Exhaust Notes

Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

www.SLTOA.org                                                            April 2001

April Meeting:  McNulty’s – Westport Plaza – 7:00 PM, April. 17th, 2001

Dues are Past Due

The following people were members in 2000 but have not paid for 2001:

Julie Humphries/John Bauer, Bob & Cheryl Berger, Randall W. & Joy Bolyard, John F. Bush, Joan Carroll, Philip D. Dean, Ed & Shirlee Donnan, Charlie & Paula Key, Joseph M. & Carol Krekler, Mike & Patti Lewis, Mike & Kathy Loehr, John Loer, Matt Mainieri, Joe & Mary Ann Mann, Mark Marshall, Katherine Cuba/Michael Mason, Roy Matteson, Joe & Charlotte Mueller, Patrick Michael & Anne Murphy, Richard & Debbie Radasch, Dianne Rains, Bill & Jacquie Reck, John Ritter, Paul & Connie Schuessler, Larry & Nancy Snyder, Bob Spiegelman, Doug Stoverink, Steven & Sandy Street, James M. & Patricia Talbot, Bob Thomasson, Mark G. & Darcy Weinstein

If you have paid your dues for 2001 and are on the above list due to an error on out part, please let Bonnie David know and we will correct the error immediately!  If you have decided not to renew your membership for 2001, please remember us and feel welcome to return at a future date.  If you have just forgotten to mail your check, please send a check for $20 made payable to St. Louis Triumph Owners Association (or SLTOA), and mail it to Bonnie David, 500 Marie Drive, St. Charles, MO  63301.  If your check is received this month you will be kept on the club roster.

SLTOA Meeting Minutes - March 20, 2001 -McNulty's at Westport, By Creig Houghtaling

Robin Borgstede was not able to summarize the minutes for the March meeting, so the following note is from my sketchy memory.  The most important part of the meeting was election of new officers.  John Strowbridge replaces Arlie King as President.  Everyone offered Arlie a big thank you for his past two years of service to the club and we congratulated John on his landslide election victory.   All other offices and positions remain occupied by the same volunteers.

The First Annual April Fool's Run and Stress Reduction Clinic, April 1st, 2001

The drive to Pere Marquette Lodge was a grand success!  We had 40 to 50 individuals participate from the Triumph club, the MG club and the Healey club.  The weather was crisp, the drive was beautiful, and food and fellowship were first class.  Many thanks to John Strowbridge for organizing an enjoyable event!

PS After I wrote the above  paragraph I noticed that John has a write-up and photos on the web. Check it out at www.sltoa.org.

Easter Car Show at Forest Park, April 15, 2001

The club is paying for 10 club members to show Triumphs at this show.  If you are not showing, come and see all the neat cars.  Be prepared for large crowds and slow traffic.  If you want to see the maximum number of cars plan to be there between 11 AM and 1 PM.  Triumphs will be there by 9AM, but not everyone shows up extremely early in the morning, and many leave early in the afternoon.

Missouri Endurance Rally, By Creig Houghtaling

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, I did it!  Ten different State parks or Historic Sites were visited while traveling 1050 miles in just over 24 hours.  The whole story with photos, a map and rally results are posted on the web site, www.sltoa.org.  If there is anybody who would like to see the story printed here in the newsletter, let me know and I will put it in the May issue.

Mid Missouri All British Car and Cycle Meet, May 19 & 20 2001, By Creig Houghtaling

While driving the Endurance Rally I got to be friends with Chad Stretz and Tony Zager of Columbia Missouri.  They asked if I would encourage SLTOA members to attend.  I am putting a copy of the registration in this newsletter.  I hope many members will make the short trip to Fulton to enjoy some Mid Missouri hospitality.  Avoid Interstate 70 and drive Missouri rural roads and you will understand what British sports cars are all about!

News, By Arlie King

Just a note to inform you that Dr. Steinrauf, who was a guest speaker at our club meeting died March 29, 2001, of a massive stroke. He was 69 years old. He was a noted scholar and worked for five years on a AIDS research team in Taiwan.  He was a neat guy who could tell great stories about the early days of British Cars and their accomplishments. He will be missed by his family and friends.

Digital Bits, by Gary Allgood

What the heck are you doing…or why did you miss the April Fools Run Gary?

It is really a bit funny. During an inspection late last year I noticed the right hand side damper mount on my TR4 had sheared the welds off of the frame…. Ah….that’s the rattle I heard? My brother owns a shop in Springfield IL, and said he would weld it for me. He is an excellent mechanic, and very particular! After hauling the TR4 there and two weeks prior to the April Fools run, he looked it over and called me. He said to do it right we need to lift the body off the frame so he can get the Mig welder in there. Hey not a problem, there are only a few bolts and it would be nice to see how it all looks under there.

We took out about 24 bolts, give or take a few with not an ounce of trouble. They turned out like butter, because they all appeared to be bedded in some soft putty like compound. This “putty” would lead me to believe it was original or at least the putty was fresh! Anyway we removed a few things like the battery, steering column and a few other assorted items and lifted the body. Well I just couldn't stop cranking the lift at a foot off the frame; I cranked it up till I could stand under the body.

Yuk, look at all that grease on the frame! I wonder what lies under that grease? Well it won't cost me much time or money to clean it? Fade in one steam cleaner.... 3 hours later the frame looks beautiful! Wow! Look at all those new bushings in the suspension! Cool, saves me some time/money! Ouch, found another broken weld on the front cross member. No problem… Fade in Mig welder.... Heck paint wouldn't cost much, fade in one-gallon Rust O’leum high gloss black. Wow that frame looks good! Hey I can't sit that greasy lower body on that clean frame! Fade in 5 hours scraping 39 years of gunk off the lower floor pans, accomplished by my brother Dave w/cuts and scrapes to prove it!. Fade in one-half gallon Rust O’leum high gloss white.

Oh how did all that grease get on the frame and lower body? Hmmm… must need a rear main seal, sump gasket, diff gasket, oil dipstick felt seal, and valve cover gasket? Fade in the fore mentioned items.... We had to remove the engine and trans to weld the front cross member anyway, a good time to replace these items.... And put a few coats of gloss black on the engine....

I plan to have driven it home by the time you read this, assuming I find nothing else that just needs a little more fixing!  Honestly it was so easy, and happened so fast I figured why not? With the whole lower body and frame done, all I have to do this next winter is prepare the body panels and have completed an honest frame off restoration! Pics of this project are located on my Members page on the SLTOA Web Site. www.sltoa.org

Web Site of the Month: Spitfire Historic Racing Site (from Finland) - http://personal.inet.fi/koti/jtabell/


Andy is Back!

Well folks I am back. For those of you that do not know me I am Andy Stark. I first became involved with STLOA when I was just 17 years old 16 years ago . Funny to realize that I have been fooling with these bastard little cars this long. Well if you are wondering what I have been up to and why I am back here it is. These are pictures of my 72 Gt-6. It started out as a $100.00 wreck I bought back in 1990. I had been trying to buy it since 1986 but the gas station it was sitting at would not let me know the name of the owner. A notice from the city for the gas station to move its junk cars and the dumb luck of working in the same building of the owners ex wife, I bought it in July of 1990. I did this when my first wife was out of town visiting friends. I should say she was not happy with me doing this. She did not realize that since I have been trying to buy the car since before I knew her it was alright. That was my warped way of justifying my rusty new toy. Well I firmly believe my divorce in 1995 started with the purchase of that car. Once I finally bought my little rusty Gt-6 I was in love. It had what the Spit did not. A six-cylinder engine!! The only thing I did not like about a Spit was the wimpy little engine. Yes it could be made to run like Stink but there was always the sacrifice of drivability. The six was different. Power out of the hole, nice rpm's at cruise and one heck of a great sound out of the tail pipe. Nothing sounds like a Triumph six! It took me about a month to get the car running and stopping and safe enough to drive. It really was a mess to start with. But once all of the basics were worked out I started using it as my daily driver. Kept a toolbox and spares in the back and never really had any major problems with the car for over a year.

Once a year was up the car started to have age problems; mostly from sitting so long at that gas station. The engine needed head work and new bearings, the tranny was only three speeds, suspension really did not exist and the body really needed work. So I spent the winter of 1991 working all of the big stuff out. By spring I had every thing done except the paint. I drove it for the most part with until Sept. 1993 with little or no trouble from it. Used it as my workhorse while my 72 Spit lived the pampered life. Well I sold the Spit and another that I restored in early 1993. I used the Gt-6 for every thing. Finally after buying a house in Sept. it gave out on me. Apparently I put poor quality thrust washers in the engine when I put bearings in it back in 1991. Pulling into the driveway of my house the engine quit with an abrupt thump! That was it I did not drive it for over two years after that. I drove my racecar Spit for a couple of months then bought a truck before I did serious damage to my ears. That is when I pretty much disappeared from the Triumph club scene. I tried several times to stay active but just could not find the time. I still had Spits. I restored three from 1993 to 1995 but it became more of a business than a hobby. It was not that fun. All the while the Gt-6 and the Spit Autocrosser sat in the corner of the garage or barn or Hanger. Basically anywhere I could keep them out of the weather.

Finally in the summer of 1994 my wife and I had it with each other and we split. This was a good thing for the Gt-6. Instead of going out and being a wild single divorced guy I locked myself in the garage and set about to restoring my little red coupe. At that point who needed women. Well by the spring of 1996 I had it done. Out of my garage rolled a bright red Gt-6 that was darn near better than new. It could have been done a little quicker but with limited funds I had to a lot of the time barter and trade labor to get the parts and supplies that were required to finish it. But it was finally done after six and a half years. Then I went about showing it and driving it. 1996 was one of the most fun years I have ever had. My Gt-6 was a winner. Every show I entered it won a trophy. At the Kansas show I thought it would be fun to run it on some old race tires in the Autocross. That was good mistake. Once I ran it I realized I was missing a big part of the hobby. I at one time autocrossed a white Spit. But because of marriage, divorce and multiple job changes I had all but forgotten racing. The Spit eventually died and donated parts to multiple other cars.

Once I ran the GT-6 for fun I realized this is a pretty hot car. Granted I only had one serious racer to run against but he only beat me by a hundredth of a second and his car was a fully prepared racer. I only raced it once or twice a year on seven-year-old tires until the winter of 1999-2000. During that winter I decided that I was settled enough to have the time and money to make the Gt-6 a racer. I made the decision that this is what this car is meant to do and I was the nut to do it. This was big job. The GT was fine on small slow tracks but on larger faster ones it was a beast to drive. That is why I had only raced a couple times a year up to this point. The car was actually a bit scary at high speed. I did a lot of research and called a lot of ex racers and found out what to do. I completely reworked the suspension. I used all I found out and put some of my shade tree elbow grease into it. I had to make a lot of my own parts because no one made a lot of it any more. Come spring 2000 it was ready. I had spent over 200hrs and around $3,000 dollars to make this car handle. Handle it does. Once I got used to it I started beating cars in much faster classes. By midyear I was getting to be the one to beat. This car was really one heck of a great racecar!! By years end I had gone undefeated in my class and won a SCCA regional event. I also attended the SCCA nationals and placed midfield. The car was actually better than the driver at the nationals. First time jitters. So at years end I was the St. Louis Region points champ and a regional winner. Not bad for a 28 year old British rust bucket that almost died in a gas station ten years earlier. That is where I am at now. It is the beginning of 2001 and taking the year off from racing so I can take the Gt-6 to the next level. Hopefully by next spring I will have a Gt-6 out at Gateway International Raceway running E-production.

It is good to be getting back to the club. Hope to see you all at the next meeting.


Classified Ads Contact Creig Houghtaling at the address listed below, or CreigKay@aol.com or 636-305-1143 to place a free ad in this newsletter.

Andy Stark is selling Spitfire parts:  All my Spit parts . I can be contacted at 1-636-978-9128 . It is time to just work on one car and that will be the Gt-6.

63 TR4, Second owner, 43,603 miles, new interior, new valves/guides/seals, new brakes, new fuel pump, no rust, $9,500.  Mel Parentin 314-961-8567

1966 Triumph TR4A, IRS. New tires, decent top, fair interior, new head on engine. Normal rust in rocker panels and lower front fenders. Car does run, but has been sitting for over a year. No overdrive on it. Asking $1800.00 Contact Pete at 314-220-1974 or peteprenger@AOL.COM   Photographs of this car can be viewed at: http://www.sltoa.org/classifieds/Prenger/TR4for_sale.htm


St. Louis Triumph Owners Association 

Creig Houghtaling

36 Copper Mountain Court

Fenton, MO 63026-5682