Dick & Jane’s TR


See Mark.

See Mark riding in the cab of a AAA wrecker.

See Mark mulling over the situation at the monthly Boeing Sports Car Club autocross, where the TR8 died before the first run, apparently due to an inoperative electric fuel pump.

See Mark hope the fix is fairly easy.

See Mark contemplate dumping the Triumph for something more reliable…like a Fiat.

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About four months ago, while junior was out for a post-sunset patrol in the TR8, the alternator packed it in when one of the leads on the back of the device separated.  I immediately ordered a replacement from Victoria British over in Kansas…and today, after much flailing around, purchase of replacement bolts/lock washers/washers/nuts and requisite confusion, we finally got the replacement in.

Yes, all fluids were carefully checked prior to the post-surgery fire-up although we were concerned the battery (which has a kill switch) was flat.  Nope, the car started right up, roared mightily (ah, what a sound…left-side exhaust leak nothwithstanding)…and then burbled, missed and died. Aw jeez, now what….

Sooo, chief mechanic Creig H started at the fuel pump back aft and carefully checked connectivity forward, through the inertial switch on the left side of the firewall (thanks to Dave M for his phone consultation concerning the location of the switch).  Pulled stuff here, cleaned components there, checked all the electrics..and it started again.  With the second start, I got the car out for a quick lap around the neighborhood.  It ran flawlessly and it would appear I will now be able to drive my TR in this next Saturday’s SLTOA event down to Washington.

My thanks to Creig, Dave and my stepson Christian for their assistance with this effort.  As per usual when dealing with LBCs, it was most definitely a learning experience.

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Ah, but so far, all I’ve seen on the road Brit-wise is this really nice Land Rover, on US 301 SB near Crofton, MD. Am heading out for Chesapeake Beach in a few minutes and tomorrow – weather permitting – I’ll be over on the Delmarva Peninsula. The search continues…

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On the Road Again


Business trip, back to greater DC-Baltimore and the search for LBCs continue. No surprise, this area is thick with Brit and other special interest car clubs; the leads in the Triumph category remain Triumphs Around the Chesapeake and Capital Triumph Register, both great groups.

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Polar Bear!


As the saying goes, third time lucky…after two delays due to bad weather and worse road conditions, we finally got the annual Polar Bear Run out of the way on Sunday the 24th. Good thing we didn’t have to postpone another week; as I write this (Sunday 03 March), more snow’s coming down and the roads are treacherous (BIG pileup on I-255 down by Jefferson Barracks, plus similar at several other locations).

Anyway, the participants enjoyed a clear if quite chilly day, about 17 cars total including Triumphs, MGs, a single BMW and a brace of Miatas/MX-5s (glad to have ’em!). The route was clear and by all accounts, the participants had a fine time (said one MX-5 owner: “Thanks for setting this up!”) and among the pack, only one breakdown.

Next up? In and around other activities, I’m going to propose a run north along the Mississippi for 4 May.  There’s a group up in Elsberry that holds a big car show every year; a few years back, while the Triumph faithful were on an “Italian Tune-up” drive courtesy of current president Andy, we stumbled across the show.  Assuming I can convince the rest of the club to make this drive, we should have a good time parading a line of Brit cars through the proceedings.  In the meantime, keep an eye on the SLTOA web page at www.sltoa.org for info on other events, including a Jaguar excursion scheduled for 16 March.

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For Want of a Bolt…


Yes, the HSD is still in the garage.   However, what with the incredible increase in the temperature (compared to the past two weekends) and the sunny skies, one of my sons and I spent the better part of the afternoon finishing up the new alternator…and then ran into a work stoppage.   The bolt we had for fastening the adjusting arm didn’t fit.   Checked the shop manual, made three trips to Ace, still don’t have the right size and the sun’s gone down.

Soooo, we’ll have to see if I can get the alternator properly installed and the car running again next Saturday, in advance of SLTOA’s annual Polar Bear Run.   And yes, I’m monitoring the weather…right now it looks pretty iffy, but hopefully we can pull it off.

More to follow…

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Snow Day


No, the HSD did NOT come out of the garage today…11 inches of snow at our palatial Ballwin estate, good day to stay inside and watch the mighty Chiefs play the Colts.

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More Great Weather, But…


Temps in the high 50s-low 60s on Saturday and Sunday, plenty of sunshine on Saturday (things did a bit cloudly later on Sunday), yet another mid-winter opportunity to get the LBC out, right?  Well, not so fast…

Seems the alternator in the HSD gave up the ghost about a week ago.  The replacement arrived from Victoria British on Thursday and Friday night my son and I pulled the old alternator…and immediately ran into ye proverbial brick wall: try as we might, we couldn’t loosen the nut holding the pulley and alternator fan.  Went to a local auto parts store yesterday, managed to get the nut loosened, now all we have to do is install the pulley and fan, the mounting brackets and put it back in.

Ah, but with everything else that occurred over the weekend or needed our attention, that installation will have to wait until next weekend.  Sigh…

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Shoot Yes Redux!


Absolutely, with clear skies and a temperature around 55 (in mid-December, mind you…you gotta love the Midwest), I got the HSD out for an extended drive today.  Stumbled across this immaculate, original owner (!) 1974 VW Super Beetle at the Phillips 66 at Clayton and MO 141. Nice car…

BTW, other vehicles noted during my drive included a screaming red Lotus Exige, a 68-73 or thereabouts black Corvette convertible with huge belt-driven blower towering over the hood (I’m surprised the owner can see around that contraption), a 67 Mustang notchback and two Porsche Boxsters…with their tops up.   The owners have been permanently added to the Lame List…

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The Automobile As Art IX


Nissan 370Z, seen earlier today on Watson Rd in Crestwood.  Not sure what to make of the paint scheme, but the car’s probably freaky fast…

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