1959 T120

Owner: Alan Stop­ford

Classic Bike (UK) - - BONNIE BASH -

START­ING WHERE it all be­gan is Alan Stop­ford’s 1959 model. Alan cheer­fully ad­mits clas­sic bikes are

‘a bit of a dis­ease’ when I col­lar him for a chat about his su­perb Bon­nie. At the event with son Paul (who has also brought his own Bon­neville along), Alan is a vet­eran of the restora­tion game. “Most re­stor­ers seem to go for the Tan­ger­ine and Pearl Grey ’59s,” he says. “But the Azure Blue was a mid­sea­son change be­cause the ‘Tan­ger­ine Dream’ colour scheme didn’t prove to be that pop­u­lar at the time. This one is ac­tu­ally from South Africa – a friend of mine from over there tipped me off about it. I’ve had it for about five years now.”

The bike was part-fin­ished when Alan bought it. “The pre­vi­ous owner had the en­gine re­built,” he con­firms. “But the cos­met­ics have taken a lot of work. Cliff at Ace Clas­sics sup­plied most of the parts I needed though. I’ve been do­ing Tri­umphs for about 25 years now, start­ing with Speed Twins, so Cliff and I have be­come mates over that time. I live in Pre­ston, though, so it’s a bit of a trek down to see him in Lon­don. But we al­ways meet up at shows and other events.

“Prob­a­bly the hard­est thing to find for this bike were the cor­rect Dun­lop rims. The lit­tle de­tails are im­por­tant. I’ve had the Dun­lop front tyre since 1983, but it looks so much bet­ter on the bike than a mod­ern tyre. It’s prob­a­bly a bit hard by now, but I won’t be rid­ing this ma­chine, so that’s fine. I’ve got plenty of other Tri­umphs to ride.”

‘THE TAN­GER­INE DREAM SCHEME WASN’T THAT POP­U­LAR AT THE TIME’

Azure Blue re­placed the orig­i­nal Tan­ger­ine Dream in late 1959

Orig­i­nal Amal Monoblocs shared a com­mon, re­mote float bowl

Eight-inch full-width sin­gle­lead­ing-shoe front brake

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