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Hi
It appears I have somehow not followed the etiquette of a forum being new to the whole concept! I came by this site during researching my old Thunderbird and, having signed up find its full of very useful information. I posted my request on the end of an existing link but think as am a Brit “newbie?” it should have been as an introduction. Apologies.
This then is an expansion on the bit I added to the original McCandless thread.
I am in the UK in the sunny Chiltern Hills and have had quite a varied collection of bikes, all but one British. I currently have a 51 T’bird, T140V, Sunbeam S8, BSA C11G, couple of dreadful Dunkley Popular Scooter things, a Dunkley Whippet (can almost do 10 miles now without breaking down and a Mercury Mercette which breaks down as soon as you manage to get it running! Now I’m in a position to be able to afford to ‘restore!’ the neglected ones, top of the list was my old faithful T’bird.
I have owned my 1951 6T Thunderbird since 1971. It has a swinging arm hence the McCandless connection! We decided last year that the time had come to put the old girl back on the road and set about stripping everything down and repairing the frame where the chain had partly cut through the rear crossbar! I had always assumed that a later swinging arm rear end had been bolted on to it however once we looked at the incredibly high standard of welding/brazing to the rear frame it was very apparent it wasn't Triumph and anyway the swinging arm is supported at both ends. A friend of mine who builds pre 60 trial bikes was sure it was a McCandless conversion. To this end he found a picture of a 1947 AJS trials with a McCandless swinging arm frame almost identical to mine! I'll try and get a scan of it done. Anyway I have been trying to find out if there were any others or any records of McCandless Triumph frames with no luck. I don't think they were very strong on keeping records!! I still have the original number and logbook for mine and the engine number matches. The original frame number has been over-stamped so I cannot see if it is the original or not. The front frame carrying the two numbers is definitely a 1951 Triumph Thunderbird sprung-hub. I'll try and paste a couple of pics of the rolling chassis, as it was, at Christmas. The engine is back in now and all progressing well. I never did understand why it handled so much better than my mates Triumphs or my 750 Bonnie! The front forks, we reckon are from a TR6, or at least the headstock is as the handlebars sit behind the fork top nuts and damper. It really was a great old bike. It is being put back together as was when I first had it, which was far from original however it does have a standard Triumph seat and large tank. Incidently the only reference to McCandless and Triumph I found was in connection with some grass track combinations that he built and my frame has a bolt hole and bracket mount to take a sidecar! Hope that helps a bit with the other chaps searches but I suspect we'll never know for sure. One thing else, the seat support is part of the frame, unlike the Triumphs which usually bolt on. Assuming that the original owner did not convert it from new I guess the conversion may have been done a couple of years later. It runs a 19” front wheel and 4.50x18 rear with an early QD hub. Hopefully she’ll be blatting up the road in a couple of months or so. best regards Chris
 

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well Chris..i certainly cant help whit your questions....but i can say welcome!! ...you have found the.."holy grail"..of old triumph fans, here and a i'm sure someone with more info than me, can assist , these old bikes are just too much fun....Tom
 

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Just a quick note before you get too far or your restoration Chris, you need a bit of daylight under the rear wheel when it's on the centrestand, about 1/2", so you may need to check out the centre stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
centre stand

Hi
Thankyou for the note. Yep, we were a bit concerned at first as it only ever had a side-stand before and this is the largest Triumph one we could find (19" wheels). When the pics were taken it had just had spanking new springs, fork stanchions and bushes (and no engine) which didn't help!! Also the rear shocks have new springs and are set at the hardest setting. We did load it up and with the bits on, and the slightest pressure on the forks, all is fine. Once we have bashed it around the lanes I reckon it will settle down well. Just run up the Dunkley Whippet and, true to form in the reliability stakes, I find the front tyre flat! Last time out the front number plate fell off! We'll have Triumph out next week for an updated piccie or two. It is looking like a bike now! Thanks again best regards Chris
 
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