It’s not every day you see a 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn sailing along the high desert highway. And you certainly don’t expect to see one with Canadian plates towing a trailer bearing a strangely-shaped motorcycle strapped beneath a cover, Bonneville-bound.
But it was this unlikely rig that brought Tom Mellor, his wife, Diane, and their 1969 Triumph Trident T150 to the Bonneville Salt Flats last summer, where the Canadian rider set four new World Speed records on the 40th anniversary of the Trident’s first appearance in the summer of 1968.
Each September, the annual Bonneville Speed Trials feature an amazing array of eclectic machines. In a paddock dominated by Harley-Davidson, Triumph, Vincent and Suzuki-powered devices devoted to worshipping the great God of Speed, the Mellor Trident stood out at Bonneville 2008 as the loveliest-looking creation, with performance to live up to its sleek, streamlined
Running in the 750MPS-PG class (750cc Modified Production pushrod, pump fuel [gas], partially streamlined — the front wheel must be visible for 180 degrees below the axle), Tom Mellor was clocked at 180.317mph over the flying mile on the Triumph, fitted with wind-cheating bodywork he’d created himself. The following day, having removed the main front fairing to qualify for the 750MP-PG class (750cc Modified Production pushrod, pump fuel, with no bodywork, but with the rear fairing left on since it counts as being the seat), Tom and his Triumph set two more two-way records of 159.905mph for the mile and 159.916mph for the kilo — proof positive of how effective that homemade streamlining had been. Not bad for a 40-year-old 750 streetbike Tom prepared himself with the help of two British-born mates — aka The Two Bobs — in the workshop attached to his Vancouver home. MC