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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The SLTOA Crew

First weekend of February, severe clear skies and temp in the low 70s, wat’cha gonna do? Right, put out a call to the local Triumph faithful for a photo shoot.  We got a good mix of cars and drivers at the staging point, Straub’s Market at Clayton and Mason (from the left, Iggy, TR6; Aidan and Dave, TR3; Stephen, TR6; Lee, TR6; and David, TR4).


We had a ball.  With Stephen’s 6 serving as the camera car and yours truly sitting backwards in the passenger seat (well, kneeling was a more appropriate word…and yes, the seat belt was fastened), we drove south on Mason towards Manchester with two cars each.  The two subject cars/drivers then swapped places, and back up the hill we went. For the last run, I sat in Dave’s TR3 in order to get photos of SLP’s TR6.

I wound up taking something like 220 photos while hanging on for dear life, wound up with about 90 good ones.  All of the participants will receive full-size scans of their cars and the photos will appear in future issues of Exhaust Notes.

And now, on to Polar Bear!

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How’d That Get In My Garage?


Great thing about having a mechanic for a son: getting work done on the TR8 now takes up a lot less time.  We do some project together and others he tackles by himself; in return, he gets to drive the car whenever he likes (although obviously, at this time of year, excursions are limited).

AND, occasionally, his friends come over to get some work done on his LBBRGC (Little British But Really German Car).  In this case, new coil-overs for the Mini.

BTW, anyone else notice the “New Mini” isn’t so mini these days?  Just curious…

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