Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sometime since I last blogged, so as sitting at home recovering from a minor operation I thought I'd better type something!

The GT6 is at Dave Picton's establishment being repaired following the June incident. My word this whole episode has been an eye opener, no more driving of the old cars unless covered by an agreed value policy! Dave Picton was very helpful and helped to get my insurers to agree to a higher value than originally offered, however the salvage percentage of 30% was a bit strong.

Anyway enough of the boring stuff, the car has been nearly fully rebuilt, as well as the rear panels and wings and new bonnet the car has now received rebuilt doors and new outer sills in an attempt to tidy up the poor gaps that existed at the door/sill area of the car. I cannot state who did the previous work on the car in 2005 as the work they did was at the best poor, at the worse dangerous, some of the A panel works not actually being welded together!!! Dave has made this all good and the car will look better than before, probably ride better as well!!!

The car will feature a new bonnet from Fitchetts, after talks with Dave I decided it would be nice to do a similar mod that he has done to his mk2, that being changing the hinge design to attempt to make the car look sleeker. This will result in the car not having a front bumper, in my opinion this will make the car look better balanced as I took off the rear bumpers fitted to the car in 1984!

When I have the car back I intend to fully rebuild the front suspension, this will include refurbishing the suspension turrets and wishbones. I last did this in 1989 (!) and must admit I have been surprised how well the wishbone bushes have lasted, I used Triumph Tune Shore 90 rubber bushes, when I last looked they seemed fine. I will replace those with Superflex items.

Then its time to tear down the rear suspension, and clean that all up and maybe look to improve the interior of the car, fit a decent carpet set etc.

For the recent CT Historic Autosolo at Bovingdon I was forced to use the 2.5 and she did me proud. I won the Triumph saloon Class C, beating Steve Radley in his similar car. I was doing very well up until lunchtime, however the afternoon tests seemed a bit more intricate. Steve would have beaten me had we done a 5th and 6th Test.

I have just fitted a new head to that car, Roy Burrell cleaning up a 2500S head that I bought years ago from Andy Pearce, his porting work looks excellent. I made a mistake and supplied him with the wrong info concerning the compression ratio, so I will have to take the head off the car and get him to skim it a bit more to acheive the correct ratio of 9.5:1. However with this head in its incorrect staet the car does feel livelier, what a car it is!

I used her for the recent Oxford MC Autosolo at a Silverstone car park, however I did not do that well, coming 6th out of 7 in the Historic class. Andy Martin winning in his Vitesse, Joe Welling in his rapidly improving Spitfire 1500 coming 2nd. I think it is fair to say that the Triumphs did well impressing many of the other competitors. I did encounter a problem with the servo as the seal for the vacum pipe failed, this was remedied on the day using insulation tape. As the car is fitted with a Lockheed type 8 remote servo I fear that sourcing a seal will not be easy.

The only recent snag being that I have had to change the starter motor, this being made very difficult by the 631 exhaust manifold on the car, in fact it was a pig of a job! Next up for the car is sorting out some of the corrosion that is starting to come through and also fit the door furniture that I lazily have not fitted since the bodywork was done in 2007!!!! Next years plans are simple, use her and take part in the RBRR in the car, if ever a car was made for the RBRR it is this one, its 27mph/1000 4th gear in overdrive making the event seem relatively easy!

I am presently fitting the revvy 1300 engine and gearbox into the Spitfire, the old engine and box have gone to Dave Picton as part payment for the GT6 works. I am not a fan of the 1500 engines and hope that the 1300 engine will be more suited to the intended use of the car. Talking of the cars intended use, this years plans have been scuppered by the GT6 accident. So next year will be hopefully busier and I will get to use her in a number of Autosolos. One event I will enter is a HERO event called the Throckmorton Challenge, this being an single venue event featuring a number of tests, 19no I think and 3 or 4 regularities. This will mean that I will need to purchase a Brantz Tripmeter, the International Pro 2 's' pro looking to be the one to buy. Talking to fellow CT member Alan Petit who is an experienced Historic Rally man this event looks like it could be fun, be good to enter a Triumph team!

On the hope that the economic situation in the UK may one day improve I would also like to use the Spittie for some sprint events in the next couple of years. As with everything in life, money is the governing factor!

In early September I attended the start of the CT 10CR at The Plough, some of the cars taking part looked superb and everyone taking part looked to be full of beans and excited! To say I was upset not to be taking part would be understatement, that event being the first major CT event that I have missed in 13 years. Ellis Stokes and his team seemed to have organised and found the perfect scope for this overseas event that offered both challenging driving and a nice bit of social fun. I will be on the event in 2013. Talking of Ellis, I see that he has seen the light and bought a semi complete mk1 saloon that will take the running gear of his 2500TC ('The Red Bus' as christened by Andy Pearce), that poor car at the end of its use.

Looking around at the Triumph culture in the UK, I see that TR5s are still commanding high prices. One for sale at present that has been sympathetically modified by a northern TR expert is on the market for £35,000, blimey!!! Reckon having 3 useable Triumph cars like mine is a better bet, at todays prices I think I would make £18- 20K for them? Also, it looks like GT6s are being hyped up in price, the front of 'Classics' magazine having a nice mk3 on its cover and stating within the mag. that values are going up to over £8,000 for a decent example. Blimey, where will it all end, probably when oil runs out, in fact will all cars devalue overnight?

On that sombre thought, I'll bugger off!

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