>You only have to go to Wicky to find out it was common knowledge that the triples wernt selling in the US
If you were into triples and their history, it was well-known when the US DoD was denying anything like DARPA (the forerunner of the www) even existed, never mind Wikipedia ... Subsequently, Don Brown, who was in charge of BSA in the US at the time, said they sold less than 2000 R3's in the US in 1969 ... at a time when Honda couldn't get CB750's on and off boats fast enough ...
>the BSA importer
I.e. Don Brown.
>asked if anything could be done Vetter took on the job
The way both Craig and Don told the story is Don knew of Craig, Don paid for a ticket for Craig to come from Illinois to New Jersey and, when Craig agreed to take on the job, gave him a Mk.1 R3 to ride back to Illinois.
>but by that time BSA were no more
IIrc, some months after Craig had finished the job and returned the prototype, chasing payment for his work, the separate US BSA and Triumph importers had been merged, Don wasn't in charge any longer and when the new MD (Felix Kalinsky?) found out about Don's project, it was, "You're fired!" "Too late, I already resigned." Nevertheless, Craig was paid and his prototype was shipped to GB.
Particularly R3 sales in the US declined rapidly from 1969 - BSA built only 240 R3 engines in 1970, the US importer didn't order any, BSA built them to order, a total of 147 ... and many of those either went to execs. like Doug Hele or were given away to celebrities, e.g. Mike Hailwood. The last '70 R3 was built in November 1970, when BSA had been building '71 R3 engines for two months ...
The Hurricane went on the back burner while BSA and Triumph tried to drum up sales racing triples in '70 and '71, but R3 sales continued to decline. BSA/Triumph withdrew from factory-backed racing at the end of '71, the last R3's were built in April 1972. At some stage, someone realised that the Hurricane would require substantial redesign to meet lower noise limits, indicators, blah coming in the 1973 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, those applying to any vehicle built after 1st January 1973. So they started building 1200 Hurricanes from September 1972 but badged "Triumph" as, by then, the BSA marque was being given a quiet funeral.
A little wrinkle from this is early engines (and therefore frames) were stamped "V75V" - Small Heath referred to the Hurricane as the "Vetter Rocket 3"; only later Hurricanes are stamped "TRX75".
In the end, only 1150-odd were finished, the last in mid-January 1973 but still stamped with an XH date code so the US importer could say they'd been built in December 1972 ...
>the prototype had BSA but was Triumph
Nope, the prototype's a '69 BSA Mk.1 R3, it's in (iirc) the AMA museum, although Craig has brought it to GB on at least one occasion. The production Hurricanes stayed pretty faithful to Craig's prototype but are based on the Mk.2 R3.
>even now you can buy the Fiberglass conversions
Uh-uh, you can buy fibreglass lookalikes that fit OIF, they won't fit a R3, not even close. Proper Hurricane bodies have an unique steel inner tank. Some of the OIF bodies had a steel inner tank, that held a whole gallon ... Proper Hurricane tanks hold nearly three gallons (still piss-useless on a triple).
>everyone did it at some time
Converted OIF maybe, converted Mk.2 R3's I doubt (you can't even convert a Mk.1 R3 without a lot of work to a Hurricane body).
>there are more Hurricane than were ever produced.
Again, I doubt. Some Hurricanes are known to have been scrapped (before their value went stratospheric), the 'easiest' route is convert a Mk.2 R3 but a) they aren't common so cost a lot; b) it costs another lot to buy all the Hurricane-only bits and make all the alterations to the frame. Given restored Mk.2 R3's go for more than the guy's selling his Hurricane replica, as I posted earlier, to paraphrase "no pain, no gain", conversion is more financial pain for more financial pain when you sell ... Unlike replicating many other icons, you become a millionaire replicating Hurricanes by starting out a billionaire.