Hellé Nice was a French model, a Grand Prix motor racing driver. Mariette Hélène Delangle was the daughter of Alexandrine Bouillie and Léon Delangle, the postman in Aunay-sous-Auneau, Eure-et-Loir, a village 47 miles from Paris, she went to Paris at age 16 working as a nude model for artist Rene Carrere, who encouraged her to take up ballet, leading to her becoming a successful dancer under the stage name Hélène Nice which became Hellé Nice. She built a solid reputation as a solo act but in 1926 decided to partner with Robert Lisset and performed at cabarets around Europe, her income from dancing as well as modelling became such that she could afford to purchase a home and her own yacht. However, her dancing career was cut short in 1929 after she had an accident whilst evading an avalanche while skiing, saving her life but injuring her knee badly. In addition to the fast cars of her racing career, Nice lived a fast life, her growing fame meant. Some of her affairs were brief while others were of longer duration that, beyond the wealthy and powerful Philippe de Rothschild, included members of the European nobility and other personalities such as Henri de Courcelles, Jean Bugatti and Count Bruno d'Harcourt.
Nice was introduced to motor racing by racing driver de Courcelles. At the time, the Paris area was one of the principal centres of the French car industry and there were numerous competitions for auto enthusiasts. Nice loved the thrill of driving fast cars and so snatched the chance to perform in the racing event at the annual fair organized by fellow performers from the Paris entertainment world, she was an avid downhill skier but an accident on the slopes damaged her knee and ended her dancing career. Hellé Nice decided to try her hand at professional auto racing. In 1929, driving an Oméga-Six, she won an all-female Grand Prix race at Autodrome de Montlhéry in the process setting a new world land speed record for women. Capitalising on her fame, the following year she toured the United States, racing at a variety of tracks in an American-made Miller racing car. Philippe de Rothschild introduced himself to her shortly after her return from America. For a time, the two shared the love of automobile racing.
Rothschild had been racing his Bugatti and he introduced her to Ettore Bugatti. The owner of the successful car company thought Nice would be an ideal person to add to the male drivers of his line of racing vehicles, she drove a Bugatti Type 35C in five major Grands Prix in France. Hellé Nice was recognizable in her bright-blue race car, she wowed the crowds whenever she raced while adding to her income with a string of product endorsements, including advertising for Esso and Lucky Strike, which saw her featured on thousands of posters, helping her to become one of the most famous people in France. She earned significant amounts from racing, receiving entry fees worth the equivalent of $100,000 per race when inflation-adjusted to the 2018 value of the dollar. Although she did not win a Grand Prix race, she was a legitimate competitor, finished ahead of some of the top male drivers. Over the next several years, as the only female on the Grand Prix circuit, Nice continued to race Bugattis and Alfa Romeos against the greatest drivers of the day.
She competed not only in Grand Prix races but hillclimbs and rallies all over Europe, including the famous Monte Carlo Rally. On 10 September 1933, she was a competitor at one of the most tragic races in history. During the 1933 Monza Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Giuseppe Campari, Baconin "Mario Umberto" Borzacchini, the Polish count Stanislas Czaikowski, three of the leading race drivers of the day, were killed. Nice finished third in one of the race's heats. In 1936, she travelled to Brazil to compete in two Grand Prix races. During the São Paulo Grand Prix, she was in third place behind Brazilian champion Manuel de Teffé when a freak accident resulted in her nearly being killed, her Alfa Romeo somersaulted through the air and crashed into the grandstand, killing six people and injuring more than thirty others. Nice was thrown from the car and landed on a soldier who absorbed the full impact of her body, saving her life; the force of the impact killed the soldier and because she lay unconscious, she too was thought to be dead.
Taken to hospital, she awoke from a coma three days and two months was discharged from the hospital. The tragedy turned her into a national hero among the Brazilian population. In 1937, she attempted a racing comeback, hoping to compete in the Mille Miglia and at the Tripoli Grand Prix, which offered a substantial cash prize. However, she was unable to get the necessary backing and instead participated in the "Yacco" endurance trials for female drivers at the Montlhéry racetrack in France. There, alternating with four other women, Nice drove for ten days and ten nights breaking ten records and setting records that still stand. For the next two years, she competed in rallying. However, in August 1939, her friend Jean Bugatti was killed while testing a company vehicle and a month racing in Europe came to a halt with the onset of World War II. In 1943, during the German occupation of France, she moved to the French Riviera and acquired a home in Nice, where she lived for the remainder of the war.
In 1949 fellow driver Louis Chiron accused her at a party in Monaco to celebrate the first postwar Monte Carlo Rally of "collaborating with the Nazis". However, her biographer Miranda Seymour is "circumspect on Nice’s guilt". Although Nice was accused of being a "Gestapo agent
Norton Motorcycle Company
The Norton Motorcycle Company is a British motorcycle marque from Birmingham, UK. It was founded in 1898 as a manufacturer of "fittings and parts for the two-wheel trade". By 1902 the company had begun manufacturing motorcycles with bought-in engines. In 1908 a Norton-built engine was added to the range; this began a long series of production of single and twin-cylinder motorcycles, a long history of racing involvement. Production of the military Model 16 H and Big 4 sidevalve motorcycles was Norton's contribution to the WWII war effort 100,000 being manufactured; when major shareholders started to leave Norton in 1953 the company declined and Associated Motor Cycles bought the shares. Although motorcycle sales went through a recession in the 1950s, Norton Motors Ltd was only a small manufacturer, Norton sales flourished. A series of Norton Dominator Twins of 500 cc 600 cc 650 cc and the 750 cc Norton Atlas kept sales buoyant with sales to the United States. In 1968 the new 750 cc Norton Commando Model appeared, with the engine/gearbox/swingarm unit isolastically insulated from the frame with a series of rubber mountings.
This kept the vibrations from the rider. The Commando was a best seller, voted #1 Motorcycle of the Year a number of times in Britain. 850 cc models appeared for 1973. For 1975 an electric start arrived in the 850 Mk3; the largest UK motorcycle manufacturer at the time was BSA-Triumph, comprising Birmingham Small Arms Company in Birmingham, Triumph Motorcycles in Meriden. BSA-Triumph faced difficulties caused by poor management, outdated union practices, old-fashioned motorcycle designs and antiquated factory conditions. A merger with Norton Motorcycles was proposed; the Triumph factory Meriden was the least modern. Poore was CEO of Manganese Bronze Holdings, a company more concerned with asset stripping than with motorcycle production. Subsequent political manoeuvrings led to the downfall of NVT, as taxpayer-assisted wranglings over amalgamations and sell-offs all but killed the once extensive UK motorcycle industry. In late 2008 Stuart Garner, a UK businessman, bought the rights to Norton from some US concerns and relaunched Norton in its Midlands home at Donington Park where it will develop the 961cc Norton Commando, a new range of Norton motorcycles.
The original company was formed by James Lansdowne Norton at 320, Bradford Street, Birmingham, in 1898. In 1902 Norton began building motorcycles with Swiss engines. In 1907 a Norton ridden by Rem Fowler won the twin-cylinder class in the first Isle of Man TT race, beginning a sporting tradition that went on until the 1960s; the first Norton engines were made in 1907, with production models available from 1908. These were the 3.5 hp and the'Big 4', beginning a line of side-valve single-cylinder engines which continued with few changes until the late 1950s. The first Norton logo was a simple, art nouveau design, with the name spelled in capitals. However, a new logo appeared on the front of the catalogue for 1914, a joint effort by James Norton and his daughter Ethel, it became known as the "curly N" logo, with only the initial letter as a capital, was used by the company thereafter, first appearing on actual motorcycles in 1915. Ethel Norton did some testing of her father's motorcycles. In 1913 the business declined, R. T.
Shelley & Co. the main creditors and saved it. Norton Motors Ltd was formed shortly afterwards under joint directorship of James Norton and Bob Shelley. Shelley's brother-in-law was tuner Dan O'Donovan, he managed to set a significant number of records on the Norton by 1914 when the war broke out - and as competition motorcycling was suspended during the hosilities, these records still stood when production restarted after the war. 1914 Dan O'Donovan records set in April 1914: Under 500 cc flying km 81.06 mph, flying mile 78.60 mph - 490 cc Norton Under 750 cc flying km and flying mile see above Under 500 cc with sidecar flying km 65.65 mph, flying mile 62.07 mph - 490 cc Norton Under 750 cc with sidecar flying km and flying mile see aboveOn 17 July 1914 O'Donovan took the flying 5 mile record at 75.88 mph, the standing start 10 mile record at 73.29 mph, again on the 490 cc Norton. Norton continued production of their 3.5 hp and Big 4 singles well into the war period, though in November 1916 the Ministry of Munitions issued an order that no further work on motor cycles or cars would be allowed from 15 November 1916 without a permit.
By this time most motor cycle companies were either producing munitions, or devoted to the export trade. Norton were involved in exporting and earlier that year had announced a new'Colonial Model' of their 633cc Big 4; this featured an increase in ground clearance from 4.25" to 6.5", by altering the frame, larger tank, greater clearance on mudguards, a sturdy rear carrier. The engine was unaltered, transmission was via a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed gearbox. In February 1918 Motor Cycle reported on a visit to Norton Motors. Mr Norton had stated that he expected three post-war models, the 3.5 hp 490 cc TT with belt drive, two utility mounts, one with detuned TT engine, the other being the Big Four for heavy solo or sidecar work, both of these with three-speed Sturmey-Archer countershaft gearbox and all chain drive. It was stated that he had been experimenting with aluminium pistons, a
Suzuka International Racing Course
The Suzuka International Racing Course is a motorsport race track located in Ino, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture and operated by Mobilityland Corporation, a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co, Ltd. It has a capacity of 155,000. Soichiro Honda decided to develop a new permanent circuit in Mie prefecture in the late 1950s. Designed as a Honda test track in 1962 by Dutchman John "Hans" Hugenholtz, Suzuka is one of few circuits in the world to have a "figure eight" layout, with the 1.2 km back straight passing over the front section by means of an overpass. The circuit has been modified four times: In 1983 a chicane was put at the last curve to slow the cars into the pit straight and the Degner curve was made into two corners instead of one long curve. Following the death of Daijiro Kato at the 2003 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix, Suzuka reconfigured the motorcycle variant of what is now known as the Hitachi Automotive Systems Chicane before the final turn, added a second chicane, between the hairpin and 200R.
The circuit can be used in five configurations. The "east" portion of the course consists of the pit straight to the first half of the Dunlop curve, before leading back to the pit straight via a tight right-hander; the "west" course is made up of the other part including the crossover bridge. The chicane between the hairpin and 200R separates the west and full course sections between cars and motorcycles; the Degner curve was named in honour of Ernst Degner after he crashed his factory Suzuki 50 there during Suzuka's inaugural All Japan Championship Road Race meeting on 3 November 1962. Suzuka touted by F1 drivers and fans as one of the most enjoyed, is one of the oldest remaining tracks of the Formula One World Championship, so has a long history of races as venue of the Japanese Grand Prix since 1987, its traditional role as one of the last Grands Prix of the season means numerous world championships have been decided at the track. Suzuka was dropped from the Formula One calendar for the 2007 and 2008 seasons in favour of the Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway, after the latter underwent a transformation and redesign by circuit designer Hermann Tilke.
Suzuka and Fuji were to alternate hosting the Japanese Grand Prix from 2009. However, after Fuji announced in July 2009 that it would no longer be part of the F1 calendar, Suzuka signed a deal to host the Japanese Grand Prix in 2009, 2010 and 2011; the circuit closed for a year in order for the renovation to make it F1-compliant for 2009, with the last major event held on November 18, 2007, although some annual events were still held. The track held a re-opening day on April 12, 2009. Suzuka hosts other motorsport events including the Suzuka 1000 km endurance race. A part of multiple GT racing series including the now defunct group C class of the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, the Suzuka 1000 km as of 2006 is now a points round of the Super GT Series, is the only race of such length in that series. In 2010, the GT500 pole position time was 1:55.237. In 2007, the GT300 pole position time was 2:06.838. Another major motorsport event is the Suzuka 8 Hours for motorcycles, run since 1978.
This event attracts big name riders and with the exception of 2005, due to the importance of the major manufacturers' involvement, the FIM ensures that no motorcycle races clash on the date. NASCAR organized the NASCAR Thunder 100, a pair of exhibition 100-lap races on the east circuit, a 1.4 miles layout which utilizes the pit straight and esses, before rejoining the main circuit near the Casio triangle. The cars were Sprint Cup Series and Camping World West Series cars and the field was by invitation for the two races, run after the 1996 and 1997 seasons; the 1996 event was marred by tragedy when during practice, pace car driver Elmo Langley died of a heart attack in the Chevrolet Corvette pace car at the esses during an evaluation run. The pole position speed was 83.079 miles per hour. During qualifying for the 1997 race, rain caused Goodyear to use rain tires on Sprint Cup cars for the first time in the modern era, it was announced on June 21, 2010 that the east section of the Suzuka Circuit would host the Japan round of the 2011 WTCC season instead of the Okayama International Circuit.
At the 2012 event, the pole position time was 52.885 seconds, for an average speed of 94.875 miles per hour. Following two major accidents in 2002 and 2003, one of the main issues in safety has been at the corner 130R. In 2002, Toyota F1 driver Allan McNish suffered a high-speed crash through the bump, which sent him through a metal fence. Track officials revised the 130R, redesigning it as a double-apex section, one with an 85 metres radius, a second featuring a 340 metres radius, leading to a much closer Casio triangle, with the chicane becoming a "bus stop" type for motorcycles. However, the problem continued for the new revised section. During the 2003 MotoGP Grand Prix of Japan, the track's first major event since the revisions, MotoGP rider Daijiro Kato was killed when he crashed in the new section, on his way to the brak
Dijon-Prenois is a 3.801 km motor racing circuit located in Prenois, near Dijon, France. The undulating track is noted for its sweeping bends. Opened in 1972, Dijon-Prenois hosted the Formula One French Grand Prix five times, the Swiss Grand Prix in 1982; the non-championship 1975 Swiss Grand Prix was held at Dijon. The circuit hosts the Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or, last hosted the FFSA GT Championship in 2012. Planned in 1967, work commenced in December 1969; the track was part of a plan to make Dijon an automotive centre. It was the brainchild of rugby-player and wrestler François Chambelland, was developed with the aid of racers Jean-Pierre Beltoise and François Cevert, as well as motoring journalist José Rosinski. In spite of lack of support from the city government and a chronic lack of funds, the track was declared open on 26 May 1972, with Guy Ligier making the first timed lap around the circuit; the first race, for 2-litre prototypes, was held ten days later. Arturo Merzario was the inaugural winner.
The first F1 race was run in 1974 on the circuit's original 3.289 km layout. Therefore, in 1976 an extension was added to lengthen the circuit as well as to reprofile many of its corners before the time F1 could return to Dijon in 1977; the 1979 French Grand Prix featured a memorable battle for second place in the final laps between Gilles Villeneuve's Ferrari and René Arnoux's Renault, won by Villeneuve. The race itself was won by Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the other Renault - Renault's first, the first F1 victory for a turbocharged car; the 1982 Formula One season was not to see the French Grand Prix held at Dijon as that race was held at the Paul Ricard Circuit, located at Le Castellet in southern France. Instead, Dijon held the last Swiss Grand Prix, despite being located in France and not Switzerland; this was due to the Swiss Government's ban on motor racing in the wake of the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans disaster in which 83 people, many of whom were spectators, the driver Pierre Levegh, died when a car crashed at high speed and vaulted into the pit straight grandstand.
1982 Formula One World Champion Keke Rosberg, driving his Williams-Ford, won his first Grand Prix in the 1982 Swiss race, four seconds in front of local favourite Alain Prost driving a factory backed Renault. The French Grand Prix alternated between Paul Ricard and Dijon, until the last F1 race at Dijon took place in 1984; the race was won by McLaren's Niki Lauda, who would win his 3rd and final World Championship that year. The fastest lap of the race was set by Lauda's team mate Alain Prost at an average speed of 214 km/h. Fittingly, the last F1 pole at Dijon was set by a French driver driving a French car, with Patrick Tambay recording a 1:02.200 in his factory Renault RE50 turbo. Tambay led the race for the first 47 laps before being passed by Lauda, the Frenchman finishing 2nd, seven seconds behind the McLaren. Long-distance racing continued, with a race in the FIA GT Championship held there in 1998 for instance. Although Formula One has not returned to Dijon since 1984, the circuit continues to be used today for minor local races.
These include club level events and motorcycle racing, truck racing events have been held there since 1988. The track was renovated in 2001, when a go-cart track was added. Official website Satellite picture by Google Maps
The Bol d’Or is a 24-hour motorcycle endurance race, held annually in France. The riding of each bike is now shared by a team of three riders; the Bol d’Or, first organized by Eugene Mauve, was a race for motorcycles, automobiles limited to 1100cc engine capacity. To-day, the Bol d’Or is a race for motorcycles, although there are a number of side "attractions", such as races for amateur riders and for classic bikes. Prior to 1953 only one rider per machine was permitted; the record holder with seven victories, Frenchman Gustave Lefèvre, won with an average speed of 107 kilometers/hour riding his Norton Manx for the whole 24 hours. From 1954 to 1977 the teams comprised two riders, in the interests of safety, this was increased to three; until 1970 the race was held at various circuits Linas-Montlhéry and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. From 1971 to 1977 the Bol d’Or was held at the permanent Le Mans Bugatti circuit, which excludes the temporary street circuit section, exiting before the Tertre Rouge esses and rejoining at the Ford Chicane, excluding the section from the Tertre Rouge and Porsche Curves.
For the next 22 years the event took place at Paul Ricard. When the race left Le Mans the 24 Heures du Mans was established, so that when the Bol d'Or returned to Le Mans, there were for a time two annual 24-hour motorcycle endurance events on the Bugatti circuit; until 2015, the Bol d’Or was held in the spring, while the 24 Heures du Mans was in the early September slot used by the Bol d’Or. In 2016 things changed again: the "24 Heures du Mans" moved to the spring, while the Bol d’Or moved to Circuit Paul Ricard In September.24-hour motorcycle endurance racing has a strong Francophone base, with the three main events held in France and French-speaking Belgium, the most successful teams and riders are French. In 1970, 1971 and 1992 all-British teams of riders won the races. British rider Terry Rymer has had consistent results. In the 1970s the competitors included Phil Read and Neil Tuxworth, who headed Honda Racing UK. On occasion, the Mead & Tomkinson racing team fielded "Nessie", a revolutionary bike with hub-center steering.
1922: clay track located in Vaujours, Clichy-sous-Bois and Livry-Gargan, 5.126 km long. 1923-1936: Loges track in Saint-Germain-en-Laye 1927: Fontainebleau 1937-1939: Linas-Montlhéry 1938-1946: No race 1947-1948: Saint-Germain-en-Laye 1949-1950: Linas-Montlhéry 1951: Saint-Germain-en-Laye 1952-1960: Linas-Montlhéry 1961-1968: No race 1969-1970: Linas-Montlhéry 1971-1977: Le Mans 1978-1999: Paul Ricard 2000-2014: Magny-Cours 2015-2018: Paul Ricard. The race is part of the a part of the Endurance FIM World Championship; the 2016 edition was the 80th edition of the race. The race is accompanied by a motorcycle rally and other motorcycle related events. La Tasse d'or, reserved for motorcycle of less than 50cc Le Bol d’Or classic: reserved for classic motorcycles Le Bol d'argent: amateur competition taking place before main competition. Bol d’Or official website
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari is a motorsport race circuit near the Italian town of Imola, 40 kilometres east of Bologna and 80 kilometres east of the Ferrari factory in Maranello. The circuit is named after his son Dino who had died in the 1950s. Before Enzo Ferrari's death in 1988 it was called'Autodromo Dino Ferrari'; the circuit has FIA Grade 1 license. It was the venue for the Formula One San Marino Grand Prix and it hosted the 1980 edition of the Italian Grand Prix, which takes place in Monza; when Formula One visits Imola, it is seen as the'home circuit' of Ferrari and masses of tifosi come out to support the local team. Imola, as it is colloquially known, is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction; the track was inaugurated as a semi-permanent venue in 1953, it had no chicanes, so the run from Rivazza all the way to Tosa, through the pits and the Tamburello was flat out, as was the run from Acque Minerali all the way to Rivazza was just a long straight with a few small bends.
In April 1953, the first motorcycle races took place, while the first car race took place in June 1954. In April 1963, the circuit hosted its first Formula One race, as a non-championship event, won by Jim Clark for Lotus. A further non-championship event took place at Imola in 1979, won by Niki Lauda for Brabham-Alfa Romeo. In 1980 Imola debuted in the Formula One calendar by hosting the 50th Italian Grand Prix, it was the first time since the 1948 Edition held at Parco del Valentino that the Autodromo Nazionale Monza did not host the Italian Grand Prix. The race was won by Nelson Piquet and it was such a success that a new race, the San Marino Grand Prix, was established for Imola in 1981; the race was held over 60 laps of the 5 kilometre circuit for a total race distance of 300 kilometres. Imola has hosted a round of the Superbike World Championship from 2001 to 2006 and since 2009, it hosts the final round of the FIM Motocross World Championship since 2018. The World Touring Car Championship visited Imola in 2008, 2008, 2009.
The venue hosted a round of the International GT Open from 2009 to 2011. The TCR International Series raced at Imola in 2016; the 6 Hours of Imola was revived in 2011 and added to the Le Mans Series and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup as a season event until 2016. Since 2017 it hosts the 12 Hours of a round of the 24H Series; the track was used as part of the finishing circuit for the 1968 UCI Road World Championships, which saw Italian cyclist Vittorio Adorni winning with a lead of 10 minutes and 10 seconds over runner up Herman Van Springel, the second largest winning margin in the history of the championships, after Georges Ronsse's victory in 1928. In addition Adorni's countryman Michele Dancelli took the bronze and five of the top six finishers were Italian; the circuit was used for stage 11 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia, won by Ilnur Zakarin, stage 12 of the 2018 Giro d'Italia, won by Sam Bennett. Despite the addition of the chicanes, the circuit was subject to constant safety concerns regarding the flat-out Tamburello corner, bumpy and had dangerously little room between the track and a concrete wall which protects the Santerno river that runs behind it.
In 1987, Nelson Piquet missed the race due to injury. In the 1989 San Marino Grand Prix, Gerhard Berger crashed his Ferrari at Tamburello after a front wing failure; the car caught fire after the heavy impact but thanks to the quick work of the firefighters and medical personnel Berger survived and missed only one race due to burns to his hands. Michele Alboreto had a fiery accident at the Tamburello corner testing his Footwork Arrows at the circuit in 1991 but escaped injury. Riccardo Patrese had an accident at the Tamburello corner in 1992 while testing for the Williams team; the death of Ayrton Senna on 1 May 1994 sealed the fate of the corner being run flat out again. In the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, during Friday practice Rubens Barrichello was launched over a curb and into the top of a tyre barrier at the Variante Bassa, knocking the Brazilian unconscious, though quick medical intervention saved his life. During Saturday qualifying Austrian Roland Ratzenberger crashed head-on into a wall at over 310 km/h at the Villeneuve corner after his Simtek lost the front wing, dying from a basilar skull fracture.
The tragedy continued the next day, when the three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna lost control of his car and crashed into the concrete wall at the Tamburello corner on Lap 7. He succumbed shortly after impact as a piece of the car had pierced his skull. In two unrelated incidents, several spectators and mechanics were injured during the event. In the aftermath, the circuit continued to host Grands Prix, but revisions were made in an attempt to make it safer; the flat-out Tamburello corner was reduced to a 4th gear left-right sweeper, a gravel trap was added to the limited space on the outside of the corner. Villeneuve corner an innocuous 6th gear right-hander into Tosa, was made a complementary 4th gear sweeper with a gravel trap on the outside of the corner. In an attempt to
Triumph Engineering Co Ltd was a British motorcycle manufacturing company, based in Coventry and in Meriden. A new company, Triumph Motorcycles Ltd based in Hinckley, gained the name rights after the end of the company in the 1980s and is now one of the world's major motorcycle manufacturers; the company was started by Siegfried Bettmann, who had emigrated from Nuremberg, part of the German Empire, to Coventry in England in 1893. In 1884, aged 20, Bettmann had founded the S. Bettmann & Co.. Import Export Agency, in London. Bettmann's original products were bicycles, which the company bought and sold under its own name. Bettmann distributed sewing machines imported from Germany. In 1886, Bettmann sought a more specific name, the company became known as the Triumph Cycle Company. A year the company was registered as the New Triumph Co. Ltd, now with funding from the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company. During that year, another native of Nuremberg, Moritz Schulte, joined the company as a partner. Schulte encouraged Bettmann to transform Triumph into a manufacturing company, in 1888 Bettmann purchased a site in Coventry using money lent by his and Schulte's families.
The company began producing the first Triumph-branded bicycles in 1889. In 1896 Triumph opened a bicycle factory in Nuremberg. In 1898 Triumph decided to extend production at Coventry to include motorcycles, by 1902 the company had produced its first motorcycle—a bicycle fitted with a Belgian Minerva engine. In 1903, after selling more than 500 motorcycles, Triumph began motorcycle production at the Nuremberg factory. During the first few years the company based its designs on those of other manufacturers, but in 1904 Triumph began building motorcycles based on its own designs, 1905 saw the first in-house designed motorcycle. By the end of that year, the company had produced more than 250. In 1907, after the company opened a larger plant, it produced 1,000 machines. Triumph had initiated a lower-end brand, Gloria manufactured in the company's original plant. Confusion between motorcycles produced by the Coventry and Nuremberg Triumph companies resulted in the latter's products being renamed Orial for certain export markets.
However, a company named Orial existed in France, so the Nuremberg motorcycles were renamed again as "TWN", standing for Triumph Werke Nürnberg. The beginning of the First World War was a boost for the company as production was switched to provide for the Allied war effort. More than 30,000 motorcycles—among them the Model H Roadster known as the "Trusty Triumph" cited as the first modern motorcycle—were supplied to the Allies. After the war and Schulte disagreed about planning, with Schulte wishing to replace bicycle production with cars. Schulte ended his association with the company, but during the 1920s Triumph purchased the former Hillman company car factory in Coventry and produced a saloon car in 1923 under the name of the Triumph Motor Company. Harry Ricardo produced an engine for their latest motorbike. By the mid-1920s Triumph had become one of Britain's main motorcycle and car makers, with a 500,000 square feet plant capable of producing as many as 30,000 motorcycles and cars each year.
Triumph found its bicycles demanded overseas, export sales became a primary source of the company's revenues, although for the United States, Triumph models were manufactured by licence. The company's first automotive success was the Super Seven model, which debuted in 1928. Soon after, the Super Eight model was developed; when the Great Depression began in 1929, Triumph sold its German subsidiary as a separate, independently owned company, which merged with the Adler company to become Triumph-Adler Company. The Nuremberg company continued to manufacture motorcycles as TWN until 1957. In 1932, Triumph sold another part of the company, its bicycle manufacturing facility to Raleigh Bicycle Company. By Triumph had been struggling financially, Bettmann had been forced out of the job of chairman, he retired in 1933. In 1936, the company's two components became separate companies. Triumph always struggled to make a profit from cars, after becoming bankrupt in 1939 was acquired by the Standard Motor Company.
The motorcycle operations fared better, having been acquired in 1936 by Jack Sangster, who owned the rival Ariel motorcycle company. That same year, the company began its first exports to the United States, which grew into the company's single most important market. Sangster formed the Triumph Engineering Co Ltd. directed by ex-Ariel employees, including Edward Turner who designed the 500 cc 5T Triumph Speed Twin—released in September 1937, the basis for all Triumph twins until the 1980s. Contrary to popular belief, this was not Triumph's first parallel twin; the first was the Val Page designed model 6/1, introduced in 1933. This first twin performed well as a racer but was unpopular with the public and did not sell well. After Turner arrived, with his usual brusque manner, the 6/1 ended to be replaced with Turner's design; the 6/1 engine was reused, somewhat modified, as the BSA A10. In 1939, the 500 cc Tiger T100, capable of 100 miles per hour, was released, the war began. Motorcycles were produced at Coventry until the Second World War.
The city of Coventry was destroyed in the Coventry Blitz. Tooling and machinery was recovered from the site of the devastation and production restarted at the new plant at Meriden, Warwickshire in 1942; the Triumph Speed Twin designed by Edward Turner before the war was produced in large numbers after the war. Efforts to settle the Lend-Lease debts caused nearly 70% of Triumph'