Friday, 10 July 2009

Spanner time!

Been working on both the GT6 and the 2.5. GT6 to get ready for next weekends CT Autosolo and the saloon for last weekends CT National Day at Beaulieu.

I replaced the TCAs for the saloon, of course this was not easy as both the bushed joint was rusted solid on both arms and the drag strut to TCA joints were both rusted up. As speed was of the essence I bought re-con'd arms from James Paddock and bought a pair of secondhand drag struts from Canleys. This meant that I went up to Dave's to pick them up as well as the new longer CV driveshafts for the GT6. As I got there late in the afternoon we decided that a pint would be in order, so I popped down to The Manor in Fillongley with Dave and Joe Welling. Talking with them both, it looks like Canleys are about to enter another period of exciting new products for both small chassis'd, TR and big Saloon Triumph cars. I cannot divulge too much, but one or two saloon boys will be spending some money with Dave in September!

Anyrate back to the saloon, Saturday was spent sorting the front suspension out, I took the front subframe off the car and cleaned that up, re-fitted the frame, fitted the new TCAs and drag struts and then fitted the hubs etc. Followed by a good wash of the car it was soon time to get inside as darkness had descended! I enjoyed the day apart from the humidity. Only pig job being the fitting of the ARB links, these being the ball joint type as sold by Paddocks, I ended up having to drop the arb to get the link into place. Must say I did not find much difference with this better locating system, maybe its time to think about a different mounting and link them directly to the TCA. The car does roll, however I am loathe to fit a bigger diameter arb as I do not want any more understeer.

The next jobs to do to the car before the impending September CT 10CR are to get some localised welding to the sills of the car done to enable a MOT ticket to be obtained and change some UJs. Also of course I must change the cylinder head for the 2.5s unit I have.

Pic. showing the ARB link. I wonder how long it will last?

On the Sunday it was the CT National at Beaulieu in the New Forest. After talking to Doug Foreman during the week before the National, I offered to go and get the big fella from Ringmer, picking him up at 08.00. After an eventful drive we arrived at the National in a mega rainstorm making my fear of every CT National as a wet disaster seeming very probable. Anyrate it did not rain again, in fact many of us left the establishment looking a bit pink, especially Pete Fern and Alex Chandler, must be their ginger colouring? Besides is a pic of Mark Bland's fantastic 2000mk1, great the way mk1s are becoming so appreciated-Triumph's best?
It was great to see many old friends at the National. Good to see Doug and Mary Crutchfield in their glorious TR2, which got voted 'Car of the Day' following the submission of voting slips by nearly all present. Must say I was disapointed not to receive one vote for the 2.5, come on, open your peelers and see the quality of this car! Doug and Mary's TR2 won this award back in 2005, what is great about this car is that it is used, in fact I spent some time with them on the first 10CR in 2003. Last time I saw them was at last years Classic Le Mans, they were in Doug's gorgeous Morgan V8, they are always very welcoming and always good fun, some of Doug's observations are priceless and boy oh boy can he build a car!!
Also heartwarming was the reaction that Doug Foreman received from many who have not seen him since his M25 incident in March. The obvious fondness and greetings that he received from so many CT friends at the National emphasise the fact that he is a a popular sod! Doug's a strong old bugger, his injuries would have put paid to many a person, to see him walking around and obviously enjoying himself was terrific!
I always enjoy the CT National, it is not as big a day as the TR Reg or TSSC events, but it def. has a certain laid back charm, where the vibe seems to be have a chat, a cuppa and chill out talking about one's old car-seems ok to me! Club Triumph, the Club that likes to chat-dammed right!
On the way to Beaulieu we had passed a massive queue of cars on the A27/M27 attempting to get into the Goodwood Festival of Speed, as we seemed to have a ready made audience on the other side of the road I enjoyed giving the 2.5 some revs and letting the exhaust do the talking-fun if very childish!
I got in for about 19.00hrs after dropping Doug back at home, pleased in the fact that my work on the 2.5 had been successful and the car was definitely better than when I brought her back from Scotland following the LCC in June.

Above are the Vitesse of Nick Jones and 2000 of Chris Allen, both cars completed the last RBRR in October of 2008. I really like Chris' 2000, he uses it alot and the car has more or less converted Chris from being a Herald man to a big saloon man! As for Nick's Vitesse, I doubt if there is a more advanced Vitesse in the UK, the car features a Toyota gearbox, megajolt ignition and Nick's scratchbuilt single throttle body fuel injection. A superb car that will be going to Europe for the September 10CR. Also lurking in the background is Alex Chandler's 2000 mk1, a car that is coming on leaps and bounds, keep going Alex!

The snap below shows Carl Shakespeare's superb Dolly Sprint, this car also completed the last RBRR and is another example of a well executed rebuild where the owner is not scared to get out and use the car. I must get Carl to take me out for a spin in her sometime.

Right time to discuss the GT6, as mentioned previously the car did not get to Brands Hatch for the MGoT track evening as one of the driveshafts popped out. Well I stripped the rear suspension down on Thursday evening and have now got both suspension units ready to put back into the car after fitting longer shafts to the CV pots. Getting the old shafts out of the inboard pots was a bas*ard, ending up have to use some angle iron as a drift. Anyrate they are all back together and ready to go back in, one unit is in situ being held in with drifts at present as the picture testifys! Excuse the mess, but I slung everything back in under the car after finishing this evening. As can be seen my garage is a precast concrete type, this is hastening the departure from the world of the old car. In the 1.5 years I have left her in there she has taken on some serious rust owing to the way that concrete sweats. Once I have managed to save up some money I'd love to build a timber framed garage, however this could be some time as any spare dough seems to go back into the cars! I hope to have the car back on the road tomorrow night and will road test her on Sunday morning, cannot wait! Oh yes its the CT Autosolo a week on Sunday-fantastic!
At present I feel I have not done myself justice as my cars seem to be unreliable at present, the main reasons being complacency, lack of time and apathy! Spread too thin, umm!
Right too bed and then get up and meet some old friends for breakfast at a cafe, the three guys being friends of mine who I have known for 27 years and all having owned Triumphs at some point-TR6, Vitesse, 2.5Pi estate and Heralds. Might take the 2.5?

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