Inspiration: Lifestyle

Saving a ’57 Tiger Cub heirloom

My quest to hear the siren's chant once more

Dear For The Ride,

When I was a kid, my father spent a lot of time in our garage, taking care of the old bikes he collected, saving them from the wrong hands. They were his pretty ladies and his precious jewels.Michele1

His favourite was a masterpiece and an icon for my generation: a 1957 Triumph Tiger Cub 200, one of the few imported in Italy

He restored it piece by piece, in a time when, if you were looking for a missing original detail, you couldn’t find it on the internet, you had to search the connoisseurs’ secret markets with a lot of patience and even more love

My dream was to own the Tiger myself one day.

When my father died back in 2001, I discovered that the Tiger was missing from the collection.

Collectors often make exchanges, swaps, trades and she was gone. Sold many years before, I couldn’t find the new owner.

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Three years ago one of my patients (and a good friend) told me that he saw my bike (she’s always been mine), among some other interesting vintage bikes in a collector’s shed. He gave me his number, and I called him, telling him he had something that belonged to me.

He refused to sell it, saying she was born on his birthday on 27 May, 1957. Me and my girlfriend, Marta, went to see the Tiger, tried to set a price, haggled with the owner for months.

And then we made it. My old bike was back, in all her beauty. And now I can listen to her engine, sweet and rough as a siren’s chant, and clean the oil stains from her carter with care (because every original Triumph has to lose some oil, you know…).

And I can imagine my dad smiling with me.

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Michele Manacorda, Oral Surgeon and Triumph Rider since 1980, with his partner Marta Citacov, winners of the best-dressed couple at Milan’s DGR.