1953 Triumph Blackbird: engine

Jarred is working on the engine of a 1953 Triumph Blackbird...

Jarred is working on the engine of a 1953 Triumph Blackbird…

Jarred now owns 3 Triumphs, and each one keeps getting more classic than the one before it.  The latest “bike” is a 1953 Triumph Blackbird, and the quotes are there to denote that at this point, it’s nothing more than an engine, and only part of an engine at that!

Triumph Blackbird: slow progress…

Our friends over at The Selvedge Yard had this great photo of a Triumph Blackbird...

Our friends over at The Selvedge Yard had this great photo of a Triumph Blackbird…

If you don’t know much about the Triumph Blackbird, it may still look familiar to you.  Well, it should.  This is the bike often seen in photographs of Marlon Brando.  That’s right, the Triumph Blackbird will go down in history as the bike beneath the legendary actor in the 1954 film, “The Wild One.”

The photo above shows what a rare, pristine Triumph Blackbird can look like.  Jarred found the engine online, and has started the process of rebuilding the engine first.  There was no frame to go with it, so that will have to be made custom.  There are companies out there doing repop versions of the frame, so once Jarred completes the engine and transmission, a frame will have to be sourced.

In 1953, the Triumph Blackbird was actually called a Thunderbird.  They were all manufactured in blue that first year, but Americans wanted black, hence the name change for the US-only version.

Jarred has had a hard time sourcing some of the parts, losing some eBay auctions to folks who obviously don’t care how much they pay for the parts.  These are classic vintage bikes, and the people who restore them are trying to get the parts at all costs.  Jarred is trying to keep this thing to a modest budget – so he will have to bide his time until more parts become available.

Check out some great info on this bike HERE:  And check back for updates on the progress of this build…

Thanks to The Selvedge Yard for the photo!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *