Exhaust Notes

Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

www.SLTOA.org                                               April 2003

April Meeting, The Crossings, Tuesday April 15th, 2003, 7:00 PM

The Crossings is located in Webster Groves at 35 North Gore

President's Corner, By Richard Etz

Greetings!

I have been informed that the club president and other officers serve two-year terms.  This is probably legit, though it could be a ruse to avoid a new president hunt!  I do realize that all sorts of clubs have trouble finding officers.  As a result, I remain your president.  I must say that being president has generally been a pleasant experience, given the excellent support the membership has supplied.  Like most of you, I have many "irons in the fire" and really count on our members. 

As of this writing, the weather has really made a turn for the worse.  Don't be discouraged; it will soon be hellishly hot!  Bring suggestions for our summer meeting venue: It's almost time for us to meet outside.  Lots of events are coming up for late April and for May.  Make plans for the Horseless Carriage Club Show on April 20 in Forest Park.  If you don't participate, come anyway.  It is a great show, weather permitting, and it is free to those who come to see the cars. Next, remember the May 16 "Spring Thing" sponsored by Bluegrass Healey in Powersville, Kentucky.  Some members always attend the Champaign, Illinois, British car meet.  This year it will be held on May 23.  It appears that the North American Spitfire Squadron will have a "Spit-Together" in Champaign at the same time.  John Strowbridge is working on a May relaxation run.  Thank goodness the tentative April 6 date didn't work out.  The "Show Me Believers" car show originally sparked interest, then later inspired no interest.  It has been rescheduled to June 28, so we have another shot at participation.

In other news, The February/March issue of "Triumph World" reports that Triumph color chips may now be viewed at www.autocolorlibrary.com (see p. 14).  Also in the literature, "Thoroughbred and Classic Cars" has a Spitfire Buying Guide (April, 2003).  It also appears that Rimmer Brothers, in conjunction with "Classic" magazine is documenting a full restoration of a later model Spitfire.  As I learn more, I'll let you know.

I look forward to seeing you members at our next meeting on April 15 at "The Crossings".  Good luck with those taxes!

Richard

Feb 2003 Minutes, By Creig Houghtaling

Everyone enjoyed the fellowship of the meeting at The Crossings.


 


Dues are Due for 2003

It is that time of year again.  If you would like to remain a member of St. Louis Triumph Owners Association, please mail your 2003 dues of $20 to Treasurer, Bonnie David, at 500 Marie Dr., St. Charles, MO 63301-0500.  Make your check out to St. Louis Triumph Owners Association or SLTOA.  Bonnie’s number is (636) 949-0825 if you need to ask her anything.

A couple of months ago, everyone received the current SLTOA roster.  Please check to make sure all your information is current and correct.  If there are any corrections to be made, please let Bonnie know when you send your dues.

As of printing time for this newsletter, Bonnie had no record of payment from: B. Berger, J. Berger, K. Bester, J. Bovier, J. Buchek, J. Bush, R. Chambers, P. Dean, G. Fuqua, J. Hall, B. Henkel, P Hughes, C. Ingraham, T. Jones, J. Kelly, A. King, F. Lenkman, A. Magnani, J. Mann, M. Mason, R. Matteson, G. Mazzaola, S. Muentnich, D. Mundschenk, J. Orr, B. Reck, P. Schuessler, K. Schumacher, B. Spiegelman, A. Stark, T. Stark, K Storms, M. Trebacz, D. Trigg If you are on this list by mistake, make sure you let Bonnie know.  Anyone who Bonnie does not hear from or receive dues from this month will be off the SLTOA roster and will not receive next month’s newsletter.  Send in your renewal today!

Digital Bits, By Gary Allgood

Web Site:

As mentioned in the last meeting, our events page is only as correct as the information we receive. If you see an event that is incorrect, send me an e-mail with the corrections.

Mailing List:

The SLTOA Mailing List can be joined by sending an e-mail in the following format.

Send an e-mail to:

These directions have been omitted for the web version of the newsletter.  Contact Gary Allgood or Creig Houghtaling for directions

Web site of the month: The Bond Equipe http://web.ukonline.co.uk/nick.wotherspoon/site/index.htm

Missouri Endurance Rally – March 22 & 23, By Creig Houghtaling

Robert Rushing has a full report on the rally that I have reproduced below.  But I wanted to add my own two cents worth here.  I would like to say that had the best representation this year of any at the rally due to the great show by Jack David and his co driver Jeffrey David.  After 168 miles of driving, their odometer quit.  But they completed the rally anyway.  This shows the spirit and fun of the drive.  Winning a trophy is really very trivial compared to the fun of the drive.

This year, Craig Ingraham and I were going to drive his TR6, but he got caught up in his work that weekend and couldn’t get away.  So he very generously offered to let me find another driver to go with me in his car.  Now, that’s what I call a generous offer!  Craig’s car drives like a TR6 is supposed to drive.  It runs like a thoroughbred when turned loose on a Missouri back road.  Thanks Craig from me and my co-driver Tom Jones!

Jack David & Jeffrey David, prior to beginning the rally

 
Missouri Endurance Rally – March 22 & 23, By Bonnie David


Jack and Jeffrey had a great time, even though they had a slight mechanical problem.  About 1/3 of the way into the rally their speedometer cable quit so they really had the shortest distance traveled but no one would believe them.  After getting the car home and back in the garage to rest, they realized the fuel pump was leaking so they could have had major problems along the way but thankfully did not.  No towing for them.  They would recommend the mini endurance for anyone.

Robert Rushing has a full report on the rally that is reproduced below. 

Missouri Endurance Rally – March 22 & 23, By Robert Rushing

We had another record-breaking year this year!  28 teams competed – 19 in the full Missouri Endurance Rally and 9 in the new Missouri Mini-Endurance Trial.  The weather was perfect as the teams took off after a 34.3-mile odometer check run.  The stops for the full rally included: Daniel Boone's Gravesite, Graham Cave State Park, Bentley's Restaurant in Osage Beach, the town of Success, the town of Rover, the Pioneer Museum in Ellsinore, Onadoga Cave State Park, the Route 66 Cafe in Cuba, Mastodon State Historic Site, and the now infamous Loggers Lake Recreational Area. The Mini-Endurance Trial took in five of those stops - Ellsinore, Cuba, Onadoga, Mastodon, and Boone's Grave.

Unfortunately, the day started off on two bad notes.  The first was that Kim Tonry and Bill Hendrick from Chicago had to drop out due to a broken odometer.  This was their second year in a row that they drove all the way down only to be denied a start.   The second was our first ever car-on-car accident, which occurred during the check run when one of the cars accidentally ran into the back of another.  Luckily, it was only cosmetic damage and no one was hurt.   A real plus was that the team didn't let this kill their spirit and they went on to complete the rally.  After those two incidents, the only other problem was our first car that had to be towed in which was also our first Jaguar to compete, a 1953 XK120. Other than that, all went pretty much smoothly and the only complaint was that the sadistic rally master sent them to the hell on earth that is Loggers Lake where they were forced to forge a lot of streams and wonder around on very poorly marked roads in almost total darkness.

The winner of this year's rally was the team that has dominated the rally for 5 times out of the 8 we’ve held.  Rick Ingram and Rick Verhey of Team Fowkowie (a division of 2-Rick Racing) took first place with 657 miles.  In second place was "The Chairmen's Special". St Louis MG Club chairman Dennis Scanlan along with the Kansas City MG club's chairman Rob Camblin as his navigator in Dennis's MGA Coupe.  They came in with just 4 miles more at 661.  Third place went to Mid-Missouri British Club members Nate Ruyan and Casey Yanker with 666 miles in their TR6.  The winner this year of the prestigious award  (not!) of Most Miles went to Chad Stretz and Tony Zager of the Mid-Missouri club.  They put a hole in their TR6's radiator and managed to limp to a Wal-Mart where they were able to make repairs using JB Weld.  Instead of letting that stop them, they continued on, only making it back 10 minutes before the deadline was up.  Due to their trip to make repairs, they ended with the highest mileage at 743 miles.  However, their dedication and perseverance truly reflects the spirit of the endurance rally series!

This year was the first year for the mini-endurance trial that is being offered to try to give those who have wanted to try out a full rally a chance to see what it is like and also to allow those who don't think they would enjoy the full rally an opportunity to participate.  The winner of the 1st Mini-MO was the St. Louis Triumph club's Creig Houghtaling and Tom Jones with 380 miles in a TR6.   Second place went to the St Louis MG club's Bob Bentzinger and Walt Murphy with 387.9 in Bob's MGB-GT and in third place was also their fellow club member Bruce Hamper with his daughter Laura only just a half mile behind at 388.4 miles in their B!  To make it even more of a close race, 4th place was taken by Bill Hoss in his MGA at 388.5!!!   Talk about winning by a nose!  Coming in less than 3 miles from Bill at 391 was Bob Ash and Bill Myer in another MGB.  Then in 6th place was our first all female team.  From Kansas City we had Diane Cotton and Tommie Camblin.  They had 392 miles, just 1 more than Bob and Bill while driving Diane's MGB.  The competition was truly stiff for this first year of the Mini-Endurance Trials.

I'd like to give special thanks to my volunteers whom without; this event could not have taken place.  Mike Fishman & Cookie, Rich Berger (sorry again Rich!), Mike & Stef Barnes, Ken Biermann, and especially Gary DiProspere who volunteered early and were a huge help on getting the cars off.

If you missed this one, don’t worry.  We have another one (although on a smaller scale) at the convention this summer.  Also, as part of the Tri-Rally Championship we have the other two legs with the Lap of the Lake Rally in August and the Abingdon Trials Endurance Rally in October. However, you can mark your calendars now and start getting your car ready because the 9th Annual Missouri Endurance Rally and 2nd Annual Mini-Missouri Endurance Trial will be coming your way again in March 2004!

Two Dog Racing Report from Memphis, March 15 & 16 2003, By Andy Stark

The 2003 race season for Two Dog Racing is under way. With great anticipation Frank, Jack, Steve, (Jack's son) and I went down to Memphis Motor Speedway March 8th and 9th to kick off the season. The track in Memphis is very technical. It is almost an Autocross track on back end. Then it mixes in a 3/4-mile front straight. The track is a blast! The Gt-6 was hitting in excess of a 130mph 2/3 of the way down the straight. Then I just held it at redline until the end.

Frank and I were both entered in the regional race on Saturday. A long winter working on the cars was about to payoff. Warm up produced mixed feelings about both cars. The Spitfire was a little loose entering turns and was not feeling as powerful as it should. Frank was having a tough time getting comfortable with the track. There’s nothing like lack of seat time to dull the driving skills.

I was also having some problems during warm up. I had installed new axles over the winter and then had the car completely realigned. The car felt completely different from the last time I drove it. This was a good thing but I did not get a chance to benefit from it in practice. My brakes felt soft and were getting grabby as I continued practice. After about ten laps I felt like the walls had magnets in them temping my car to bounce off of them. I called it quits.

In the pits we actually did not have much to do preparing for the afternoon race. Frank installed new tires and I bled my brakes. Frank adjusted a few things under the hood and I watched the in-car video trying to figure out the proper line of the track. For the most part it was pretty relaxing. Jack and Steve poured over our cars like they were candy. They both love to work on our racers. Jack has been a very valuable asset to Two Dog Racing. The addition of Steve promises to be great in the future. Jack and Steve give Frank and I more time to concentrate on driving and learning the tracks.

What is amazing and fun about trying to race 32 and a 39-year-old cars is the amount of attention these ratty old beasts get. Pretty much the whole day there was a constant stream of racers and spectators checking out our cars. The fascination with British cars is a far from dead in this country. It is also great fun to hear the stories from seasoned racers about how they used to drive a Triumph. I don't know the percentage, but a lot of racers started in a Triumph. They all have very fond memories that they are willing to share. I am thinking about setting up a camera and start interviewing people. I think we could get some great insight from the past.

When race-time came I had talked to enough racers, and watched the warm-up video enough to feel somewhat confident about driving the Gt-6 harder than I had in the past. Luck would have it that I actually qualified ahead of a really nice Prather prepared MGB. This car was over four seconds faster than me at Gateway last fall. I was more intent on staying ahead of him than I was trying to pass that Pinto last Oct. At the start the Gt-6 used its valued advantage of horsepower to fend of the MG's advances down the straight. Turn One was a wild experience. We were three cars wide! I used horsepower to make sure I was ahead of the MG at turns 2, 3 and 4. From there on it was battle of traffic. I had settled in behind an Rx-7 and a very fast FP-Midget. The Rx-7 was doing pretty well but was leaking gas every time he turned right. This made things a little dicey from my point of view. After four laps the Rx-7 was bumped out of its line and I was able to pass him and get out of the rain of gas he was spewing out. I was still hot on the tail of the Midget while the MGB was pressuring me from behind. We had a good battle going for seven or eight laps until a Bugeye Sprite hit the wall and caused a caution. Several times I had all four wheels of the Gt-6 off the ground in turns 3 and 4 attempting to pass the Midget. The Bugeye crash caused the race to go under full course yellow for four laps. During this time my engine started to heat up a little. The temps were in the green, but I had a problem I would not recognize until we were back under green.

At the green flag, we once again had a wild start. Heading into turn one it was a battle of who had the most nerve. Due to late breaking I did. I kind of slid all the way around turn One and came out the other side well ahead of the MGB and nearly collided with the Midget. Lucky for me the Midget took the inside line for his exit of the turn. Entering turns two and three the Midget got tangled up with another car and they hit. The both spun off the track and opened a gap that I needed to get through.

Once free of traffic, I was able to stretch the legs of the Gt-6 in the backfield of the track. Like I said before the backfield was like an autocross track. I felt completely at home. The Gt-6 was sticking like glue and I could use the horsepower to muscle around the tight turns. I was opening the gap on the MGB and improving my times. Unfortunately however, with less than five laps to go my water temperature gauge hit the WAY TOO HOT MARK!!!

I had to shut it down and pull off the track. I was bummed! I was in third place, and the 2nd place car was not that far off. I doubt I could have passed him but at least I would have been able to get close. My problem turned out to be simple breakage on my car. I did not clamp the overflow tube properly on my radiator. I pumped all my overflow water out during the caution laps. When we went green again, the Gt-6 cooled off and sucked air back into the cooling system and then over heated the engine. I was lucky. I tore the engine down the next week and no damage was done. :o)

I did not see Frank at all during the race. From what I gathered from him after the race, he felt the car was really doing well. He was able to win 2nd place, so it must have been running pretty well. The big disappointment was Sunday. Frank ran the national race with some serious competition from Florida and the Mid South region club. Frank had fought his way up into 2nd place behind Chris Alba (one of the fastest guys in the country). Unfortunately the Clutch in Frank’s car had other ideas. It exploded after five laps. Frank was bummed. He was really flying, everything was working then boom!

So the weekend ended with some mixed feelings. For the most part it was positive. We won one trophy, and both cars and drivers performed better than they ever had. Unfortunately mechanical gremlins robbed us of two more trophies and caused some further unexpected expense early in the year.

As I write this I have the Gt-6's engine back in the car from investigation type rebuild and it is ready to race this coming weekend March 30th. Frank is waiting on a new flywheel because the clutch destroyed it as well when it blew. Frank will be racing next in early May at Gateway. If I don't break I will be there also. The May event will be the first official STLOA event at the track so be prepared to have spring pit party early May with Two Dog Racing.

Keep the shiny side up!

Andy

Two Dog Racing Report from Gateway International, March 30, 2003, By Andy Stark

Hi all,

Second race of the year and first race at Gateway has come and gone. Two Dog Racing was represented by just one car this last weekend. Frank's Spitfire was still waiting on a flywheel and he was teaching the school. We decided not to press to hard getting his car done. Frank's big race in St. Louis will be May 3rd and 4th.

The weather was typically crappy for early spring in St. Louis. When we showed up to register on Sat. it was raining, snowing and sleeting all at once. One minute it was cold and sunny, the next it was snowing or icing. Jack and I set the car up and ran for the hills.

Sunday morning was clear but very cold. I arrived at the track at 6:30 AM to scrape the ice off the car. It was around 28°F. I was hoping the engine fluid was not frozen enough to pop a freeze plug. They do not let us use antifreeze in the SCCA. We have to run straight water or an alcohol mix. Jack, Steve, and Frank arrived around 7:00 AM to help get the car started and ready for warm up. The Gt-6 was very hard to start. I had to hook jumper cables up from my truck, just to make sure we did not run the battery down to far starting the engine. I run a total loss electrical system, meaning there is no alternator to recharge the battery while driving. This system saves horsepower but requires us to charge the battery from an external charger between races.

At 8:00 AM my race group started our qualifier. It was cold and the track was slick. There were several wet/ice spots on the track. The engine was having a hard time warming up. I don't think the temperature gauge ever reached 160°F. We had covered a large portion of the radiator with cardboard, but it did not help much.

After eight laps I pulled the car in for a quick check by Jack and crew then headed back out. I ran one more lap and decided to call it quits for warm up. The engine was not pulling as hard as it should and I was smelling oil. I did not want to take any chances on breaking something I could not fix in time for the race later in the day. It turned out I had not sealed the valve cover gasket properly when I put the engine back together. I had tried using cut off fuel line under the nuts and washers that hold down the cover. This stopped the leaking at the attachment holes but created too much mechanical force on the valve cover itself. The pressure from the rubber caused the old gasket to crush and leak. Jack replaced the gasket and all was good.

The engine power issue was from the carbs. I had a problem getting the accelerator pumps working properly. I had uped the timing and run the idle jets full rich to compensate. I am going to order new parts for carbs #2 and #3. They are over 15 years old and quite worn. The #1 carb is brand new and is obviously out working the other two.

At race time the day had warmed up to a brisk 37°F. It was still quite cold. At least the sun was out and it made for a brilliant looking day. I had qualified second in my class and in the top third of the race group. I realized I could not catch the number one car but would have a good race with the number three car in my class. As Frank put it I was racing the guy behind me on the grid. If I let him by on the start I was in trouble. The number three car was a Datsun 240Z. We all know they have lots of horsepower. Lucky for me the starter held the group until we were half way down the Straight before waving the green flag. It was such slow start; I had the Gt-6 in second gear. The Gt-6 loves second and third gear! All my power is there. I was able to out drag the 240 and pass a couple of cars before turn one. It was pretty exciting. We were three wide going into turn two and again the horsepower of the Gt-6 proved to be a great help getting around people early in the race. I think I put three cars between the 240 and me the first lap. The rest of the race I only saw him occasionally in the rear view mirror. I was actually kind of bummed he was not closer. It would have made a great race.

I spent most of the race battling it out with a Spec Racer Ford and an A-Sedan Camaro. We had lot of fun changing positions throughout the race. In the end I had to let the Camaro go because my throttle was sticking open (damn Carbs!!) and we were starting to lap the field. I did not feel comfortable racing him in traffic because he had pretty wild line around the track and my engine idle speed was around four grand at this point. When the engine does not slow down it hinders braking a great deal. We had very few laps left and I did not want to hit anybody. I did come close to hitting the Spec racer on the last lap. He pushed to the outside in turn six, and I went under him to get a better line on turn seven. He started to spin and we nearly made contact. It was close enough we could have shook hands!!

In the end I was able to finish second place in my class and move up two positions overall from were I started. I am pretty happy with the car and the race. I was also lucky there were few Mazdas at the race. I would not have had as good of luck with them there. I have a long way to go before I can run with them.

The carbs need to be fixed before the next race. I also need to find out what is up with the accelerator cable. It was fine when I got back to the pits, but it caused the car to idle at 4 grand during the race. This will take some testing and tuning.

I also have to get more aggressive on certain parts of the track. I know the car could be at least four second faster a lap once I learn more about how to drive it. The Gt-6 is a bit of a strange beast in high-speed turns. I will master it, but it is going to take a lot more seat time.

Next event is May 3rd and 4th. Frank, Jack, Steve, and I are inviting all of you in the Triumph club, MG club, and Healey club to come join us for a spring party at the track. Lets make it a potluck like we had at the Oct. race. Hopefully we’ll have better weather.

Keep the Shiny side up   Andy

Editor’s note:  Andy talks about the turns at Gateway.  Go to: http://www.gatewayraceway.com/ for a map of the track.

European Car Show, June 8th  -  Note from Brad Bloomquist to Dave Massey

Hi Dave,

This is Brad Bloomquist from the Jaguar Club. We haven't spoken in a while; I hope all is well in Triumphland!

I wanted to drop you a line to let you know that June 8 is the 16th Annual European Auto Show at Plaza Frontenac. The proceeds benefit the St. Louis Shriner Hospital for Children so it's a great cause. We would love to have you and your fellow "Brits" at the event this year. We expect to have as many as 150 cars in attendance. We have over 30 signed up already and it's only been warm for a few hours!

I have attached a flyer/sign up form but would love to mail you additional copies or come to a club gathering to hand out copies if you would like me to.

I hope to see you there. Contact me if I can be of assistance. 314-290-2630

Happy motoring.  Brad

See the flyer at:  http://www.sltoa.org/events/2003/06/europeanshow.htm

 

Classified Ads:  Contact Creig Houghtaling at the address listed below, or oldtoys@brick.net or 636-305-1143 to place a free ad in this newsletter.

79 TR7 conv, auto, needs work, $500. Call (636) 940-0091 for more details

67 - 69 Spitfire MKII parts and parts car for sale.  Call Brian at (314) 494-6176.

1973 TR6
Well maintained. Ready for the road! Good paint and body, rebuilt engine, new top, tires, gas tank, red with tan seats and top.  Asking $6,750. Call 314-878-8230 or e-mail to V1014@msn.com


Triumph Spitfire Factory Hardtop, good condition, yellow paint.  -  Joe Odgers 314-821-4121 joe@jfodgers.com  http://jfodgers.com

SLTOA Shirts, $25, Call Bonnie David for delivery to out next meeting.  (636) 949-0825

Triumph Waterpumps Our company specializes in restoring / rebuilding automotive waterpumps. If you would like to keep your TR-2-3-4 all original, or can't afford to pay an arm & leg for a new TR-7 waterpump, we can help. Our Triumph waterpump prices vary, most models completely rebuilt with gasket range from $69 to $89.  San Diego Waterpumps. 619-449-0633 www.sandiegowaterpumps.com

 

 

St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

Creig Houghtaling

36 Copper Mountain Court

Fenton, MO 63026-5682

 

 

 

 

Dues are due for 2003  See page 2 for details