Dan Shorey's 1954 Road Racing Triumph Cub.



So Pete Murray says.IOM...




Yes it is 1954 as it started life as a Triumph Terrier, with Plunger frame.


Photo Courtesy. Auto Sport.

"The Murray Triumph Cub".


Photo  below, has it was just shipped from Isle Of Man...





Just a Quick Tale Now, until I do the Full Story.


I know that this  must be Dan's old bike but I can't 100 percent confirm it until I have spoken to Dan...

Dan say's below, Yes there were two, he knows where one is, but this could have been the one sold to a lady"... 


I have this afternoon spoken to Dan Shorey and he tells me there were two Tiger Cubs built up, one that he still has... 

One was built up from spares and the other started life has a plunger frame...

He thinks he sold one to a lady to use? So could this be the one?


 Anyway this little bike has spent most of its life in the "Murray's Mountain Museum" at the Bungalow, in the Isle Of Man.


Pete Murray says it was Dan's so that is good enough for me, until I am proved otherwise...


Photo Courtesy Peter Murray.Steve Griffiths


Here is Pete Murray, stood with the Little Triumph in the Museum.


Photo Courtesy Steve Griffiths


A Bit Of History.

The bike was sold from the museum at "The Bungalow" in 2005, when the Murray family gave up the building, and has remained in a garage in Peel IOM up until this last week.

When it came home to where we think it was built?


 Dan Shorey  rode one of the Triumph Cub bike's in 1955, winning the 200 cc class at the Silverstone speed trials of that year.


As I say the bike started life as a humble little Triumph Terrier, and was converted to swinging arm suspension in 1955.


With a swinging arm with the number "0" as the last casting number on the arm, must have been one of the first Triumph Cub swinging arms.


 The sub-frame looks like a production Cub unit until you inspect it closely, then you realise this must have been new at the time by the gauge of the steel brackets, (thinner), and the brazing done by hand?

The work carried out on Dan's bikes at the time, was mainly done by pipe smoking

Tony Basson, who worked at North Bar Garage,Banbury, and loved playing with his motorcycles, a perfectionist in every way.


I think he did the swinging arm conversion if this is the bike.

It looks a lot like one of the jobs he would tackle, and done with the sort of style of engineering that he was labelled with.


 Bert Shorey,  Dan's dad, carried out the tin-smithing, on the bike, in the only way he could very very well, and this looks like one of his jobs.

When he rolled his sleeves up, and said "Let me do it Kid",

You stood back and watched a master craftsman at work...


Just the detail on the hand riveted seat, is a souvenir of his craft, and the type of job he did best. (I just know it is his work), the rest of the detail on this bike is amazing for such a humble machine.

I seem to remember the piston on Dan's bike was hand finished, and out of an old car? may be a Ford 100E  If my memory serves me right.


More of an in depth story later. It is a fascinating tale.


Photo "Otterman"

 This is just how the little Triumph Cub arrived out of the van from the Isle Of Man...



You can just see the old plunger frame casting under the tank, the ends were bunged with bottle corks...

Well this was before the time of plastic filler ETC.


And just one more picture now of the polished rockers.



The rocker oil feed is also a lot smaller than standard?

I would think to stop over oiling, and oil leaks, but just enough to lubricate the shafts.

You can see that the rockers themselves have been ground, and then polished. 

 Insidently, we did have a metal polishing shop up the lane at North Bar even I think at that time, they were still there into the Sixties.


Good idea the rocker feed, we should try today! On our trials bikes.


Photos "Otterman".

The glass-fibre fairing will be resprayed in the traditional Dan Shorey,

 "Powder Blue". Or whatever the colour Dan's bike was, if this proves to be one of those two machines.




Classic cockpit don't you think, but wet when it rained?


We Will get the little bike running shortly, and may try to run it in an hill climb?

If I can fit into my leathers Or Colin Jenkins, the Bantam pilot can ride it.

Like I say I will speak to Dan again about the machine shortly, and try and either prove the tale or compare notes...

It is a long time since I had a proper chat with Dan 

Now must be the time... 

 I am going to print some  photos off of the bike for Dan, as he does not have a computer in his house, and visit him one afternoon shortly, so that we can try to finalise the story.



I have been told that there is a photo of the Dan Shorey Triumph Cub in the latest May/June Classic Racer mag.  And a profile story of Dan by fellow "Banbarian", Bruce Cox...


So the time is right to get the story right.



Photo "Otterman".

Just some more shots of the Racing Triumph Cub for me as reference,

and you to enjoy...



Photos "Otterman".again



Photo "Otterman".

Classic ninteen fifties Leather covered race seat.


Matchless -AJS AMC tele forks are fitted into what could be again the original fork yokes but they do look modified.  Front brake is a Triumph 7"  hub modified with an air scoop fitted too.



Note: The twisted lead weights on the spokes to balance the wheel.

Hub is a Triumph Terrier, and not the later Triumph Cub that had a fixed steel brake anchor plate, riveted to the back-plate.

Also Note: That the brake is cable operated because the standard rod would move with the suspension movment.


Note: that the bike has a steel bracing bar because it now has a fibre glass tank fitted, the steel tank fitted to the bike originally had this brace actually inside the tank in the form of two steel strips.


Photo "Otterman".

Clutch and sprocket details. An Extra plate in the clutch with  cork linings. And thicker pressure plate fitted. this looks like a factory item.


Dan Shorey ,

Banbury Gardian 1st September 1955...


Danny Shorey; 17 year old Dan Shorey won his first ever race at Wroxton when he took the first heat of the Unlimited Junior event on the 250cc Rudge. (this was a grass track...)

Was the story.



Photo Courtesy Dan Shorey.


Then "The first win" on the Triumph Cub was at the Silverstone One Hour Time Trials of 1955 Where Danny won the 200cc Class.


It was also in 1955 that Dan first rode a Rudge on tarmac at Mallory Park, later in the year.

A different bike to the Grass machine, Dan tells me ...


Later Dan bought an MV Agusta from Mike Hailwood so the "Cub" was redundant before it hardly started being raced.

And to be honest I did not know Dan that well at the time being younger.

But I can’t remember him saying that he had ridden the Cub anywhere else. But he must have done in the then 200cc classes. here is another mention...

Daniel Shorey was going well at Alton Towers on March 30th to finish 2nd in the 200 c.c. race and lst in the 201-250 race, riding a 199 Triumph and the Norvel...



He did the occasional Hill Climb so he may have used it for a couple of these...

But the Triumph Cub's were built to get him into road racing, and then by firstly converting a Rudge to be ridden on the tarmac, and then buying the MV, and even later the Maurice Henderson Velocette, like I say the Triumph Cub became redundant quickly when the 200cc classes seemed to stop... and it was not until the British Formula Racing Club started that there were classes for the Triumph Cub to race in again this was I think 1966.... 

So the Triumph Cub we have has although spent most of its life in the "Bungalow" Museum in the Isle Of Man, had, and has been, ridden by someone else and the Fi-Glass tank has been fitted along with the Fi-Glass fairing.


I will get to speak to Dan again, and clear the subject up once and for all.


Meanwhile we have a Very original little racing machine that needs to do something rather than collect dust in an unused store room.

I am sure that if it is fired up that would also fire us up to do something with

The "Murray Isle Of Man Bungalow Museum" Triumph Tiger Cub Racing machine.



The little Racing Triumph Cub is now stripped down and in the throws of a complete rebuild with repainted frame, and the modern term, the engine unit refreshed... 


So as ever we will update the story with the rebuild this year, and hope to get it back to the IOM for a parade in one of the August. parade laps...


Ralph Varden 1906 - 1971


TRalph Varden was born on the 7th December 1906 in Nuneaton.


Ron and Sylvia Morris (nee Varden) live in Evesham.


The following is a letter written by Sylvia about her father.


Ralph Varden 1906 - 1971


Dad had a great deal of energy and fun.

He was an engineer and his great love and interest was Motor Cycles going back to the early days of the British Industry in the 1920s.

He always wore the plus fours fashionable of the day.

He rode an AJS and Bullet Sidecar with his Brother in Law Ian Laurie Boff - life long friends (He was the timekeeper in the club scramble days at Hidcote Bartrim).

My Mother lived in the next road in Nuneaton where they lived until 1934, when his work as a Post Office Engineer brought him to Stratford-upon-Avon. He worked during the second world war in communications, but soon his love of British Motorbikes took over his life, and the Stratford Club was restarted. He rented an old farm house & buildings by Malew Church near Castletown in the Isle of Man for the TT races, and being on the circuit at Church Bends for the Southern 100 was a very popular place to be - no change!

All our family and friends enjoyed this venue.

The large sitting room with a blazing fire (if he ran out of wood he would sling on a chair, bought for a song in those days at the local auction sales, much to the hilarity of all) filled with bikes all getting ready for the race, spares and tanks all over the place - all chipped in with joints of Beef and bacon sandwiches, a butcher in a top hat was one, and Roman Zeil was a chef, his sidecar trials passenger, and Josie Ryder was also - she spent her honeymoon there too with the “Mice” and Ray also a chef - they were club treasurer and soup kitchen providers.


Ron Langston won the Southern 100 at this time and he tells of sleeping late after a “good” night, and had to join the pack outside the farm for practice without a wash or breakfast racing by the farm, when the roads were closed early in the morning, Sam Cooper and Ron Morris all helping and enjoying the excitement.


Ralph took an Ariel & sidecar and a Brough SS80 Superior & sidecar over there as transport and at one stage 8 club lads were sitting on it somehow to go up to the Mountain Circuit - stopped by the Manx police - but let off - most unsafe by the “ELF & Safety” standards of today.


Dad was a great leader of men and well enjoyed by all club members and customers alike, in Evesham too where Ron and I ran a branch of his Matthews & Co - “Run by Motor Cyclists for Motor Cyclists”. Some of his bikes ended up in the Manx Motor Cycle Museum on the mountain, owned by Charlie Murray, an old school friend of his.


A Memorial Seat is now outside Malew Church opposite the farm now enjoyed particularly by the Marshalls on race day for the Southern 100.


 I am sure Sylvia won't mind me using this from the Stratford MCC History page.

This links well with the runners and riders in this story, so in some way must be linked, to The Dan Shorey Cub..

And I might add that Dan and Ron Langston, are still the best of mates.

The Stratford Club website looked like it was about to be lost. So I took the opportunity of saving the above before it was lost forever.

Thank's Sylvia...