So, How’d You Spend Your Saturday?

Two months since the TR8’s been on the road, down for an electrical malady (surprising, I know 🙂 . My ace mechanic stepson and an equally talented friend did the initial troubleshooting a couple of weeks back but today I called in the master: Creig from SLTOA. I’ll tell you, when you’re of particular skill in reading and understanding Brit car electrical diagrams, you find you have many friends (and are invariably in great demand).

Three and a half hours later, one fried wire in the generator-battery sequence identified and removed (you know there’s a problem when Creig asks if you recall any smoke or burning smells in the past couple of months), partially put the car back together, jumped it…and the generator’s still not charging. Okay, check the local outlets and be prepared for an email order to BPNW or Victoria British tomorrow. Sigh…We’ll get it running reliably again, of that I have no doubt.

Speaking of tomorrow, the next Boeing Sports Car Club autocross is scheduled. Looks like I’ll be doing photos and course work again…The next SLTOA meeting is Tuesday evening, scheduled for Faust Park after 1700. Word is we might push the gathering back online; if you’re interested in checking out the club, monitor the web page at for a final determination on the meeting location, either live or via Zoom.

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From the Ridiculous to the Sublime….

Nevada, Missouri, US 71, Monday afternoon. First I saw the Fiat/Bertone X1/9 parked next to the local Casey’s. Poor shape (massive rust under the rear bumper), paint’s in serious trouble.

Across the street? One of the more unique Porsche 914-4 modifications I’ve ever seen. Talked briefly with the owner, he indicated the running gear was stock. Over the years I’ve run across a number of modified 914s but this is first one ever where an owner went to the trouble of completely removing the targa structure behind the cockpit, Rather cool, actually…

Oh, the X1/9? When I went back across the street to Casey’s, it was gone; despite it’s appearance, it apparently ran.

BTW, if you think I’m making fun of Fiats (uh, don’t we all?), my ’76 X1/9 was one of the best cars I ever owned, much much better than the ’81 2000 Spyder that followed it. I am keeping my eye out for another X1/9…

Back to the search for LBCs…I’m thinking of driving to Lake Garnett in a couple of months for the annual racing event, bet I see some Triumphs there. Shoot, I might even drive the TR8…

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Rolling SweatFest

Long as I’ve been a member of SLTOA – just over 12 years now – we’ve celebrated (?) summer heat and humidity with a mid-July, backyard gathering at the home of one of our members. Ah, but in this time of pandemic, social distancing and face mask requirements, crowding a bunch of cars and members/guests into said back yard in Chesterfield was a non-starter.

The solution? As devised by SLTOA Event Chairman Creig H, a rolling SweatFest: meet on a Saturday at a park in Fenton off MO 141 and MO 30, head out for two hours of spirited driving (“social distancing at 60 mph,” as it were…although plenty of the route’s curves, including a number of hairpins, required social distancing at 25 mph…or less), then return to the park for a picnic lunch under a shelter with either food brought from home or ordered from StL BreadCo.

It was a smashing success: perfect weather, about 24 participants in 14 cars (mostly Triumphs) and one hell of an entertaining drive (thanks Creig!). Everyone who took part thoroughly enjoyed themselves and, in holding a combined picnic/meeting, we set a standard for the remainder of the year, at least into the fall when the temps start going south.

SLTOA’s August meeting is scheduled for Faust Park, see the web page for details.

Photo by David Yannayon
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Looking for a Fun Drive?

You’ll have to drive a bit: MO 59 southbound, south of Neosho, heading to Sulphur Springs, AR. My brother took this shot immediately north of Noel and yes, semis periodically got trapped going through here. Great drive, though!

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Fast Times at World Wide Tech Raceway…

The SCCA road show came to town over this weekend, in the form of the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour Gateway 1.6 Sprints, held at World Wide Tech Raceway (ie, Gateway Motorsports Park). The weather was perfect for racing and the paddock was full with a large number of race cars covering a substantial number of classes.

Big surprise? Ran into Dan Guenther, son of members of SLTOA and a former regular with the Boeing Sports Car Club autocross series who’s working his own way up the racing ladder. Bigger surprise? Among the LBCs in the field – Jaguar XK, Austin-Healey Sprite – was a really fast F Production Spitfire…driven by the one and only Steve Hargis, four-time (at last count) SCCA National Champion in GP and FP. I managed several shots of him out on the track and got to talk with him briefly post-race, thoroughly enjoyed it.

More info and photos on the SCCA event will appear in the June Exhaust Notes (Hargis and his somewhat modified Spit will undoubtedly be on the cover). AND, watch this space tomorrow for some shots from the second BSCC autocross of the season.

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The Automobile As Art XII

Seen recently at Trader Joe’s on Manchester…

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Yes, We’re Back….

After a two-month crash resulting from tech issues, this blog has returned. Ah, but with the COVID-19/WuFlu shut-downs, not a lot has been going on vis a vis Triumph club (or other specialty interest car club) activities. Hopefully, all who read this blog and your families have remained healthy and clear, here in Missouri things will start opening again this coming week.

Despite the circumstances, interesting cars still periodically showed up on our roads here in the St Louis vicinity. And, last Tuesday night, SLTOA held its first online meeting, with 12 participants. It worked well, we had a ball and got a lot done. As for the other LBC clubs, they’re carrying on, holding their own online gatherings and getting information out by other means, including newsletters.

Haven’t talked it over with any of the other members of SLTOA, but right now I’m working out a “Breakout Drive” event…first indication we get of the feasibility of a group drive, in which we can take advantage of this fantastic spring weather, we’ll see if we can round up some cars and drivers and go somewhere…while practicing social distancing at 60 MPH, eh?

In the meantime, here are a couple of photos from the past two months to (hopefully) keep you entertained.

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Polar Bear Pt 2

Great day…I expect we’ll be talking about this one for a long time. Here are a few of the shots from Polar Bear Run 2020.

200216-pb-03-mk 200216-pb-05-mk 200216-pb-12-mk 200216-pb-68-mk-mcpheter

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Polar Bear Pt. 1

Outstanding Polar Bear Run yesterday (Sunday, 16 February), continuing a 37-year tradition dating to the formation of the St Louis Triumph Owners Association in 1983. What with the incredible weather, we probably set a record with 29 cars and around 37-38 participants.  I’m going to check the back issues of Exhaust Notes to come up with some stats on previous Polar Bears.

As per usual, while Triumphs dominated, we had the usual highly entertaining mix of vehicles including a brace of MGs and an incredible ’74 Cadillac El Dorado (!) serving as tail-end Charlie.  While we didn’t have any representatives from the Volvo club, we did enjoy the assistance of noted explorers Bjorn and Sven Pollard:


I’ll post more photos in a few days, in the meantime, SLTOA’s thanks to all who  participated in a most exceptional drive and lunch (thanks Hawthorne Inn!).  In the meantime, feel free to check out the club Facebook page at:

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Meanwhile, Back at the Garage

This time?  Throttle cable failed, and the power steering pump starting, well, pumping copious amounts of fluid.  Won’t get the car done by this Sunday’s (9 Feb) Polar Bear Run, should have it done before the end of the month.


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