In 1966, history was made when the Gyronaut X-1, a streamliner powered by two 650 cc Triumph TR6 Trophy motorcycle engines, broke the land-speed record for motorcycles at 245.667 miles per hour. Mechanic Jim Brufoldt worked with Triumph dealer Bob Leppan, who later drove the Gyronaut for its record-setting run, to create this speed demon.
The body was designed by Alex Tremulis, who was Chief Stylist for the Tucker automobiles and designed the Ford Gyron, a space age concept car. The Gyronaut also featured innovative safety equipment for the time. Despite this, the streamliner crashed in 1970 at over 270 miles per hour in an attempt to take back its title of “World’s Fastest Motorcycle.” Driver Bob Leppan was seriously injured in the accident at Bonneville Salt Flats.
A complete restoration many years after its 1970 crash was completed in 2014. IDA Automotive completed the body restoration. Rob Ida, of IDA Automotive, made a presentation at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles on Thursday, March 28 on both the history of this vehicle and its restoration.
The Gyronaut X-1 is on loan to the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles courtesy of Steve Tremulis until mid-April. Also currently on display is an exhibit curated by the Reading Fairgrounds Racing Historical Society, which is here until June 11, 2019.
The Museum, located at 85 South Walnut Street in Boyertown, PA preserves the transportation history of Pennsylvania and displays over eighty locally manufactured cars, trucks, carriages, motorcycles, sleighs, and other types of vehicles.