The Triumph TT Special is one of the rarest and most collectible Triumphs on the planet. H.C. Morris owns six of them.
How does one man acquire such an incredible collection of unique motorcycles? Patience and persistence, that’s how.
The TT Special was born out of a desire by Triumph to please many of their U.S. buyers who were modifying their Triumph Bonnevilles to compete in off road races. Aided by the efforts of prominent west coast distributor Bill Johnson, Triumph in 1963 decided to offer their own factory race special. Dubbed the TT Special, it arrived at dealerships ready to race, complete with high performance cams and heads, no battery or lights and a smaller-than-stock fuel tank. Power was around 52bhp on the early TT’s, topping out at 54bhp for the later models. Top speed was 123 mph.
Immediately competitive on the track, Triumph TT Specials' racked up national wins by racers like Eddie Mulder, Dave Palmer and Skip Van Leeuwen, as well as many TT Hare Scrambles and drag races around the country. Triumph continued to build these extremely rare models until 1967.
Around 2007, Morris acquired his first TT, a 1967 model, and handed over restoration duties to famed Michigan Triumph builder Bill Hoard. The results impressed Morris enough that he let Hoard talk him into assembling a full collection of TT’s, one from every year of production. The process took some time, as due to the rare nature of the TT Special, there were many fakes and incomplete bikes to sort through. Eventually, with the help of a second restorer in Garry Chitwood, the set was complete. In fact, they even added an additional 1967 model, just for safe measure.
And now, ready to move on to his next challenge, Morris has decided to put the TT Special collection up for auction. The 2012 Pebble Beach Antique Motorcycle MarketPlace and Online Auction, to be held August 17-19, will feature a number of rare and unique motorcycles, but none as special as this collection of Triumph factory race machines. To have one beautifully restored TT Special come up for auction is rare enough. To have an entire production series up for grabs is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s clear to see why this collection is such a marquee item for this already prestigious auction.
For more information on the collection and auction, visit midamericaacutions.com.