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Triumph 650cc T120tt – 1966
TT Special

Riders such as Skip VanLeeuwen, Dick Hammer, and Eddie Mulder were winning races at Ascot Park in Gardena, California in the mid 1960’s on special ordered machines from the factory in England. Yes, the Triumph TT Special was conceived by Pasadena’s Johnson Motors, and it was a purpose built California design built by Triumph. They came east eventually, but later.

The TT Special was a hot-rod. Nothing but the essentials, with engine modifications over the Bonneville (the street model) that included more compression and performance camshaft grinds that assured more than adequate power to compete against the Harley’s and BSA’s.

My first “big bike,” was a 1964 Triumph 650cc that I raced locally and later at the famed Ascot track. This example was purchased from Tom Tyson in North Carolina and, as you can see, he restored it meticulously to like new condition.

Images are property of The Early Years of Motocross Museum, ®2006