For fans of British automotive history, the British Motor Museum located in Warwickshire, England, is a must-visit. Although it’s mainly stuck to cars for most of its history, a new exhibition called the Legendary Daytona Motorcycle—crafted in collaboration with Triumph—is currently on display in August 2022.
While each of the 16 Triumph motorbikes on display are special, there is perhaps none more jaw-dropping than the first-ever Triumph to get the Daytona name. If you don’t already know the story, you’re in luck—in this video, you’ll get to hear none other than noted Triumph collector and historian Dick Shepherd tell you all the details you might want to know about this particular bike.
This beauty is the one and only 1966 bike that racer Buddy Elmore rode to win the 1966 Daytona 200—a race that both he and his team weren’t expecting to win. As the story goes, while there were plenty of good things about this bike, the engine was just too fragile—and they kept blowing up when ridden hard, as a result.
In fact, due to previous repairs, Elmore started the 1966 Daytona 200 from way back in 46th place—which makes it all the more impressive that he went on to win it outright. To make matters more astonishing, this is one of only two 1966 Triumph Daytonas that are known to still exist in 2022. The Barber Museum currently has possession of the other one, per Shepherd’s telling.
Once Shepherd and the Triumph team back at Hinckley got hold of this bike, they worked to restore it and bring it back into running order. It was found by accident, in an American collector’s home—but luckily, as collectors often do, he’d taken very good care of it while he had it. Thus, Shepherd says, it didn’t take as much work as you might think to get it back into shape for show. He’s not sure, but he believes the tyres you see in this video may even be the original tyres from way back in 1966.
After hearing the full story behind this bike, Shepherd takes us on a walk-around to point out some of the features of this bike, such as the gallon oil tank (!) and outriggers. Toward the end, we get an even rarer treat when he fires it up and makes sure everyone gets to hear that engine. Who wouldn’t love that?