painting unit titles on vehicles had ceased. From 1941 onwards, it was ordered by Army Council Instructions that motorcycles should not display Formation Signs. It's therefore not possible to correctly mark a motorcycle in such a way that it can be identified as 'Airborne'. Of course, someone will be able to find a photograph but it's likely to have been a posed propaganda image taken in the UK. A divisional HQ would usually show '40' on the 1944 lists. A serial '6' was used by the BEF, but never on red.
  18. The locks were made by Cheney as 'Rewdco' and I have discussed in the past but they no longer have records of these types..Judging by the style, they were probably making locks for Norton too. Rather than providing any great degree of security, they seem to have been more to discourage tampering. Prior to the fitment of HT cable immobilisers, WD motorcycle toolkits also included a padlock and chain...Mostly 4-lever locks made by Belfry with an integral chain. Once again, the risk of losing the key must have concentrated the mind. We mustn't be too 'precious' about the paintwork on WD bikes 🙂 In terms of toolbox lock keys, from 1940 onwards, the Lists of Tools and Equipment state 'To be obtained locally'...presumably every ironmonger had similar keys in stock.
  19. Lex was on the boat, last that I heard.
  20. The photograph above shows 'Hank' McDowell of 48th Highlanders of Canada. He was killed in action in December 1944. The arm of service serial '57' bears no relation to the actual unit name. It probably represents the junior battalion in the senior brigade of an infantry division at the time it was taken. A pistol case and standard service revolver would be correct for a motorcyclist during most of the war which is of course not to say that none ever carried something different.
  21. As early as 1940, CMP motorcyclists were authorised to use the 'Cases, Pistol, Web, R.T.C.' instead of the standard 'Case, Pistol'...the practice seems to have continued throughout the war. This wouldn't apply to any other corps or unit though.
  22. The 5/16" x 3/8"w double-ended box didn't ought to be a problem, but single-ended box spanners are hard to find...The RE singled-endeds are short though. Maybe you can cut something down ? Do you know which make ?
  23. There are always plenty of Indian-made forks on eBay. Have a look at the quality of the castings. If you've been around Nortons for any length of time then it's impossible that you'd see a set on a bike and even remotely think that they could have come out of Bracebridge Street ! https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Norton-16-H-500cc-Front-Girder-Fork-Springer-Assembly-Pre-War-primered/193252827324?hash=item2cfec420bc:g:4FsAAOSwTNBdu5RQ
  24. Tom, there are very slight differences in the press work underneath WD16H tanks but it is a unique 'flat-bottomed' tank with only a small dome in order to make it possible to remove the sparking plug. They're quite distinctive. Look out too for the presence of the inflator mounts. Not a major problem to fabricate if they're missing (which they often are) but a nuisance if you weren't planning a re-paint. Don't focus too much on the tank though. There were three or four roughish ones at Kempton Park last month around the £100 mark. As I mentioned on another forum (I think), genuine forks are a much bigger concern. Indian forks have mild steel tubes and cast iron lugs. They do not follow best practice and have not been tested in any meaningful way. A set of genuine forks will cost you at least £600 plus the cost of reconditioning which brings with it a waiting list....Duff forks will spoil your summer.
  25. This is Khaki Green No.3 on an area which had been formed an airtight compartment on the back of the brake drum on my '39 16H. The colour oxidises as well as fades and was quite a goose-shit green when unexposed. and less brown than it often appears on older samples. It is characteristic of the colour that it can pass through many shades of green and brown depending on lighting, angle and adjacent objects. Bearing in mind the fragmentation damage to the bike, there is a good chance that this is original 1940s mud too :-)
  • Create New...