Exhaust Notes

Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

www.SLTOA.org                                               November 2002

November Meeting, Danny O’Tooles, Tuesday November 19th, 2002, 7:00 PM

Danny O’Tooles is located at Westport Plaza in the old McNulty’s location

President's Corner, By Richard Etz


Wow, what happened to autumn?  The heat ended, the leaves are falling, but it is more like early winter.  Cold rain has hampered recent activities; snow has already been reported in some parts of the country.  Hearty souls, time to think about the Polar Bear Run!  Bring suggestions to the next meeting.  I don't mind the cold, but I prefer to avoid the wet.  Rust is a constant fear, plus lethargic wipers and defrosters can be a bit of a hazard.  Precipitation is hard to predict even the day before, as this past Saturday shows.  Thanks to intrepid members for their continued optimism.

Many of us drive all winter, which is good for the mechanics, but some store their cars.  See the Dec. 2002-Jan. 2003 issue of  "British Car" for an article entitled "Winter Storage Tips".

In other news, a "Racing Column" has been added to our website.  Actually, our site is perhaps the best club site I've seen and reflects our club in a positive light.  I've received responses from all over the world.  For example, a former high school classmate and friend sent me a picture of his Harley and him in full "motorcycle club" regalia after seeing my name on the site.  Last I heard he was living in Virginia.  Recently a "Richard Etz" from Sweden e-mailed me after seeing the website.  Imagine that!

Don't forget the social event of the season, our Christmas party at Bevo Mill on Friday, December 20.  Get those reservations to Bonnie.  For next meeting, bring suggestions concerning the nature of our "trash and treasure" exchange.  Should something good be included with trash gifts (i.e. candy with the Rambler shocks)?  Shall we bring two gifts as usual, and will there be a cost guideline?

Last meeting was well-attended, which was great.  Danny O'Toole's was ill-prepared for the crowd.  I guess they thought I exaggerated the size of a typical meeting.  Misbah, the assistant manager, assures me of better preparation this month.  The food seemed good, and another try seems in order before we hunt for another venue.

Finally, the October/November 2002 issue of "Triumph World" features an incredible TR5, a nice TR6, and Spitfire coupes at LeMans.  Check it out!

I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

Richard Etz

SLTOA Meeting Minutes, October 15th Danny O’Tooles: Creig Houghtaling

No one took notes, so this is what I remember.  SLTOA members filled the separate section of Danny O’Tooles.  We had a great turnout of members.  Naturally when there are that many good friends together, people like to talk.  So the official meeting was a little difficult to hear.  But I think that is what is so nice about SLTOA is nobody gets too hung up over formality.

Dave Massey handed out awards from the Scottish Games car show.  A listing of the winners is presented later in this newsletter.  Andy Stark came to invite members to see he and Frank Axelrod race at Gateway International.  Andy’s report on that race is presented later in this letter.  There was some discussion about the upcoming SLTOA Christmas Party.  Many people have already made their reservations with Bonnie.  Please make your reservation as early as possible.

Upcoming Events:

December 20th  -  SLTOA Christmas Party  -  Bevo Mill:  Make your reservations by mailing your check today to our treasurer, Bonnie David, 500 Marie Dr., St. Charles, MO 63026.  Members and spouse/date etc.: $11.95 each.  Everyone else: $16.95 each.  Cash bar available.

January/February something  -  Polar Bear Run:  Details to be decided.

March 22nd & 23rd   -  Eighth Annual Missouri Endurance Rally:  Well, it’s time again to start planning for that great March Madness – no not basketball!  It’s time to start planning for the Missouri Endurance Rally (known for 2003 as “Dr. Misery”).  This year the rally will be held on Saturday, March 22.  The rally will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning and end at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.  There will be 10 locations that teams must reach and gain photographic proof that they were there utilizing either a Polaroid-style or digital camera.   Mileage should be less than 800 this year so teams should have plenty of time to complete the course.
New this year will be a Mini-Endurance Rally that will take place at the same time as the full rally.  The Mini-Endurance Rally (known as the “Mini-MO”) will be roughly half the distance and utilizing 5 of the 10 stops as the regular Missouri Endurance Rally.  This is a perfect opportunity for those of you out there who have always wanted to try an endurance rally, but were unsure of whether they would like it or not.  Those competing in the mini-rally will given up to 15 hours to cover roughly 400 miles – now that doesn’t seem too bad, does it?  Why not plan on giving it a chance and see how you like it?
Entry fee will be $25 per team and you’ll have to specify before you start the rally whether you are trying out the mini-rally or, if you’re tough enough, for the Full Monty. For more information or to get your name on the mailing list, e-mail me at mgslime@swbell.net or leave a message on the MG Club of St Louis’ Hotline at (314) 995-8664.  Plan now to attend the great kick-off event of the year – Dr. Misery and Mini-MO!

Digital Bits, by Gary Allgood

The SLTOA Mailing list has been updated. The list is now a “public” list, meaning anyone can join it. Simply send an e-mail in the following format to join the list.

To: majordomo@sltoa.org
Subject:                                             (subject line must be blank)
Body of e-mail: subscribe triumphs

Become active on the SLTOA Web Site and Electronic Mailing List. If you have a computer, then connecting to the Internet is easy and many times free. Look into your local library for free dial-up accounts if you do not already have one.

Needed:          Web Design - If you have experience with any version of Microsoft Front Page, you can join the SLTOA Web Development Team. Contact gallgoodATlvsDOTnet to join the team.
Newsletter – If you are willing to write, and go to any of our events, you should consider being part of the newsletter team. It takes so little time for someone to hammer out a story about what they saw at an event. There is no reason why every member could not contribute.

Web Site of the Month:  The Stag Owners Club (http://www.stag.org.uk/)

Two Dog Racing, Gateway International, October 26th & 27th:  By Andy Stark

Well the season is over!  Thank you all that came out and watched Frank and I this last Saturday at Gateway.  It was a pretty successful day for what we had to deal with.  First off we did not know that the weather was going to be so yucky.  It was cold and rainy all day.  Track and spectator conditions where not at their optimum  ;o)  Second, we had a mystery transmission in Franks car.  Frank had purchased a rebuilt transmission for his car after the runoffs and unfortunately he found out two days before the race it was not going to work in his car.  We at this point still don't know why.  It will end up being a winter project.  In order to make the race we had to end up putting a junk Spitfire transmission with questionable history into the car Friday night before the race.  We had no idea if it was going to work or not.

Come race day it kind of sort of worked.  During Qualifying is ran fairly well but was getting harder to shift every lap.  By the time Frank pulled in the car was smoking terribly.  Back in the pits we discovered that we had not fully bolted down the top cover of the transmission and it had leaked a considerable amount of oil out onto everything including the track.  It was a real mess.  We had screwed up.  Basically this is what you get when two frustrated half asleep guys put a car together.  The result of our screw up was a wasted tranny and clutch.  I figure the clutch had so much oil on it that it was swollen beyond use.  I also had bad feeling the input shaft froze up with the pilot bearing in the end of the crank.  What ever it was it was making the transmission not function at all.

Now what was neat about this situation was the amount of Triumph folks getting in there and helping out.  There was beehive of activity around Frank’s car and I was not one of the bees for the most part.  How cool was that.  Every one was lending a hand, from fixing taillights to taking the top of the transmission off.  It was really great to see every one involved.

By the time Frank's race came around he had decided to go for broke.  He was going to try and just muscle the car into gear.  Shear will of wanting to beat a certain blue MG made it happen.  We had to get the car rolling just for it to start and head to the grid.  Once on the grid we had to get permission from a marshal to let us push start the car after the grid was cleared.  Then the car acted funny pulling away and we had to pull the hood and see what happened.  I could not find any thing and Frank was off to an uncertain start.  He missed the pace lap and had to start after the field of cars got the green flag.  He had to work his way from the very back.  Nothing short of perfect driving allowed frank to pull all the way into second place within 5 laps.  For a car that was mortally wounded it was running like a dog with its tail on fire.  Lap after lap he increased his lead on the third place Blue MG.  He was even making progress on the lead Datsun.  It was way ahead but the gap was closing.  Finally on the last lap he could not quite hold the car on the track and keep it in gear at the same time.  A slight mistake and he dropped a wheel off the track.  This caused a spin and put him out of the race.  It was a hell of an effort.  It had to be the best showing Frank has had all year in his car.  It was pretty impressive.  Shear will got that car around the track.  It completed a successful season of no DNF's and several trophies.

During Lunch, many of the Triumph club members and I took part in a charity drive around the track to raise money for a good cause.  I believe over $600 dollars was raised and everyone had a good opportunity to see and feel what the new Gateway track is like.  Then we ate.  The grill was fired up and we made Brats and beans.  Several members brought food and snacks.  We had beer and soda as well.  No one went away with an empty stomach.

Now came my poor showing Saturday.  Not much of an excuse other that I was not comfortable with the new suspension and having to deal with the rain slick track in practice.  I took a pretty good spin on the infield near the S-turns.  Completely my fault.  I lifted instead of using the throttle when the car got loose on me.  I was not on rain tires and pretty much felt uneasy the whole practice.  I did not qualify well at all.  During the race I did not fare much better.  We had a dryer track to race on but I had not figured out the new tires and the new suspension yet.  Add in traffic and then a fine mist of rain on the tract and I backed off completely and just concentrated on keeping the shiny side up.  I did see a pretty serious accident on Turn #6.  It was bad.  The GT-1 car was crushed up to the windshield on the driver’s side.  The driver was able to get out of the car but was taken to the hospital to be checked out.  His bell was rung pretty badly.  We pretty much finished the rest of the race under full course yellow.  My times were pretty bad and I was not happy with my driving or the way the car was acting.  The only thing that was going well was the overdrive.  It was working flawlessly.  Back in the pits everyone seemed to have had good time.  I really look forward to next season when we can have more people out at the track.  I hope most of the SLTOA gets the racing bug.  It is a wonderful opportunity to grow.

Everyone said their goodbyes and then it was time for Jack and I to go to work on my car for Sunday.  Dave Massey stayed around to help until we had the suspension reset for the next day.  We also went around the car and fully checked it out for loose bolts.  I was very nervous about the rear axles.  GT-6 worst weak point is the rear axles.  I now have huge sticky slicks on them and I am running very fast down the straight with the new OD.  Saturday’s rain was really a kind of a relief.  Because it was slick the tires would break loose before any real pressure was exerted on the axles.  Sunday would be much different if it was dry.  It also took away any excuse for being slow due to weather.

Sunday came and it was dry.  It was cold as heck but dry.  My nerves were on edge.  I kept having a vision of a tire passing me on the oval and me ending up in the concrete wall.  Qualifying went fairly well.  The GT6 felt a lot better with the new suspension adjustments.  I also really got a feel for the new slicks.  They are pretty strange compared to the D.O.T. autocross tires I am used to.  By the end of qualifying I was getting somewhat comfortable in the car.  The only issue I had was a vibration at high speed on the oval.  I figured it was the drive shaft going out of balance.  It had never seen these kinds of speeds before.  It was unnerving.

I ended up qualifying a second behind the Ford Pinto.  This is where ego takes over.  I could not really stand in my mind being beat by a Pinto. (Even though they tend to be pretty competitive.)  I went into the race with the one goal of staying with that Pinto and passing him on the final lap.  This turned into a heck of a race between the two of us.  Lap after lap I followed him and checked his line and planned for the pass.  I had more horsepower than he did but he was obviously a more experienced driver and had good handling car.  Mid race I started making moves on him and passing him.  We swapped positions several times during the next several laps.  I would out power him and he would out turn me.  I was learning from every move he pulled on me.  Then I started to use his moves on him.  I found his line and used it to my advantage.  I closed the door every time he had a chance to get me then I capitalized on the way my car was running down the front straight.  Soon, after a couple of laps, I was able to start pulling away from him in the turns.  I had finally found the groove my car and I could run in.  The last three laps of the race I was really moving.  The only places I backed off were the oval and turn one. The vibration had become worse but I was not going to let it put that Pinto in front of me.  Two of the last three laps I hit 7,200 rpms in O/D.  That is over 130mph according to my Excel spread sheet.  It felt like it too.  The car was really singing at that speed.  Slowing down into turn one was a heck of a thrill from that speed.  It was hard to keep it in line.  Finally the checkered flag was waved and it was over.  Over all in the race I did not do that well.  The Rx-7's were amazingly fast.  One set a track record and they all lapped us.  It is a heck of a goal but I plan to run even with them someday.  I believe the Gt-6 can do it when I figure out the suspension and learn to drive it.  Then I will put in a real race engine with about 50 more horsepower.

When it was all over I actually was surprised to find out I had made my quiet goal of 1:15 per lap time.  This was eight seconds faster than Saturday!!  I set a goal early on that I would like to see my car get into the 1:15's its first season.  Then I figured it had potential.  And I beat a Pinto!  ;o)

Jack and I loaded up the trailer and called it a year.  Darn near got misty eyed.

See you all next year.  I will keep you updated on the car as I go this winter.  The plans are for new axles and possibly disk brakes on the rear.  Also a bit of fiberglass will show up on the nose if I can swing it.  Then it will be lots of playing with corner weights and suspension settings.

Happy Motoring,    Andy

St. Louis Scottish Games and Cultural Festival British Car Show Results

The Second annual St. Louis Scottish Games and Cultural Festival was held Oct 11 and 12 and the weather cooperated this time with fair weather and warm temperatures.  31 cars turned out for the car show and all had a good time.  Quite a few even won awards.  The winners are:

The best of show award for the St. Louis Scotish Games British Car show went to Lisa Hendrix.

Class     Car                    1st                                                 2nd                                 3rd

AA        AC Bristol         Ron Varley

B           A-H Roadster    Bob McElwee

C           A-H Conv         Lou Salini

E           Jag XKE            Keith Bester

F           Jag Saloon         Lisa Hendrix                                 John Horan                    Chuck Jackson

G           Jag XJS             Gary Schluter                                Kris Kozak

H           MG Midget        Rob & Chris Chambers

I            MGB Early        Dave Bash

K           MGBGT            Charlie Key

N           Land Rover        Chris Brennan                              

O           TR2-3               Linda Massey

Q           TR6 Early          George Brooke                             Herb Crown

R           TR6 Late           Creig Houghtaling                          Mike Schmidt

                                       (Showing Craig Ingraham’s car)   

S           TR8                   `Don Huber                                  Dave Massey                 Charlie Key

T           Spitfire/GT6       Jack David

W          Misc                  Pete Belcastro                               Bob Louden

                                       (tie)                                               Roy Lane

In addition to showing off their cars and (in many cases) winning awards in the process, all attendees also enjoyed a well run Scottish cultural festival that included highland athletic games like the caber toss, highland dancing, birds of prey, Celtic music, bagpipes, story telling, British food and drink, and British and Scottish apparel and sundries, and many other family oriented activities.  A nice time was had by all.

The following is the forth installment of Detailing Tips and Tricks.  It is re-printed here in our newsletter, Exhaust Notes, with the generous permission of Brad Bloomquist,

Towels and applicators for drying and buffing

Most people inflict far more damage on their cars themselves over time that any other factor.  Towels and applicators are the #1 culprit

Applicators:   Use foam applicators!  Pure foam applicators are far superior to rags, sponges and terry-covered sponges for applying wax or compounds.  They provide a smoother more consistent feed of the wax/compound and help avoid hot spots/finger marks due to their density.

Towels:   Use Microfiber Towels!  Microfiber towels have an extremely high tread count (TPI), a plush loop and are resilient to crushing.  The huge number or resilient loops are so dense that they make it easier to apply a consistent pressure on the surface.  This avoids hot spots, finger marks and scratches.  The loops grab dirt and pull it into the towel and away from the surface to avoid scratching.  They can be machine washed frequently and last for years.  Lately many cheap brands have hit the market.  They are not created equal in quality. Do your research.

Quality MF towels are not cheap but are worth it.   If I were only allowed to keep one detailing tool in my collection it would be my microfiber towel!  The MagicTowel brand is by far the best towel on the market.  Viper microfiber towels are less plush but cheaper.  This is a good choice for the frugal detailer.  They can be used for buffing and drying.  GET SOME!!

Big Blue Towel! This is a new product from CMA (Classic Motoring Accessories) and is a huge advantage over classic bath or terry towels for drying your car after washing. It’s a waffle textured, lightweight microfiber towel that soaks up huge amounts of water yet wrings virtually all of it away quickly. The best part is it will not scratch your finish or cause swirls that so often are caused by terry towels. Get one!

Cotton:  Only use 100% cotton towels.  The best are made in the USA.  Be sure the loops are woven in a dense, even pattern with no 3-dimensional patterns or weave.  White is the softest.  Wash often and tumble dry.  Use them for drying. Old beach towels are very good.

Throw the old diapers away! Bad! Very bad!

Classified Ads:  Contact Creig Houghtaling at the address listed below, or oldtoys@brick.net or 636-305-1143 to place a free ad in this newsletter.

1973 TR6 - Partially restored - rebuilt engine, new top, tires, gas tank, red with tan seats and top. Asking $6,750. Call 314-878-8230 or e-mail to V1014@msn.com.

1965 TRIUMPH TR4  Ready for Restoration  Elderly owner had stripped and ordered over $2,700 in new parts  Solid straight body – Engine and drive train still intact  Production Record Trace Certificate from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust No 91/4272  New parts include, but are not limited to: Seats, Carpet, Dash Panel and Top Pad, Convertible Top 3 pages of new parts, one page of used parts Asking Price $5,000 car & parts fob Houston, TX OBO Contact:

Mark C. Anderson (281) 731-2191 mcanderson@houston.rr.com

1955 Hillman Minx Mark VIII   Recently, while on a vacation with my wife, I found a complete restored car that I could not pass up……..a 1954 Willys Aero Eagle 2 Dr Hdtp.

I can only have one car……so the Hillman has to find a new home.  It is a 1955 Hillman Minx Mark VIII Convertible (looks like 1949-50 Plymouth) that has a damaged right hand fender but is a very nice complete car otherwise. Hillman is part of the Rootes Group, the makers of the Sunbeam Alpine and Tiger British Sports Cars.  I am selling this complete, drivable and  rare convertible at a loss for only for $2000.  To see about 10 photos and see additional facts, please click on my updated web link below.  Please pass this on to any rare British car collectors you know.   Thanks for looking,  Lonnie   Lonnie Dunn  712 Lally Rock Ct.  Orlando, Florida 32828  mailto:Hillman55FL@aol.com   http://hometown.aol.com/hillman55fl/myhomepage/index.html

Wanted: Spitfire or Herald 1200cc engine in good rebuildable condition.  Should have all parts with it. May need other Spitfire parts later.  Robert 636 639-6119 or mailto:rdchambers@worldnet.att.net



St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

Creig Houghtaling

36 Copper Mountain Court

Fenton, MO 63026-5682