Beautiful 1953 Triumph returned to owner, 45 years later


I’m impressed at how good that bike still looks. Whomever stole it took good care of it, or I guess fenced it to a guy who took good care of it.

It also warms my heart to see that old people know how to get it on, from the end of the article:


It’s a nice story for a 72 year old man, but I guarantee the dude who thought he was a legitimate owner and sank a bunch of money into restoring it prior to selling to an overseas buyer is more pissed than words can describe.

I wouldn’t argue that a statute of limitations on theft is appropriate, but things like this get to the point where there’s more than one injured party. Do they have any recompense?

Stopped in to make sure that got noticed. :slight_smile:

Edit: Tyop

Someone must be looking into the history of titles issued for it. Or, at least, trying to figure out how it got into the barn it was found in (assuming a “barn find” restoration).

If the seller/restorer didn’t bother to check serial numbers before sinking money into the project, it’s hard to work up much sympathy. But that’s just me.

Would love to hear how the seller got his hands on it though. Maybe his own grandpa was the original thief and he never knew?


Sounds like the guy who restored it and sold it overseas failed to match serial to title and clear it with dmv. If they had they would have known it was stolen prior to restoring it.

For those wondering if the person who was selling it gets any recompense. They must have held there tempers because they did not get charged with possession of stolen property.

Remember the dude who thought he was the legitimate owner, bought it cash, failed to report or register with dmv which is generally required by law even if all you are doing is registering it as non op so you can do a restoration and sell it.

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Stopped into make sure

Muphry’s Law at it’s finest.

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Triumph sure makes a fine looking piece of equipment! That old beauty would look fine on the road or in a museum but would really look its best in my driveway…legally of course.

At least customs sides with the owner! When my CA apartment got burgled, some of the stuff showed at the local pawn shop, where, the police told me, most of the inventory is stolen. The police advised me to pay the shop to get my stuff back because if I took them to court, the judge would be angry for having his time taken up with a claim of only a few hundred dollars.

Ditto zero sympathy for people who buy/sell vehicles without the proper paperwork.

In some states, the rules are different for older bikes; in Vermont, the bike doesn’t even need a title if it’s more than fifteen years old. Don’t know the rules for all states, but I don’t see how it’s reasonable to assume that the guy who restored it was negligent.

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