Like many of the Coventry makes, Triumph hadtheir roots in the bicycle industry, beginning motorcycle production in 1902. In 1908, they won the single-cylinder class in the TT races, the machine being powered by a 500cc engine designed by one of the German founders of the firm, Maurice Schulte. After the First World War, Triumph were also involved with car production, but once this interest was relinquished when separate companies were established in 1936 the marque became truly succesful. This was due to the first of the famous Speed Twins, launched in 1937 with a vertical ohv engine. This was the ancestor of many great machines produced after the Second World War, notably the Thunderbirds and Bonnevilles.