Sixties City Index Page
Sixties City Transport Timeline
Sixties City Transport Timeline

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Sixties City Transport Events

The timeline below extends outside of the decade in order to provide you with a little background to, and progression of, transport and vehicle events during the Sixties, particularly the Motorcycle Industry
Also see  Naval History   War History Online    General Sixties Events  and individual subject pages for more specific history information.               Transport Videos and Links


First Ducati produced in Italy
Moto GP won by Umberto Masetti (Italy) Gilera
Triumph Thunderbird in production
Vincent drops its HRD initials
Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club is formed in California
Sidecar maker Watsonian produces a short-lived 996cc

BSA buys Triumph Motorcycles for £2.5 million
Triumph offers four models, all 500cc and up (compared to 19 from BSA)
Ossa (Spain) builds its first motorcycles
KTM (Austria) makes its first motorcycles
A Piaggio-built Vespa scooter first appeared on the Douglas Stand at the
motorcycle Show at Earls Court in 1949 but British production did not start
until April 1951
Moto GP won by Geoff Duke (UK) Norton

First Suzuki engines produced in Japan
Designers start putting Triumph engines into Norton frames, creating 'Tritons'
32 British motorcycle manufacturers exhibit at Earl's Court show
Norton puts a parallel twin into a Featherbed frame to produce the Dominator 88
Vespa scooter launched, made under licence by Douglas
British scooter Swallow Gadabout ceases production
Moto GP won by Umberto Masetti (Italy) Gilera


Associated Motorcycles Corporation (AMC) buys Norton
(They were also to absorb AJS, Matchless, James and
Francis-Barnett but collapsed in 1966).
Triumph Terrier 150cc four-speed single is introduced
American manufacturer, Indian, stops making its own
motorcycles and imports Royal Enfield and other British
The Vespa 125 is introduced
Royal Enfield makes the 692cc Meteor
J. Casal (Portugal) forms Metalugica Casal
MZ (Motorradwerk Zschopau) founded in Germany
Mandatory crash helmets introduced in Britain
Moto GP won by Geoff Duke (UK) Gilera

The Triumph Tiger 110 (T110) and Tiger Cub 200cc (T20) are announced
First Kawasaki engines produced in Japan
Suzuki makes its first commercial motorcycle, the 90cc four-stroke Colleda
Vincent Series D is released
Moto GP won by Geoff Duke (UK) Gilera (below)

Sixties City Transport Events

Amal Monobloc carburettors are introduced
The Triumph Trophy TR6 650cc is introduced
Douglas introduces its last model, the 350cc Dragonfly
Nippon Gakki founds Yamaha division specifically to make motorcycles
(the first bike is a 125cc two-stroke single called the YA-1 or Red Dragonfly)
Vincent closes in December
The Vespa 150 GS is introduced
Horex (Germany) introduces its first motorcycle, the Imperator 400cc twin
Suzuki starts production of its first proper bike, a 125cc two-stroke
Norton ceases production of its side-valve models
First NSU produced in Germany
Moto GP won by Geoff Duke (UK) Gilera


The Triumph Terrier is dropped
The Tiger Cub gets offroad, competition and sports models.
A racing model, the Triumph Thunderbird TR5/R is introduced
BSA forms an Automotive Division (comprising BSA, Ariel, Triumph,
Daimler Co. and Carbodies - makers of London taxicabs)
Harley Davidson introduces its Sportster model
Sunbeam ceases production
Motosacoche (Switzerland) ceases production
Moto GP won by John Surtees (UK) MV Agusta

The unit construction Triumph 350cc 'Twenty One' 3TA (designed by Turner/Wickes)
is introduced
Triumph celebrates its 21st birthday
TWN Motorcycles is bought by Grundig and closed
First World Championship motocross race is held
Rene Gillet (France) closes
Leopoldo Tartarini starts Italjet (Italy), making children's motorcycles
Moto GP won by Libero Liberati (Italy) Gilera

The Triumph Tigress scooter is unveiled in 175cc two-stroke (Bantam engine) and 250cc OHV four-stroke twin models (also marketed as the BSA Sunbeam)
The first parking meters in the UK are put up in Grosvenor Square, London
The Ariel Leader 250cc two-stroke designed by Val Page is introduced
The Ariel Square Four ('Squariel') ends production
Royal Enfield introduces the Crusader Air Flow 250cc with a full fibreglass fairing
Horex (Germany)closes
The first Soviet motorcycles show in the west at the World Fair in Brussels
Victoria, Express and DKW (Germany) merge to form Zweirad Union AG
Peugot (France) ends larger motorcycle production, concentrating on mopeds
Moto GP won by John Surtees MV Agusta


The Triumph Bonneville 650cc twin is launched. A special twin-carb
Triumph Trophy TR7A is also released
The Triumph T100 is discontinued in June
Honda enters the IoM TT race, the first Japanese manufacturer to do so
Honda enters US market and also sells the 250cc Dream in
Holland and the UK
Dave Degens forms Dresda Autos to manufacture and market 'Tritons'
More than 250,000 scooters are registered in the UK
Nimbus (Denmark) closes
Friedl Munch founds Munch Motorcycles in Germany
Lambretta introduce the TV series 2 and Li series 2 scooter models
Moto GP won by John Surtees (UK) MV Agusta

Honda Isle of Man TT 1959 Honda 1959 TT
1960             Aviation          Rail Transport

The Harley-Davidson 'Topper' motor scooter is introduced and is the only
scooter platform H-D ever produced
The Triumph Trophy TR6SC is introduced
The T100A, sports version of 5TA, replaces the Tiger 100
The Trophy is discontinued in September, but is replaced in February 1961
as the TR6B Trophy-Bird Scrambler (or TR6S/S)
Triumph display a Speed Twin with an electric starter at Earl's Court
Indian firm splits and sells Matchless motorcycles until it ceases trading
Kawasaki builds its first complete bike, a 125cc two-stroke
Kawasaki buy Japan's oldest motorcycle manufacturer, Meguro (founded 1924)
A Suzuki team enters the IoM TT race
Harley-Davidson and Italian firm Aermacchi form a new company to make and
sell the Italian company's smaller scramblers and street machines
Learner riders restricted to motorcycles under 250cc and must display L-plates
Raleigh introduce the RM 2C moped, the 78cc Roma scooter (made under
licence from Bianchi of Italy) and announce a new range of Motobécane mopeds
Moto GP won by John Surtees (UK) MV Agusta
The 'over the shoulder' car seat belt is invented by P.O.Wemen and marketed
by Britax
Direct fuel injection is perfected

13th April Stirling Moss is banned for 1 year for dangerous driving
9th June Armstrong-Siddeley cars announce that they are to cease production
19th June Jaguar cars merge with Daimler
12th September The M.O.T. test is introduced for vehicles over 10 years old covering brakes, lights and steering
19th September The first traffic wardens issue the first parking tickets in Westminster
25th October The Severn Railway Bridge at Sharpness is destroyed.
Two spans drop onto two tanker barges which are swept into it whilst bound for Sharpness in thick fog
28th October The M62, Britains first urban motorway opens in Manchester
30th November Production of the American De Soto automobile brand ceases
5th December Leyland Motors announces its planned takeover of Standard-Triumph International

1961             Aviation          Rail Transport

The T110 is discontinued, being replaced by the single carb TR6 Trophy
MOT tests are introduced for motorcycles older than 10 years

Honda introduce the Z100 'monkey bike'
BSA celebrates its centenary
BSA acquires Churchill Machine Tool Co. making it the largest machine tool operation in the UK
Norman sells its motorcycle business to the Raleigh Brothers
Yamaha and Suzuki introduce motorcycle models to Europe
Terrot (France) closes
The first Russian-made motorcycles go on sale in the UK
Kawasaki launches a full range of bikes from 50cc to 500cc
Lambretta introduce the Li Series 3 scooter range
Raleigh introduce the NM 1 Norman Nippy Mark 5 (RM 4), NM 2 Lido Mark 3 (RM 5), the PM 1 Panda Mark 3 (RM 4) and the PM 2 Gadabout Mark 4 (RM 5)
Moto GP won by Gary Hocking (Rhodesia) MV Agusta
A revised edition of the Highway Code is published
The Tufty Club is formed (Children's road safety scheme)
Automated multi-story car parks open in London
The E Type Jaguar is launched
There are 10 million vehicles on British roads and 350,000 road casualties

3rd January The one millionth Morris Minor is produced (below)
5th February Automatic level crossing half barriers are introduced
September: The new Renault 4 is the first 'hatchback' car

One millionth Morris Minor 1961

1962             Aviation          Rail Transport

All Triumph 650 twins after October are produced as unit-construction
The Triumph Tina scooter with automatic transmission is announced
Royal Enfield upgrades its twin cylinder to the Interceptor 736cc
The Vespa 160 GS is introduced
Excelsior cease production
Honda sells more bikes in the USA than all other makes combined
Lambretta introduce the TV/GT range
AMC close the Norton works in Birmingham in July
Norton merges with Matchless and all subsequent Nortons are built in the Matchless plant in London
Belgian company FN (founded 1899) closes its doors
Bridgestone (Japan) start making two-stroke 90cc and 175cc motorcycles
The last BSA Gold Star is made
Moto GP won by Mike Hailwood (UK) MV Agusta
The 1000 space Hyde Park underground car park is opened
Ford opens its £50million plant at Halewood, Merseyside
Voluntary Register of ADI's passed by Parliament
A valid MOT certificate is now needed in order to obtain a road tax disc
The Ford Cortina is launched
The commercial vehicle test is inaugurated
The first self-service petrol station is opened on London's Southwark Bridge

2nd April Push-button 'Panda' pedestrian crossings are introduced
2nd May The government warns that it will fine pedestrians who do not use
the new 'Panda' crossings
8th May
The last trolleybuses run in London
10th July The first motorway in Ireland is opened
17th October The Hyde Park underpass opens in London causing huge jams
5th November The government halves purchase tax on cars to boost the economy

1963             Aviation          Rail Transport

The Tiger 90 high performance 350 3TA is introduced
All Triumph 650s are built with a new unit construction engine/gear box
The Vespa 150 GL is introduced
The Triumph Tina 100cc scooter with automatic transmission is introduced
Lambretta introduce the Li Special model
BSA closes the Ariel factory at Selly Oak
The last Ariels in production, the Leader and Arrow, are manufactured at BSA's factory in
Small Heath until 1965
The Norton Atlas is released
AMC acquires James
Norman ceases production.
The British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) is formed
Raleigh introduce the RM 6 moped
Moto GP won by Mike Hailwood (UK) MV Agusta

Automatic disqualification now mandatory for anyone with three driving licence endorsements
in a 3-year period
Clayton Jacobson designs the first jet-ski
Three streets in London are pedestrianised on an experimental basis
Rover unveils the sharp-nosed, radically designed P6
JCB launches its legendary 3C backhoe digger

The last tram runs in Glasgow (the last in Edinburgh was in 1956)

1st January The new 'A' suffix is used on registration plates in some counties
8th March The first Ford Anglia rolls off the new production line at Halewood
3rd July The government Warboys Report proposes plans for the introduction of
continental-style road signs
26th July A UK national speed limit of 50 m.p.h. is introduced but ignored by most drivers
18th November The Dartford Tunnel opens at a cost of £13 million
1964             Aviation          Rail Transport

The Tiger 90 and 100 lose their 'skirts'
Triumph sells 6,300 bikes in the USA
Triumph drop the larger scooters and 250cc twin engines in October
The TRW is dropped
Bonnevilles get 12 volt electrics
The Sports Cub T20/S/H and Mountain Cub T20M are introduced
The first Vespa 50cc machine is introduced
Sprite (UK) start making 246cc scramblers in Birmingham
Casal (Portugal) makes its first motorcycle
German racer Helmut Fath founds the URS company
Raleigh introduce the RM 8 Automatic Mark 2 moped
Moto GP won by Mike Hailwood (UK) MV Agusta

Honda diversifies into car production
Box junctions marked with yellow cross-hatchings are introduced in London
Vauxhall produces the Viva at its Ellesmere Port factory
The first electronic ticket barriers and unmanned trains are seen on the London Underground

The new Prestwick Airport building is opened

7th January Leyland Motor Corpn. announces the sale of 450 buses to the Cuban government, challenging the United States blockade of Cuba
6th February Britain and France agree to build a Channel tunnel
9th March The first Ford Mustang rolls off the assembly line at the
Ford Motor Company
19th April The Ford Mustang is officially unveiled to the American public
July: 275 BEA flights are cancelled at Heathrow due to strike action
4th September The Queen opens The Forth Road Bridge over the Firth of Forth in Scotland

1965             Aviation          Rail Transport

A prototype triple engine is tested in a Bonneville chassis
The Triumph Tina undergoes modifications and is renamed the T10
The Bonneville Speedmaster T120R and Highway Trophy TR6SR are
introduced for the US market
The BSA Group gets a controlling interest in JoMo, consolidating it with
TriCor, their American import and distribution companies
Triumph is making 600 to 800 bikes a week, 80% of them bound for the USA
The Vespa 180 SS is introduced
Honda introduces the 450cc CB450 (Black Hawk) with electric start / oil light
Velocette introduce the 500cc Thruxton, their last machine
Kawasaki is the first Japanese company to open a US office
609,000 motorcycles and scooters are imported into the USA: 33,406 from
the UK, 465,000 from Japan
Vespa production by Douglas ceases
Harley-Davidson becomes a public company
Raleigh announce the RM 12 Super 50 sports moped and introduce the
RM 6 Super de Luxe, replacing the RM 6 de Luxe after only five months
Moto GP won by Mike Hailwood (UK) MV Agusta
Police panda cars are introduced
Injuries due to road accidents reach 398,000
Rover merges with Avus
Brake stop lights are made compulsory in the UK
50 mph speed limits are introduced on certain rural trunk roads
BMC merges with the Pressed Steel Company

February: The one millionth Mini is produced
18th June The government announces plans to introduce a legal blood
alcohol limit for drivers
16th July The Mont Blanc Tunnel is opened between Italy and France
1st September All new cars must have flashing turn indicators
29th September Aston-Martin launches its first 4-seater, the DB6
24th November An experimental speed limit of 70m.p.h. is introduced on motorways

1966            Aviation          Rail Transport 

Triumph drop the Twenty-One 3TA and Speed Twin 5TA models
Lambretta introduce the SX range (Special X)
Tiger Cub manufacture is taken over by BSA due to falling sales of the Bantam
Bob Dylan crashes his 500cc Triumph, suffering several broken neck vertebrae
The 'new' Vespa 125 and Super Sprint 90 are introduced
Associated Motorcycles (AMC) collapses, but is restructured when Manganese Bronze Holdings takes it over.
Francis-Barnett and James cease production completely with AJS and Matchless soon following
The Norton range has all single cylinder models dropped
Panther motorcycles closes
German firm Zweirad Union (Victoria, Express and DKW) merge with
Fichel and Sachs (who also own Hercules Werke)
Suzuki introduces the Super Six, a six-speed, two-stroke twin
The 500cc Tiger 100 Daytona (T100T) is introduced
Raleigh introduce the RM 11 Super Tourist and RM 9 Ultramatic Plus One
Moto GP won by Giacomo Agostini (Italy) MV Agusta

Jensen launch the FF and the Interceptor
Peugeot merges with Renault
The 'Give Way To The Right' rule is introduced for roundabouts
The Rootes group is taken over by American giant, Chrysler
The DKW automobile goes out of production
Some US cars are fitted with 8-track stereo cartridge tape players

29th January The Road Safety Act is passed
4th May Fiat sign a contract with the Soviet government to build a car factory
in the Soviet Union
19th May The Tay road bridge is opened
11th July BMC and Jaguar announce a merger to form British Motor Holdings
8th September The Severn Road Bridge is opened to replace the ferry crossing
14th October The city of Montreal inaugurates its metro system
9th November Rootes introduce the Hillman Hunter
12th December Leyland announce that they are buying Rover Cars for £25million

1967             Aviation          Rail Transport

Prototype Triumph Tridents and BSA Rockets are tested in California
Triumph releases the T100R Daytona Super Sports and the T120/R road model
The UK speed limit is increased to 70 mph
Breathalyser tests are introduced in the UK
Honda withdraws from GP racing
Ariel ceases production
Matchless ceases production
Royal Enfield starts selling off machines and stock
Moto Parilla (Italy) ceases motorcycle production
Bianchi (Italy) ceases motorcycle production
Production of the Triumph 'Cub' series finishes
Raleigh introduce the RM 7 Wisp moped
Norton motorcycles introduce a Norton with a rubber-mounted engine in a duplex frame
Norton-Villiers take over Royal Enfield motorcycles
Moto GP won by Giacomo Agostini (Italy) MV Agusta
The number plate suffix change moves to August of each year
The Ministry of Transport issues "Road Safety - A Fresh Approach" - a paper proposing a wide range of measures to reduce road accident casualties

The annual MOT test is made compulsory for all vehicles over three years old instead of ten

March: Star grading for petrol is introduced
6th March UK police begin using helicopters on a trial basis
1st April Seat belts are compulsory in new cars registered after 1st April
3rd September In Sweden, traffic switches to driving on the right
8th October The first statutory breathalyser tests are carried out as drink-drive laws come into force with a limit of 80mg alcohol in 100ml blood
9th October Rootes finally announce the all new version of the Sunbeam Rapier

1968             Aviation          Rail Transport

BSA announce a three-cylinder 750cc Trident T150 (nicknamed 'Tiger 100-and-a-half').
The Trident/BSA Rocket-3 is the first co-operative venture between BSA and Triumph since their 1951 amalgamation
The Triumph TR25W Trophy is introduced
BSA launch the four-speed Bantam
The Norton Fastback 750cc twin is launched
Royal Enfield closes
Lambretta introduces the Lui/Vega/Cometa scooter
Honda introduces its four-cylinder CB750
Fantic (Italy) sets up a production factory
Bridgestone ceases bike production after its last model, the 90cc Sports
The Vespa 125 Primavera and 180 Rally are introduced
First Aprilia is produced in Italy
Moto GP won by Giacomo Agostini (Italy) MV Agusta

A revised and enlarged edition of the Highway Code is published
New tyre tread regulations require 1mm of tread across three-quarters
of a tyre's width
Tyre checks are added to MOT tests for cars over 10 years old

17th January The British Leyland Motor Corporation is formed from
Leyland and BMH
1st August The first Mountbatten class SRN4 hover ferry, Princess Margaret, is used by Seaspeed on the Channel crossing
8th September First part of the Victoria underground line opens between Walthamstow and Highbury
26th September Jaguar unveil their XJ-6 saloon
1969             Aviation          Rail Transport

Honda sells over 30,000 CB750s in the US alone, with total sales of 1 million
Kawasaki releases its 500cc H1 triple
Yamaha pulls out of racing leaving Kawasaki as the only Japanese manufacturer still involved
Suzuki start developing their two-stroke GT750
32,721 British motorcycles are imported into USA, mostly Triumphs
Lambretta introduces the GP/DL scooter range
Harley-Davidson / Aermacchi bought by American Machine & Foundry group
NSU (Germany) are taken over by Audi and motorcycle production ceases
BMW (Germany) release a line of new, modern motorcycle designs
Simplex (Holland) is taken over by Gazelle and closed
Moto GP won by Giacomo Agostini (Italy) MV Agusta
Raleigh moped production officially ceased in September for all models except the basic RM 6

The SAAB 99 motor car is launched
A separate driving licence group is established for vehicles with automatic transmission
Pelican Crossings are introduced
There are now 15 million vehicles on British roads

The Kingston Bridge, carrying the M8 motorway over the River Clyde, is opened

April 7th Rolls Royce recalls at least 5,000 cars for defect checks
1970 Onwards

The Vespa 50 Elestart, a scooter with an electric starter, was introduced
British Leyland announced that the Morris Minor, its longest running model which had been in production since 1948, would be discontinued in 1971
Chrysler UK launched its new Hillman Avenger
The Government made a £20 million loan available to help save the financially troubled car and aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls Royce
British Leyland launches its luxury Range Rover
Thames sailing barge Cambria, the last vessel trading under sail alone in British waters, loaded her last freight, at Tilbury
The last narrowboats to carry long-distance freight commercially on the canals of the United Kingdom arrived with their last load, coal from Atherstone for a west London jam factory
The Mark III Ford Cortina went on sale
British Leyland announce an improved Austin Maxi
A Boeing 747 landed at Heathrow Airport, the first jumbo jet to land in Britain

In April 1971, Italian production of GP/DL Lambrettas ceased and the Indian Government purchased much of the tooling, continuing production of GP/DL clone scooters as Scooters India Ltd (SIL). Innocenti / Lambretta was eventually sold to BLMC but, with long industrial strikes ensuing and scooter sales declining sharply, both Innocenti and Lambretta finally ceased business in 1972

In 1973, Arab oil producers imposed an oil embargo. The price of petrol rocketed, making all transport more expensive. There was even talk in Britain of rationing using coupons left over from the second world war.


Come to London! (1966 video)

Early 60's British road safety film

UK Cars 1950s and 1960s

Look at Life - High, Wide and Faster 1963

Look At Life - Transport City of the Air 1964

Post Office Telephones Vehicles

Bedford Lorry and Van History

VESPA from 1946 through 1975

How Cars Work

London's Railways in the 1960s

Look at Life - What Price Safety? 1965

Top Gear 'The 60's Car Of The Decade' - The Mini (1988)

Look At Life - Behind The Ton Up Boys 1964

Rootes-Chrysler History

Military Vehicles 1960 - 1969

Look at Life - New roads for old 1959

British Transport Films
Building the M1 1965

Pathe E-Type Jaguar 1961

Look at Life - Scooter Commuter 1962

Concept Cars from The Sixties

1960-1969 Ford Trucks

New Style Raleigh Mopeds And Scooters 1960

London Transport - 1960s

Look At Life - New Roads for Old 1959
57 years Policing the UK Motorways (.pdf)

Brixton Street Scene - 1960s

This is Triumph

Look at Life Military Flight Deck 1960

Railway Owned Road Vehicles

Commer/Dodge Spacevan

Heinkel / Trojan Club - Scooters

Stuarts Buses - Huge Photo Collection


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