The Pre-1941 Triumph Motor Cycle Pages


From Peter Cornelius - Triumph Specialist for the VMCC - of Britain.


The Tigers



1936 twin down-tube Tiger 90

1937 Tiger 70

1939 Tiger 70
1939 Tiger 70
1939 Tiger 100 Twin
1939 Tiger 100 Twin


Jack Sangster, the owner of Triumph motor cycles from January 1936, moved Edward Turner across from Ariel, along with Bert Hopwood as Chief Draughtsman, in order to get something done to boost Triumph's flagging product line and sales figures. Val Page had produced good engines, and Turner acknowledged this, but they lacked the 'eye appeal' to attract customers.
With no time to design anew, and not really necessary as the 'basics' were good, Turner set to in providing that 'eye appeal' and also in providing a meaningful name. Thus, with small 'tinware' changes and 'shell blue sheen' replacing the drab black, by April Turner had three new models on the road for testing. The Model L2/1 became the Tiger 70, the Model 3/2 became the Tiger 80 and the Model 5/5 became top of the range Tiger 90. (The numbers gave an indication of their top speeds.)
Initially the original twin down-tube frames were used, and even the engine numbers continued their sequences, but with an addition to indicate that they were fitted to a Tiger.
With time to make further improvements later models were given more sporting looking single down-tube frames and further 'tinware' improvements were made, and these three models continued through to 1939, being joined in their last year by a further 500cc Tiger model - the Tiger 100 Twin of 1939.

For the full story of how Triumph motor cycle manufacture came to be changed from the original Triumph Cycle Company to Jack Sangster's Triumph Engineering Company you need to read my 'Triumph Story' booklets.

Brief Specifications and Variations

The four Tiger Models were; All had 4-speed, foot-change gearboxes.

Electric lighting was now standard, and a rear brake light was an optional extra, along with a number of other optional fittings.

There was no alternative engine sprocket listed for the Tiger 70 and 80 Models as these were not considered of sufficient capacity for hauling a sidecar.

My records of surviving machines show that engines were numbered in sequence from the start of Turner's 1937 models, though to 1940, irrespective of model type. Therefore it is probable that we shall never know how many of each individual model were made. Codes indicating month and year of assembly had been discontinued, and while the 'model year' was indicated with an engine number that does not indicate when it was assembled; for 1938 'models', for example, were starting to be assembled from around August or September 1937. The best I can do is to give approximate total production for a 'model year', as follows:-
1937 approximately 6,500.
1938 approximately 8,000.
1939 approximately 10,000.
1940 From surviving records I know that the 10 months production of January to October, prior to the destruction of the Works to be 8,818 machines, of which only 30 were Tiger 70s and 29 were Tiger 80s. No Tiger 90s were made during that period, so any Tiger 90s with an engine number indicating 1940 were obviously actually assembled during 1939. 274 Tiger 100s were made during those ten months.

The have knowledge of these Val Page Triumph models surviving in Australia, Britain, France, Holland, New Zealand and South Africa.

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