1957 Triumph TRW still in shipping crate

This 1957 Triumph TRW, still in its shipping crate, was the ultimate barn find. Would you ride it? Pic: MidAmerica Auctions.
This 1957 Triumph TRW, still in its shipping crate, was the ultimate barn find. Would you ride it? Pic: MidAmerica Auctions.

A former Canadian military Triumph still in its shipping crate sold at auction in California.

The 1957 500 cc Triumph TRW reportedly came out of a Canadian military warehouse about 40 years ago but was never take out of its shipping crate and still included its original tool kit, all of its accessories and its owner’s manual.

The bike sold for $34,500 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last August, though the new owner must now struggle with the dilemma of leaving it unassembled in its crate and thus retaining its full potential value, or pulling it out and taking it for a ride. It’s a tough call, but we’d ride it.


  1. I bought one from a friend in need in 1973 for $300 and it has 5700 miles on it now. A friend is going through it now and I’m looking for a side car for it. It is the best riding bike that I have ever ridden and is so well balanced. I can’t wait to get to riding it again.

  2. I purchased a ’57 from Crown Assets in the early 70’s . Paid $400.00 . Picked up the crate from the army base in London Ont. The tires (sorry-tyres) still had 13 psi. Someone paid $30,000.00 + for this 17hp flathead ? Surely the decimal is in the wrong place………

    • Still got the ’57? I can offer you, uh, $500 for it, as long as those tyres still have 13 psi.

      I kid, of course. But remember, your $400 in the 70s is probably worth $4000 now.

    • l bought one in the crate .You had to bid for them, minimum bid was $275.00. l bid $383.00 with tax cost me $400.05.Still in crate. Guess only saddle bags were the only thing missing . Kept it for 21 years sold it with 12,000 miles on it.
      Forgot to mention was at the London Army surplus warehouse only one mile from my home. Made a trade for a brand new 1993 Miata which l still have and would like to sell. Supposedly they allowed me $3,000.00 for the bike. It was kind of a side deal with the salesman.
      l had a lot of fun with that bike, l tend to hang on to things like my wife of 45 years.

  3. My then girlfriend bought me one from Checkmate Surplus on Notre Dame street in Montreal for $695.00……Girlfriend became my wife. Later, about 4 years, sold the bike to a guy who paid in Canadian funds and American funds. American funds were counterfeit. This was in 1975. I’m in divorce proceedings now. I should have kept the bike.

  4. These TRW’s used to come up for sale at Govt. auctions as recent as the eary 70’s, but you had to be carful because he Military had a habit of breaking into the crates, taking parts to keep their in-service bikes running and then sealing up the crates again. I recal a friend buying one (in a sealed crate) that, when the crate was opened, the cloth saddlebags, front wheel and fork assembly were all missing. When he later complained, he was told that it was his problem…

  5. I remember being able to buy them from Sun-Glo Sales on Queen St. for about $500. It seemed a lot then, but $34,500 now ??? Jeez, I AM old….

  6. I recall seeing ads for military bikes, still in their crates for just a few hundred dollars back in the late 60’s. An investment in a feew of those then and I’d be retiring now.  Oh, and perhaps a pound or two of gold at $35 an oz in the 70’s.

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