2023 |Amelia Island Auctions 2023
1959 Triumph Bonneville T120
From The Leo Schigiel Motorcycle Collection
$25,000 - $35,000| Without Reserve
Frame No. 022806
Outstanding Restoration with Mechanicals by Marque Expert A.J. Lewis
Rare First-Year Bonneville with One-Year-Only Paint Scheme
Remains in Exceptional, Concours-Quality Condition
Retains Desirable 1959-Only Production Features
A Sensational Example of One of the World’s Most Influential Motorcycles
649 CC 4-Stroke OHV Parallel-Twin Engine
Twin Amal Monobloc Carburetors
46 BHP at 6,500 RPM
Front and Rear Drum Brakes
Front Telescopic Fork
Rear Swing-Arm Suspension with Twin Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
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Few classic motorcycles are more desirable and iconic than a first-year Triumph Bonneville. The T120 was introduced for the 1959 model year, primarily intended for the US market. Legendary Triumph designer Edward Turner had grasped the demand for bigger engines and faster motorcycles in the US and built on the already-successful T110 model. The Bonneville name was inspired by Johnny Allen’s 193 mph record run on a streamlined T110 – the “Texas Ceegar” – in 1955 at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The first-year Bonneville T120s, named for their intended top speed, were only offered in a unique Tangerine and Pearl Grey paint scheme, and they proved to be Triumph’s most successful model ever.
According to the consignor’s records on file, this stunning example was fully restored and the engine and gearbox were rebuilt by marque expert A.J. Lewis. After WWII, Lewis went to work for the famed British motorcycle importer Johnson Motors in Pasadena, California, the largest Triumph distributor on the West Coast, and he became an expert race engine builder, with one of his bikes even placing 3rd at Daytona in 1951.
Apparently barely ridden since restoration, this Bonneville remains in extraordinary condition today. With its handsome, distinctive appearance and intoxicating sound, this Triumph offers a thrilling ownership experience and represents a unique opportunity to acquire an exceptional example of one of the most important British motorcycles of all time.
*Please note that this vehicle has been in long-term static storage and may require mechanical attention prior to road use.