Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association
www.SLTOA.org August 2002
Thanks to Jason for "filling in" at our meeting. I understand he did a fine job. In fact he reportedly had typed notes--awesome! This guy is "bucking" for a promotion! Despite rain earlier that night, turn-out was reportedly good. Andy Stark even "trailered in" his race car as a special treat. Thanks to the members, especially Joe, for stepping up to the plate to help with the British Car Show food arrangements.
As you probably know, I was at the VTR Nationals in Red Wing at the time of our last meeting. Our club was represented by Ken and Sue, Dave and Linda, Roy and Joan, Creig and Kay, and John (hope I got everybody). I rode with John on the "Poker Run." The drive was long, through rural areas and small towns with a stop at a Laura Engels Wilder log cabin. Almost 600 miles north of here, yet the heat was brutal. Our feet were thoroughly toasted in the Spit footwells. As many of you know, John is a skillful driver (and a tad wild!) and proved it with good performance in some events. The Nationals were held at a native American casino. Not the most astute observer, my first clue was the "reserved parking for tribal council" signs out front. The casino is about ten miles from Red Wing, a sleepy little town that is old and well-preserved. Between 200 and 300 Triumphs were there, I think. I got to see some fine examples, including some well fitted TR6 hardtops. A real highlight was a 1948 1800 roadster with rumble seat. The pictures I've seen really don't do this model justice. It is actually quite beautiful. I have pictures, as usual, but due to a little "computer illiteracy" problem, I don't know how to put scanned photos on our web site. I am open to instruction, however.
Let me put in a plug for the Kansas City All British Car Show on August 31. Last year I was the only member of our club there, as far as I know. It was a fine show, though, and I recommend it. Many of the Triumphs were "over-restored" and enhanced by leather seats, zebrano wood dashes, and triple Zenith carb set-ups, making it interesting. This year's show is one day, a Saturday, complicating attendance for those of us who must work a full day on Friday. It will be held at Park Place Hotel off Interstate 435. This is much closer to civilization than the previous location at the airport, which is in the center of farmer's fields. Activities will include a road rally and a "Lucas Revenge" parts toss. More information, including lodging arrangements can be found at http://kcallbritish.tripod.com/ on the web. If you go, check out historic Weston, MO, just north of Kansas City. Weston has a subterranean Irish pub located in an old beer laagering cellar. The pub's owner claims McGuirk's is the second best Irish pub in Missouri.
Thanks again for the continued support and participation of the membership. I am sure this makes the prospect of a promotion all the more appealing to Jason!
Minutes from the July Meeting
Jack would like to report that he is doing well. But he still has not been able to play golf.
Andy Stark will be racing Aug 3 and Aug 4 . If you would like to go to the races the cost will be 5.00 per person. Come watch one of our club members at the track. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank Axelrod is looking for help at the track. Some of the things that we could help do include, Time Keeper, Check List, Turn Wrenches and Lap Counter. This event will take place Oct. 25. You can contact him at email@example.com.
Sept. 1 a Car Show will be held in the Bridgeton Area. It is a great Swap Meet.
Sept. 21-22 the All British Car Show will be held down at Forest Park. This show will have a World War 2 dance in the hanger that houses the B 52 bombers. Mel and Gail said that this a great time. The balloon races are the best part of this show.
Joe Muller has graciously accepted the position of taking over the stand at the MG car show. Mel and Gail gave him all the necessary paper work. What we need now are the volunteers to man the stand. At the next meeting more information will follow.
Oct. 12 is the Scottish Games in St. Louis. This show features British Cars and Bag Pipe competitions. You will get to see one of our members dressed in his Scottish Wear.
Gary is looking into a Herman Road Trip late Sept. Maybe even later in the fall. At the next meeting more information will follow.
Welcome New Member Gary Mazzola. He has a GT6. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or his work e-mail email@example.com
-- August 31st, Kansas City All British Car and Cycle Show
-- September 21st & 22nd: British Car Days (MG Club) – Creve Coeur
Check on our web site for details and registration. //www.sltoa.org/events/2002/09/BCS2002c.gif
-- October 11th & 12th: St. Louis Scottish Games All-British Car Show – Forest Park
Announcing the Second Annual Scottish Games British Car Show
Like last year, the St. Louis Scottish Games and Cultural Festival will be hosting the Games and Cultural festival on Friday evening, October 11 and Saturday, October 12. In addition to the usual Scottish games activities such as caber tossing, sheep dog trials, bag piping, highland dancing and folklore, there will be a British car show on Saturday. This is a great family event with diverse attractions for the entire family, and you might win an award for your British car, too. For more information check out the web site: http://www.sltoa.org/events/2002/10/Scots.htm
Please pass the word around to others who may be interested.
#1 Press release:
"On behalf of all Buckeye TRIUMPHS club members, I am honored to invite you to an "Ohio Homecoming" The 2002 6-Pack TRials to be held in Granvill, Ohio, on September 26 - 29th. We are planning a Grand Alumni Gathering for all 6-Pack members. Many Seniors will remember the first TRials held in nearby Columbus, Ohio in 1982! If you are a Freshman to TRials, then come prepared. This quaint college town in central Ohio, home to Denison University, will rock to the thunder of your Triumphs and roll to the cheers of contestants representing teams from all 6-Pack Chapters. Attend the Homecoming Reception, Pep Rally, Keg Party, Big Game and Homecoming Dinner. Note: Lab Sessions and Field Trips will be required.
The Granville Inn and Buxton Inn will be your Home away from home. The activities will be challanging and your rewards will be memorable – if you're there!
We want you and your team to join us for a great Homecoming - 2002 6-Pack TRials event. See you there!
Bob Mains President, Buckeye TRIUMPHS"
For more info: http://www.buckeyetriumphs.org/2002Trials/index.htm
Phone: Murry Mercier, (614) 888 0838 BuckeyeTRIUMPHS@ameritech.net
#2 Indy British Motor Days, featuring Austin Healey will be Sept 20-22 it Monument Circle, located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. This multiday car show and swap meet opens with a reception Friday evening, follows with tech session, rally/tour, banquet and pajama party on Saturday and a people's choice car show on Sunday.
For more information, contact Tom Beaver, 1580 E. 101st St. Indianapolis, IN 46280. Or call Don Hayman at (317) 887 3867 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
#3 British Motor Industry Heritage Trust announces The 'New-Style' Heritage Certificate. You can obtain a 'Birth Certificate' for your cherished vehicle from the archives of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust which is custodian of the original factory ledgers for sixteen of the most famous British Marques. It is an attractive addition to any classic car enthusiast;s portfolio of information about their cherished car.
Contact: British Motor Industry Heritage Trust - Archive Department.
Heritage Motor Centre, Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwick, England, CV35 0BJ
Tel: 011 44 1926 645076 Fax: 011 44 1926 641555 www.heritage.org.uk.
Sorry folks, but this trip just seemed to be too busy to post enroute and the Uffda tour is now history. But here's how it went.
Day 1: Sunday
Since we had three days to get there, we had a leisurely drive ahead of us so we drove the scenic route from St. Louis to Red Wing, both of which are on the Mississippi river. We left St. Louis at 10:00 AM. The weather was quite nice at 73 degrees and we headed up highway 79 which follows the river closely enough that we see glimpses of it and occasionally rather long stretches where the road runs right next to it. This river is a major waterway and the resulting erosion has created rather interesting topography which makes for an interesting drive. There are hills to climb (which was no problem for the big V8 but Roy's TR6 needed some downshifting) and even on the flat areas we were always within sight of the bluffs that sometimes run very close to the river and sometimes are way back but the further north you go the closer in the bluffs on both sides become.
Highway 79 leads us to Hannibal, MO, the home of Samuel Clemens (AKA Mark Twain), and there were many tourist opportunities. There was the Mark Twain cave (alleged home of Injun Joe), and on a good day you can catch Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence. We could see Mark Twain's birth place and many other Mark Twain related attractions. But not today. The river road beckoned.
Crossing the river at Hannibal put us in Illinois and the river road took us along the riverfront in Quincy and ever northward. The road eventually brought us to Navou, IL where Joseph Smith lived before heading out to Utah. Quite a destination for pilgrims of the Mormon persuasion. Not being Mormons we stopped long enough for lunch and pressed on.
The Illinois department of tourism was kind enough to put up signs designating the Great River Road and we followed them. This lead us through some interesting little river towns that don't normally fall into travel agendas. Except for the occasional local, most of the traffic we encountered were motorcycles and RV's.
At around 5 PM we decided to look for a hotel. After passing countless B&B's and quaint, old hotels around noon we found hotels to be nonexistent in the area just south of Moline. We finally found a Super 8 in downtown Moline. With a pool. This last part was important after a rather hot day in non-air-conditioned cars. The first 300 miles were done. Uffda!
Day 2: Monday
Monday started out hotter than the day before. It was 80 degrees already and it was only 8:00 in the morning. Uffda! Highway 84 follows the river out of Moline and before long we find the Mississippi Palisades Park with some nice overlooks from the bluffs above the river bottoms. North of the Palisades the road turns away from the river because the Army owns the river front property so up, up up we go to Galena, IL which is a stone's throw from Charles Mound, the highest point in Illinois.
These upstarts in Galena think that they are the home of U. S. Grant when any St. Louisan will tell you the Grant is from St. Louis. After all, Grants Farm, an attraction owned and operated by the Anheuser Busch Brewing company and is the bonifide home of US Grant. How dare they!
Galena is where we happened upon two Triumph drivers from Florida on their way to Red Wing. This is significant because in the past, whenever going to a VTR convention I would expect to bump into others headed the same way. After all, when several hundreds of Triumphs are converging on a single town there should be some encounters. But with the exception of our trip to Boulder in 1990, we have yet to see another Triumph by chance until reaching the host city or usually the convention site. But here was a TR3 and a TR6, going to Red Wing in Galena. Who would of thought!
After a pleasant lunch with these two couples we headed north again - before Joan had a chance to buy any antiques (not that there was room in Roy's car for anything else) and the great river road lead us to Wisconsin and to Prairie du Chien where we found a hotel. With a pool. We also found a nice family style restaurant with great food so we had breakfast there the next morning.
Day 3: Tuesday
At breakfast one of the waitresses highly recommended the Old Cannery which was across the road. I thought great, old architecture, historic building. Well, the old building was there but trying to see the old wood beam construction through all the silk flowers and teddy bears and scented candles and wicker baskets and towel racks...
The drive to La Crosse was boring but once north of La Crosse the road was nestled between the river and the river bluff and town after town squeezed in this narrow space makes them one mile long and one block wide. I wanted to stop at a quaint little restaurant in Alma where we had breakfast in 1998 on our way to the VTR in Hudson but upon arrival we found that the place is closed on Tuesdays. It wasn't four years ago. What gives? Oh well, press on to Red Wing. We arrive at 2:00 to find the Funkahna under way.
Since the event was held at a casino the theme of the funkahna had a casino theme with a dice roll (you had to throw them into a bucket with a toilet seat on top) then feed the slot machine (with an inflated inner tube) play the roulette (by negotiating a circle while the codriver held a rope tied to a pole - don't pull the pole over) and then screech the tires through the slalom (sorry, we can't help it). We had fun in spite of the heat.
That evening was the reception social mixer where we renewed acquaintances from VTR conventions of the past and a long hot day was finished off when the lights were switched on and the mayflies started to swarm. And the state birds.
Day 4: Wednesday
The TSD rally was off early but since Linda and I wish to stay married we didn't go. Instead we participated in the poker run which, by the way, covered routes in Wisconsin. Is the Minnesota club admitting that the state of Wisconsin has more interesting roads? The midpoint of the tour was Plum City, Wisc. and the Pond View restaurant which was across the street from what? A pond! With trout. A quaint setting indeed.
I missed the tech session on welding since the poker run started in the middle of it, but I made it back in time for the Ted Schumacher tech session. This was followed up by the concours judges training session – in the middle of which I had to get my car tech inspected for the autocross.
After that and dinner another hot day comes to a close - except for the ISOA party on the 5th floor - which was busted by security (we weren't THAT rowdy!) We had to go to the 5th floor, there were too many skeeters outside. Uffda!
Day 5: Thursday
Breakfast run. 7:00 AM. Same roads as yesterday (only different order) with breakfast at the Pond View and a hurry back for the autocross. The heat was moderated by the threatening showers and the 100 or so cars that showed up for the autocross meant we had to hustle to get them all on the track three times each. But the track was straight through (no cross overs) so the next car was started while the previous car was still finishing so throughput was good. And the rain held off until all the contestants had made the three runs and the fun runs carried on regardless
of the rain.
The Staghead Restaurant proved popular with the Triumph crowd – especially the Stag owners. And the food was not disappointing. Quite good, infact. If you are ever in Red Wing and want a good dinner, check out the Stag Head.
Day 6: Friday
Car show and Concours d'Elegance. The day started out gloomy and overcast which should make for a good panoramic photo but the overcast burned off and the heat prevailed for the wedding. There was a very nice selection of cars this year. From early TR2's to a very nice 81 model TR8, Spitfires and GT6's of all persuasions. Andy Mace's Herald (the first time he has driven a Triumph to a VTR) and Vitesses (two of them), a 2000 roadster and
the very classy 2000 Razoredge Saloon that cruised the autocross course the day before so blisteringly fast the the wine bottle on the tray was in danger of tipping over.
Oh, the wedding. VTR can now boast that they have been the venue of a wedding in addition to the usual TSD rallys, autocrosses, concours d'elegance, tech sessions, parties, and all the other fun things that go on.
Two Triumph enthusiasts decided to tie the knot at the convention this year. Brad Kahler and Susan Hensley now boast a combined collection of Triumphs that is second to only Vern's (and maybe Darrel's but I'm not sure about that).
Brad drove to the alter in his 1964 Spitfire and Susan was delivered to the alter by her father in a red TR3. At the conclusion of the ceremony they both departed in Brad's Spit to everyone's applause.
The closing banquet went off without a hitch and all the awards were handed out and the convention came to a close.
The hard luck award went to a fellow who suffered an ignition failure – his Pertronics failed, and his rotor also failed and he wound up arriving at the show on a truck (he said all the folks who knew how to fix it were there - and indeed the ISOA folks jumped in and had him going again in less than half an hour). This is a tribute to how well the cars held up when the hard luck award goes to this type of failure. There was one water pump failure and I suffered from a blown fuse. On the whole the cars did just what they were supposed to.
Day 7: Saturday
For complete details on the convention results, please consult the The Vintage Triumph due out in a few months time.
My hat's off to the Minnesota crew for another successful convention. You fell down on the weather part but the rest of it was great as always.
St. Louis Triumph Owners Association members joined Andy Stark and Frank Axelrod in their continuing adventure racing ancient Triumph sports cars. The following is Andy’s report:
Well folks it made it. The first run for the Gt-6 was successful. I am so excited about the car not breaking I am almost at a loss for words. Or maybe I am just completely fried from the heat. We could not possibly have had a hotter weekend to go racing. I want to thank the few and the brave that came out to cheer Frank and myself on. You all must have been darn near as tired and hot as we were.
Other than the heat it was a pretty darn good weekend. Frank came home with a first place in the regional and almost got a third in the national on Sunday. A bad flag killed us on Sunday. The driving on Sunday was really something to see. I have yet to see such a close race in G-production.
We were not without some problems. Franks car had two loose wheel studs and a loose steering column. The wheels studs where fixed by one of our fellow competitors and the steering column issue was just a loose retainer that was easily tightened after Saturdays race.
As spectators we saw some pretty wild stuff. A Gt-3 class Gt-6 broke a rear axle entering turn #2 on Sat. and it gave the driver and the car a wild but short ride. Lucky for both neither the driver nor the car was really hurt. The second incident happened while Frank and I were running. Entering turn six a very pretty MG-B went off track for no apparent reason and hit the wall and rolled over. I am not sure what caused it but I can speculate that the driver was overheated and had a lapse of judgment. I did hear that the driver is ok and the car will be racing again. A real shame that it happened. Frank had been setting his sights on beating that MG all year. Sat. was going to be his shot. If you happened to be watching the exit of turn six late in Saturdays race you would have been fortunate enough to see yours truly spin his brand new Gt-6. A bit of a brain fart trying to keep up with a nationally competitive Rx-7 with slicks. I did not see it but, Frank admits to spinning in turn #2 just a couple of laps earlier. I was wondering how I caught up with him. I was having trouble keeping the car on the road let alone catch anyone.
In all it was a very good but brutally hot weekend. I am still worn out. Writing this short report is evidence. I can hardly concentrate today. (Monday)
We are planning on inviting the Triumph club again in Oct for the final race of the season. We will get together a couple of grills for cooking and some beer for an after race party in the Pits. Kind of an October fest at the Track.
Frank and I have lots to do for the Runoffs in Sept and I have huge amount of work to do to my suspension and tires so I can keep up with the rest of the pack in Oct.
See you all at the track Andy
Here it is five days before our long trip. The TR8 is ready. The last three weeks have been filled with much work getting the 8 ready for the 1000 mile enduro around the Great Lakes. The engine has been refitted with an Edelbrock Performer intake and a 500 CFM 4 barrel. The radiator has been record, after all it was old, only has 26,000 miles on it but the years take their toll, and I don't want any overheating problems to raise their ugly head on this enduro rally. The journey starts with the drive to Grand Rapids, the starting and finish place. This event is being held in conjunction with the V-8 register meet at the hotel. We will have about 24 hours to make the 1000 mile lap of the lake with checkpoints strewn around to make the shortest distance trip more complex. Going fast is not the important thing in this type of rally, but good planning and precise driving is what matters. The go fast part is always at the ready in my TR8. I took the car for a trial run and found the experience to bring back memories of my racing days, the speedo only records up to 85 mph, NOT Enough, I pegged that in second gear, in fifth the car exceeds the 100 mph with no trouble, I know from the feel that we were going at least that fast. I have the 140 speedo for the TR8, found one in Europe, just haven't had the time to install the gauge. I think TR8's attract Vets, I slowly past by a Vet on 55 and he came on strong, wanted to race, soooo, I gave him a bit of a run, not a problem passing a Vet. Next thing to do before the rally, purchase a new Radar detector. More on the rally when we get back. Charlie
These are a Few of My Favorite Things (Garage Version), By John Strowbridge
The following contribution to Exhaust Notes is intended to be humorous. But what makes it possibly humorous is the fact that it is actually quite factual. Everyone remembers Julie Andrews crooning with the Von Trapp children regarding her favorite things. These were deemed essentials for a happy life. Come on . . . “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes” are the precursor to hypothermia. Anyway . . . I have my own version of my favorite things list – garage version. If you get through this list and have some of your own personal favorites you would like to share, send them into Exhaust Notes, we can publish them also.
Here are a few of mine:
¯ My vise grips – Actually these are my father’s vise grips, which were handed down. I have my own but my father’s are of “old-time” construction, which are quite substantial. These should probably be registered as a weapon. They are the .454 Casull of the toolbox - the most powerful handtool in the world. They are my favorite “last resort” tool, used when I’ve decided I will be getting a replacement part for the one that I can’t seem to get off the car. Once the vise grips are done “helping” me get a part loose . . . that part is usually toast.
They also double as a fine hammer.
¯ B. A. H. – Speaking of hammers, used in the “I’ve got to loosen this” sense of the word. I have a set of these, which I go through in a logical order when working on the Triumph. It starts with the twenty-ounce claw hammer and progresses through to a brass-faced mallet, which actually has the word “Thor” engraved on the side. You can finesse the claw hammer, but not the mallet. These can be used in conjunction with a blowtorch if conditions dictate.
¯ My carb tuner – This is a screwdriver that has a somewhat elongated blade upon the end of which is the sweetest machined surface. This is never used as a pry bar, chisel, punch or drift. The regular screwdrivers are used for all those applications. The carb tuner is reserved (along with the Unisyn) strictly for carburetor tuning. It is a clean, precise instrument with which I’m convinced one could do brain surgery if need be. If you are smiling while reading this that means one thing, you’ve got your “favorite” too.
¯ The rag bag – This may also be the rag box. Contained within this receptacle are items deemed no longer acceptable for their intended purpose, outcasts if you will. These items include old clothing, socks, sheets and anything else semi-absorbent. These are always welcome when dealing with “fluid issues” of the British car variety. Why is the rag bag one of my favorites? I feel like Bob Hope every time I look into it . . . “Thanks for The Memories” . . . I was doing an oil change on my “real” car just yesterday and pulled out a purple polo shirt. It reminded me of when my daughter was much younger and called it my “Barney Shirt”. The smile it gave me was a true “garage rag bag moment”. Why wasn’t it framed like Joe Namath’s Jersey? Once an item like the “Barney Shirt” is used up as a rag and thrown away, the memory diminishes somewhat. The rag bag springs eternal however, keeping me warm with memories and keeping Alzheimer’s at bay.
Classified Ads: Contact Creig Houghtaling at the address listed below, or email@example.com or 636-305-1143 to place a free ad in this newsletter.
St. Louis Triumph Owners Association
36 Copper Mountain Court
Fenton, MO 63026-5682