Exhaust Notes

Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

www.SLTOA.org                                               July 2005

August Meeting, Tuesday August 16th, 2005, 7:00 PM, at Jack & Bonnie David’s

500 Marie Drive, St. Charles, MO 63301-0500, (636) 949-0825

Driving Directions:

Hwy 270 north to 370, west to Elm/New Town exit.  Left under hwy & stay on Elm to Marie Dr. – left go approximately 1 ½ blocks (street numbers make no sense).

Hwy 70 west to First Capitol, right to Kingshighway (past Lindenwood College) to Elm – several miles to Marie Dr – turn right.  (See previous.)

Page Extension west to St Charles/Hwy 94/First Capitol exit – stay on first capitol/94 till you cross over Hwy 70  (See previous.)

President’s Epistle, By Dave Massey

The dog days of summer have hit us pretty hard.  The 100 plus degree heat we had in late July sure made the concept of air conditioning an attractive concept.  Especially the long interstate run to VTR.  The good news is the AC finally works.  Three years and numerous trips to the AC shop and hundreds of dollars of parts, it finally works. The last fly in the ointment was the expansion valve.  Both old units I had were sticking closed.  So I was able to cross it (thanks to the kind gentleman at Knight Auto Air Conditioning on Manchester road east of Brentwood) and a new valve and yet another new filter/dryer was ordered last fall.  I installed same the other week (in the heat) and evacuated the systems and charged it up and it worked. 

I reserved judgment since I thought it was working last year but it misbehaved after only a couple of hours.  But this time it was different.  It worked consistently on the various driving around town and on the drive up to and back from VTR.  The nice thing about AC is I can run with the windows up.  Top down driving is great up to about 50 MPH.  Above that the wind noise and buffeting will wear on you over the many hours.  It was pleasant arriving refreshed and not in need of washing the road grit out of my hair.  Once there the top came down and stayed down for the duration (except at night). 

But as you all know the weather turned sharply cooler for VTR and we had a great time.  And I didn't need all the extra shirts I packed expecting at least one change each day.

This VTR was fun, just like the others, and it is always great to catch up with all the friends I have made over the years at the conventions.  It's like an annual reunion.  And seeing what they have done to their cars is a treat, too.

On the trip up Brian Borgstede took an early lead for the Hard Luck Trophy when one of his wheel covers came off.  While John Lamberg and Brian were searching the weeds for it a highway worker on the other side tossed another across the traffic lanes.  It wasn't his but it fit.  The errant wheel cover was found but was not usable so the new one was pressed into service.   But it came off, too, soon enough.

But not to be outdone, Mark Marshall's failure to retorque the head came back to haunt him as the coolant was finding its way into the combustion chambers.  Not to worry.  Scrounging a torque wrench from Brad Kahler from Arkansas we torqued it down in the parking lot.  Minor stuff at a VTR.  Ted Jankowski's left rear brake decided to hang up.  We failed to get the drum off since the retaining screw refused to budge and no one had an impact screwdriver at the show (everybody had one at home...) but the problem corrected itself so we crossed our fingers and went about our business enjoying ourselves.  Another TR6 lunched a fan which took out the radiator, a TR3 needed a caliper rebuild and another TR3 from Quebec lost a rear wheel bearing.  All these were fixed on the parking lot by the intrepid Triumph enthusiasts at the convention.

St. Louis was well represented at the awards banquet.  John Lamberg took a second place trophy for Autocross loosing out to Susan Kahler who drive his car and beat him but 4 seconds.  But she races SCCA a lot so experience helps.  Brian Borgstede got a Bronze certificate in Concours and Popular choice awards were presented to Craig Madsen, Paul Scheusler, Chris and Kathy Kressor and Dave and Linda Massey.

The VTR convention is a very intense Triumph experience.  Between the driving events (Autocross, TSD Rally, Fun Drive, Funkahna, Breakfast Run and Ice Cream Run), the technical sessions (which this year included radiators, lever shocks, fuel injection, restoration, photography, newsletter editing) the car show (both concours and popular choice) and the camaraderie of all the fellow Triumph enthusiasts, there is the constant coming and going of Triumphs of all colors and persuasions.  If you ever have an opportunity to go to one, by all means go!

Dave

SLTOA Meeting Notes July 19, 2005 By Kathy Kresser

Thanks to John Lamberg for hosting the July meeting.  Next meeting is Jack and Bonnie David’s in St. Charles, Missouri.

VTR is scheduled for July 26-30.  Dave Massey is leading a group of cars to Rockford, Illinois.

The MG Club has filed application with St. Louis County for use of the Park for the September Car Show as well as food service.  SLTOA will reimburse the MG Club for the food permit.

The MG Club is happy to place the Triumphs in the area near the concession stand the same as last year.  They have asked for pre-registration to assist in the planning of the space.  If we don’t pre-register, then the space could be rather tight with cars.  Please pre-register.  If you need a form, contact Chris Kresser chkresser@juno.com or the MG Club.

Chris and Kathy Kresser have resigned their position as event coordinators for SLTOA.

Dates For Your Calendar

Nothing new was added this month.  Please check the May issue for many events through the end of the year

Stories about those Triumph Cars By Kathy Kresser

I talk with members of various car clubs and find very interesting stories about the cars and their owners. John Lore, a member of the Healey club, shared with me his thoughts about cars. I hope you will enjoy reading his comments.  John told me his interest in British Cars dates back a few years. "When I was about 14 or 15, I used to ‘hang out‘ at various dealerships in the St. Louis area. I particularly enjoyed Ed Debrecht's dealership on Watson Road. The larger dealerships didn't want ‘kids‘ hanging around. I really enjoyed the big Healey's but my first real ride in a British car was in a TR3. At the time, I was working for a company that required me to be mobile. A friend of mine owned a black/black TR3 and we took it on one of our short trips out of town. What a great trip that was! I remember it was summer time and we drove to Mexico, Missouri one Sunday evening. I still recall being able to almost drag my knuckles on the ground, while traveling 60 mph!  Soon afterwards a 1959 or 1960 Bugeye became available for a mere $150.

Of course it was out-of-town. Some kid had owned it and was preparing it for racing when he lost interest. I remember buying that car -- I think around 1964. Drove it all the way from Mexico, Missouri to St. Louis with a stuck accelerator cable. I vividly remember coming into a gas station with the motor running at full throttle, filling her up and leaving too embarrassed to even look back at the laughing attendant. After I finally arrived home, the car ran for at least one hour after I turned off the key, just from the heat of the engine. I was sure I had ruined it. The next Saturday, I fixed the cable and guess what? The car started and ran just fine. I was impressed, kept that car for about three years and had great fun with it."

I asked John about other classic car he has owned, he responded, "One of my favorites was a '59 Corvette, loved the sound of the V8 gurgling."  The heart of my interest in John’s car was the restoration of his Healey. John gave this account: "I purchased my 1960 AH BN7 from ‘Pop‘ Wilson in 1991. “Pop” Wilson was an important player in the St. Louis British car market for many years. For those of us who have seen his collection of pristine low mileage British cars, you know what I mean. For example, ‘Pop‘ had a TR6 with only 15,000 miles on it, also where else can you see a Daimler SP250? His son, Dennis Wilson, is carrying on the family tradition with his own restoration shop located in Washington, Missouri. At the time I bought my Austin Healey Pop was 91 years old. Unfortunately Pop had sold his shop to a Triumph enthusiast who wasn’t concerned about the various rusting hulks of Austin Healey’s sitting around in the back of the shop. I still remember seeing shelf upon shelf of used Austin Healey parts just going to waste in the basement. In fact, one of the reasons I bought my Austin Healey was that supply of used parts. Little did I realize that none of those parts would be made available, in fact the whole lot had been sold soon after I bought my car.

I realized right from the beginning that I would have to do a complete ground-up restoration. There was just too much rust. Just about everything from the ground up to about 14 inches (so that’s what ‘ground up‘ means) was rusted. But I also realized that the car was intact and all the essential parts were still there, and the numbers matched. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the price was right. I was not new to British car restorations. I had just completed restoring a 1975 MGB and was ready for something more challenging, and rewarding. I had always wanted an Austin Healey so when I was told of this car I jumped on it. In retrospect, I would never attempt such a restoration again. I’ve learned the additional money spent on purchasing a fairly ‘rust free‘ car is money very well spent. I had decided from the beginning that I was not going to rush into restoring this car. It was to be a hobby project with skills learned along the way. In fact, I had decided to just keep the car until I retired, at which time I would have the time and resources to complete the project. There has never been such a satisfying and rewarding experience in my life as restoring this car. I have always treasured the moments I spent in the garage working on this car. Shortly after buying this car, I joined the Gateway Healey Association, which is the St. Louis chapter of the AHCA. I knew the value of someone ‘who has been there, and done that‘ would be important to me. I also knew that many incomplete restorations are due to lack of interest by the owners. Joining and staying active in a local club helps you to maintain your enthusiasm.

In 1996 Jan and I decided to move. Moving a house full of furniture and belongings is challenging enough, but moving a car up on a ‘rotisserie‘ with the engine and transmission and other heavy parts all laying around the garage floor with boxes and boxes of parts, is a real challenge. Plus, soon after moving I had an extension to the garage built. All of this contributed to taking so long to complete this car. In fact, it has been 12 years. But as I said before I have and still do treasure the moments I spend in the garage working on this car." It is clear to me, John loves driving and maintaining his Healey. Thank you, John, for sharing your story.

John and Jan Lore   1960 Austin Healey    BN7

Alternator Rebuilding, By Creig Houghtaling

A month or so ago some members were asking about alternator repair.  I mentioned the last place I had work done was for the alternator on Craig Ingraham's TR6.  I just happened to be driving by the shop today and I stopped in.  The fellow who did Craig's alternator greeted me and confirmed that he still works on them.  I suspect he may work on starters and generators too.  His name is Elliott.  His business name is Eljay Lawn Products.  He says he doesn't advertise his automotive work because his lawn products business keeps him well occupied.  But he still works automotive products for old customers and others that come in by word-of-mouth.  He is located at 7711 Page Ave., St. Louis, MO 63133, Phone (314) 727-1170, www.eljayproducts.com.

British Car - Grand Lake Tour - Just weeks away! By Robert Rushing

It's just four short weeks until this year's Grand Lake Tour Endurance Rally is set to take place on Thursday, August 18 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It's the kick-off event for the 2005 University Motors Summer Party where hundreds of MG's are expected to attend.

This is the second leg of the 2005 Triple Crown Endurance Rally Series.  Competition is very intense with the surprise placements of the Missouri Endurance Rally in March.  Rallymasters Rick Verhey and Rick Ingram of Two Rick Racing (a Division of Team Fokowie) have promised another incredible rally!

What's an endurance rally?  Imagine the TV show "The Amazing Race" combined with a non-speed-centered "Cannonball Run" combined with the great old European Rallies of yore and you have one of the best times you can imagine in a British car.  The event is open to all pre-1981 British made vehicles that are road worthy, have a working odometer, and are properly licensed & insured.  No special modifications are needed.  A bone stock Morris Minor 1000 will have the same chance to win as a Jaguar D-Type.

For more information, contact Rick Ingram at mowog1@aol.com.

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.

v                 FOR SALE: Spitfire parts - Downdraft WEBER carb & intake manifold,

Factory steel hard top, needs headliner & TLC, 4-13X5" factory steel wheels-.5" wider than most- allows 1/2" wider 175/70-13 tire.  No reasonable offer refused.

Craig Madsen 636-240-1407 (H)  314-309-0752 (cell) - OK anytime

v     I just wanted to let St. Louis area Triumph folks know that Sue & I are putting our TR3A up for sale.

It would be my pleasure to see it go to someone in the St. Louis area so that the new owner could join SLTOA (if not already a member) and we would be able to see the little guy at SLTOA events. So, step one is this message to you all.

Just contact me at KDahman01@earthlink.net if you have an interest in buying the car, and I will send details. Thanks, Ken Dahman

v     Service manuals for sale.  TR250 supplements, MGTC, MGA, Jaguar etc.  Call David Norton (636) 332-3900 Lake St. Louis.

v                 Selling Triumph TR7’s; one 76 TR7, 4 speed, blue 44,000 original mile car 90’s restoration  paint and interior vary clean, new radiator and updated electronic ignition. One 78 TR7 , 5 speed, metallic green with California Moonroof , header new tires. Parts car 79 TR7 with engine and 5 speed. The 76 and 78 cars have no rust. Need to sell all together. $6000 obo or trade for boat or Pontiacs. Cars are in Wichita, Kansas. Have more pics. Contact Steve at samaddy1@aol.com. or call 316-393-5352

v     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.  Was asking $6,750. Recently replaced the clutch and the brakes and need to sell it.  Asking $5900 now. Valerie Rovira v1014@sbcglobal.net 314-878-8230

 

St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

Creig Houghtaling, Editor

36 Copper Mountain Court

Fenton, MO 63026

www.sltoa.org