Events: Interview

Prince William

Custom tank painter’s pride at royal honour

Prince William unveils customised Union Flag commemorative tank

The man responsible for leading the creation of a hand-painted bespoke Triumph fuel tank has spoken of his pride at being asked to deliver the unique ‘red, white and blue’ union flag work of art.

Taking 20-hours to make, with matching custom badges, the tank was produced by Triumph’s expert in-house paint team to commemorate the official opening of the Factory Visitor Experience at Triumph’s Hinckley HQ by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Tony, Paint Shop Team Leader, spoke with the Duke of Cambridge during his tour of the site, which included a preview of the new £6-million paint shop facility due to open in spring.

“It was such a massive privilege for me personally, and for the whole team, to be asked to design and create this tank for Prince William. That kind of thing doesn’t happen every working day. I haven’t stopped smiling yet,” Tony says.

After jumping on a new Tiger 1200, one of Triumph’s newest and most exciting adventure motorcycles, the Prince stopped for a chat with some of the team.

“He was really interested in the production process and the new paint shop, and when he heard we’d created a tank for him he was really looking forward to seeing it,” says Tony.

Tony was chosen to lead the job because of previous work he’d done on a tank bearing the British flag, as well as his passion for experimenting with paint and getting the curves and colours exactly right.

“It’s a skilled job because you’re trying to get straight lines on a curving surface without making them look disproportionate. That’s tough enough, but when you have the added pressure of doing it for the second in line to the throne, that’s daunting,” he adds.

The Prince, known to be a keen rider and who has owned two Triumphs, also attached a Triumph’s signature black badge to the engine block of a part-built Triumph Tiger 1200 on the assembly line, before trying one for size. He donned one of Triumph’s new Adventure Jackets for a quick spin before declaring “very nice, but not long enough”.

Tony says: “The tank will now be mounted on a plinth in a glass box in the Factory Visitor Experience. It will always be a thing of immense pride to me, the team, and I’m sure, the whole company too.”

Find out more about the Triumph Tiger 1200 or explore the rest of the Triumph range.