Tag Archive: norton-villiers-triumph


Siegfried Bettman (1863 – 1951) , a German by descent , was importing and selling bicycles and sewing machines in England. In 1886, he created S. Bettman and Co for importing bicycles and selling under the name “Triumph“. In 1887, the company was renamed as  Triumph Cycle Company and later as New Triumph Company Ltd. In 1888 manufacturing bicycles were started in England on the insistence of his partner Moritz Schulte.
Triumph expanded in to motorcycles in 1902 and the first motorcycle was fitted with a Minerva engine.
In 1907 , Triumph started manufacturing their own engines as well as used engines designed by the famous Sir Harry Ricardo. During the war , Triumph motorcycles were used by the Allied army.
A 1914 Triumph Model H motorcycle used by the army –
A 1924 Triumph Ricardo Motorcycle –
While continuing to make and excel in motorcycles, Triumph expanded in to manufacture of cars. In 1921, they acquired the Dawson Car Company and launched their first car in 1923 – a Triumph 10/20
In 1930 the company was renamed as Triumph Motor Company and  launched the very successful Triumph Super 7 , in competition to the Austin 7 car.
Unable to keep in pace with the competition, Triumph shifted its focus from small car to large and luxury cars. Successful models like the Triumph Gloria followed.
By 1944 the company was bankrupt and was sold to Standard Motor Company. Standard Motors shifted Triumph to performance and sports cars and continued to sell normal cars under the Standard brand name.
A 1955 Triumph TR2

 

Triumph changed many hands in the following years – 1960 Leyland Motors; 1968 British Leyland Motor Corporation ; 1986 Rover group; 1994 BMW. When BMW sold the Rover holdings , it retained the Triumph brand  and the brand name is currently with BMW.
The last Triumph was a 1983 Triumph Acclaim

 

While the Triumph cars ceased production, the motorcycle continues till date. In 1936 the motorcycle division was sold to Ariel Motor Cycle Company and was renamed as Triumph Engineering Company Ltd. In 1951, the Triumph Engineering Company was taken over by BSA.  In 1956 , BSA sold off the bicycle division to Raleigh Bicycle company but retained the motorcycle division. In 1971 , the Triumph Motorcycle Division was sold to Norton-Villiers to become Norton-Villiers-Triumph (NVT). In 1977 NVT was sold to The Meridien Motorcycle Co-operative to become the Triumph Motorcycle (Meridien). 1983 saw the bankruptcy of Triumph and a builder /property developer John Bloor invested in Triumph to keep the brand alive till date as Triumph (Hinckley).

A 2011 Triumph Thunderbird Storm

The Triumph Logos –
A Triumph Bicycle head logo
A Triumph Motorcycle Logo –
A Triumph Car Logo –
Advertisements

In 1891 , Albert Eadie (1850 – 1931) and Robert Walker Smith (1857 – 1933) bought out George Townsend and Co which was in the business of manufacturing sewing needles, fishing hooks and bicycles. They renamed the company as Eadie Manufacturing Company.

Apart from the existing business , Eadie Manufacturing was also supplying weapon and rifle parts to Royal Small Arms factory located at Enfield. On receiving a large supply contract from them , Eadie Manufacturing named their bicycle as Enfield, in celebration. In 1892 , they added the “Royal” and thus became Royal Enfield bicycles.
In 1893, the line “Made like a Gun” was added in the company logo. In 1896, a new company – New Enfield Cycle Company was created to concentrate on the bicycle business. In 1897 , the company was renamed as Enfield Cycle Company Ltd.
Enfield was known for designing varieties of bicycle variants and were one of the pioneers in the evolution of bicycles – ladies bicycle, back pedal brakes, sprockets etc.
Some of the early bicycles – a 1895 Eadie Boneshaker and a 1904 Enfield Tandem bicycle.

 

Enfield Cycle Company started experimenting with motorised cycles and in 1898 brought the first motorised Quadracycle with De-Dion engine.
Due to booming business on bicycles, Enfield did not concentrate on motorisation and it was not until 1903 they introduced motorcycles. A 1913 and a 1923 Royal Enfield Motorcycle –
In 1906, Enfield Cycle Company created a separate company to manufacture cars, named as Enfield Autocar Company. In 1907 , Enfield Autocar Company was acquired by Alldays and Onions. From 1919 cars were made under the Enfield-Alldays brand.
Enfield Cycle Company continued to make motorcycles under the Royal Enfield brand and were major suppliers to Military and Army across the world and were major contributors during both the world wars.
In 1932, the legendary “Bullet” was introduced with various engine options.
In 1949, the Indian Army imported the Royal Enfield Bullet as the motorcycle for their use in border patrol and in 1955 Bullet was manufactured in India in collaboration with Madras Motors in Madras (now Chennai). Later on the name was changed to Enfield India as the motorcycle was fully localised.
In 1968, owing to financial troubles, the Enfield Cycle Company was sold to Norton-Villiers-Triumph and the brand disappeared from 1970.
However, the Royal Enfield continued to be manufactured in India as Enfield India. In 1994, Enfield India was acquired by Eicher group. Eicher group repurchased the Royal Enfield brand in 1995 and now is being used in all the Enfield Motorcycles being manufactured in India.
The Logo of Enfield Cycle Company and Royal Enfield –