The Ace Café and Triumph Motorcycles have more in common than their British locales. Both had been brought to virtual extinction and have come roaring back to life – each in its own vibrant new way, but always staying true to their respective roots.
The original Ace Cafe was built in 1938 on the then-new North Circular Road and soon became a favorite of motorcyclists and other travelers. A gas and service station was soon added, which only enhanced its attraction for motorists.
The original building was all but demolished in an air raid during World War II, but the Ace was rebuilt by 1949. Motorcycle traffic at the Ace continued to expand through the fifties and sixties, and the Ace became the home of the “ton-up boys.”
It also spawned “record racing,” where the object was to drop a coin into the jukebox, fire up your bike, race to a given point and return before your song was over. Music, motorcycles and good times became the Ace Café’s stock in trade—but sadly the original Ace Café’s run came to an end in 1969 amid changing economic times.
Then, in September 2001, with the drive and imagination of Mark and Linda Wilsmore, the Ace Café London re-opened on the original site and the business has been booming and growing (with six other Ace Café locations around the world) ever since.
Triumph has an even longer history going back to 1901, building to become one of the most storied names in the motorcycle industry—and one of the most frequently seen rides at the Ace through the years. But Triumph foundered in the late seventies and by 1983, production at the Meriden plant had ceased.
But, as with the Ace, someone with drive and imagination stepped up. Construction magnate, John Bloor acquired the rights to all Triumph branded intellectual property and assets. By 1988, his construction company had completed an all-new manufacturing facility on a ten acre site in Hinckley. In 1990, the first of the new generation of Triumphs appeared at the Milan and Cologne motor shows. The new age of Triumph had begun, and it seems to have not missed a step since.
Now the two historic names whose histories and re-emergence are so synchronous are offered together in a new collection of riding and knock-around apparel that includes men’s and women’s leather riding jackets, a fleece hoodie zip-through and distinctive tee-shirts with Ace Café branding that celebrates the 2015 Ace Café Limited Edition Triumph Thruxton 900.