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Sat May 5, 2018, 09:49 PM

I dropped by the Triumph shop yesterday (British Sports Cars)

Last edited Sun May 6, 2018, 12:30 AM - Edit history (1)

You might say "they don't make Triumphs anymore", and you'd be right. They stopped building them around '85 with the TR8, but there's a recycling warehouse near me where I get vintage parts for my own TR6 and for DUer Samplegirl's outstanding '64 TR4 (ask her about it if you have time). I try to stay in all their good graces.

The shop is like a reverse assembly line where scrap cars enter the far door and proceed forward until the car is in the racks that line the path.

New this year is a second shop race car, a 1963 Spitfire pushed into a corner.

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Spot the Triumph parts back by the old race car.

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This Spitfire will be racing this summer at the vintage sports car races on Put-In-Bay Island at Lake Erie.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2018, 10:13 PM

1. I believe a circa '63 Spitfire was my stepdad's ride when he met my mom when I was 2

And she was divorced from my dad. This was 1968. He apparently reluctantly relinquished it at the time due to impracticality as a 'family car'. I seen the pics, it was convertible, and green. And he said it was crazy fast V8 ... That's what I recall ...

Not too much later (circa 1972) he convinced her that a Morgan 4/4 (right-side steering, I might add) was suitable ... and they still have that one, totally cherry ... along with another much newer 4/4 they keep in storage in the UK for touring on their very frequent visits there ... as well as '92 +8, and a (I think 2012) Aero 8, all of which but the British-based 4/4 they keep here in the States. I've driven all but the one kept in the UK.

Guess what I'm trying to say is ... Triumph, Morgan, MG ... British Roadsters, FTW!!!

This is the DU member formerly known as mr_lebowski.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2018, 11:05 PM

2. Hell, I clicked thinking it was going to be about Triumph motorcycles,

I cut my teeth on British bikes in the late 60's owning several Triumphs, Nortons, and even a non-Indian Royal Enfield. An MG and an almost new 1969 Austin America were my only Brit cars. Racing the bikes, hanging out with the SCCA types or the occasional autocross seemed to come with the territory as well.

Just like the cars, there is a certain schmockiness or cobbiness to British bikes. And of course, one thing car and bike owners can share is attention to maintenance and what happens when you don't. Famous/infamous names like Lucas, Smiths, Girling and Castrol are the parts you would be hunting down on the weekends, before or after cleaning up the leaking oil on the garage floor. Oddball wrench (spanner, ha ha) and thread sizes like Whitworth and British Standard were part of the fun too.

Thanks for the post, JR. It brings back a lot of memories. Here's a link to a source for a "Lucas wiring harness replacement smoke kit". I'll bet you didn't know you need one of these. It's pretty funny with lots of British car lingo. I still don't know what a Nuffield paradox is.

http://www3.telus.net/bc_triumph_registry/smoke.htm

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Response to yonder (Reply #2)

Sun May 6, 2018, 12:57 AM

5. That's pretty funny. I never heard anyone make fun of Lucas before

Gotcha!

I learned to ride myself on a borrowed BSA Thunderbolt back in those days. I had to buy the guy new levers, but I eventually caught on. Of course the shop has seen it's share of Brit bikes over the years too, but he doesn't stock parts. Scott needed some quick cash last summer and sold the shop '69 Bonneville. He bought it new and it sat near the front counter for the last 15 years. Some Aussies flew up, crated it and took it away. I can't find the pix of it, but it was all original, not restored.

Here's a recent vagabond that found a new home;

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As for Lucas, I found that most problems aren't usually the wiring, but the bane of British cars of that era- rust. When the body inevitably rots at a hidden ground wire things stop working. So it's not entirely Lucas' fault. Having said that, my TR has no rust, but I've been trying to get my courtesy lamp to light for 10 years. The horn just quit too.

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Response to yonder (Reply #2)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:44 AM

8. "A gentleman does not motor about after dark". Joseph Lucas The Prince of Darkness 1842-1903 n/t

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2018, 11:31 PM

3. I had a Healy 3000 back in the day but always loved the doors on TR3s.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 12:13 AM

4. I bought a MGB in the late 70s. Can you think of anything more impractical in the Northeast?

 

Do you know of the blizzard of 78? I do.

I only had the car for a short time, but it was like belonging to a secret club where other English convertibles would wave as we passed. And the king of the hill was the Triumph.

That was the car we most admired and I could not afford it.

It was all about the turns for me back then and less about the muscle. I preferred Monty Python humor too.

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Response to rusty quoin (Reply #4)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:06 AM

6. I remember the British cars waving to each other.

With British Leyland sending 80% of their cars here in the '60s they were indeed a brotherhood. The bikers these days have stolen that tradition, but the MG & Triumph guys pioneered the wave. It felt great until you passed a Jaguar and got snubbed.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:45 AM

7. I had a '72 TR6

I sold it at a time when I really needed the money. It was a sweet ride and a chick magnet. Owned it for three years and only put money in the brakes, although the redline Michellins were due for a change. I sold it back in '92 and always tell my wife I'm just "between" TR6s.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:58 AM

9. Had a bright red Sunbeam Alpine Roadster and a Blue MG-B.

Loved the Alpine roadster, fun car to drive and had many a pleasant drive in it. The MG I always had to park facing downhill because it would never start easily. Also had a red 55 Jaguar roadster that had the most beautiful exhaust notes and loved it dearly but it just cost too much to maintain so I had to get rid of it. That would be my favorite. I went to an SCCA race recently and there was a Sunbeam in the pits set up for racing and I was surprised at how small it seemed compared to most of today's sports cars, maybe about the size of a Miata.

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