Exhaust Notes

Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

www.SLTOA.org                                              September 2004

Meeting One Week Early!

September Meeting, Tuesday Sep. 14th, 2004, 7:00 PM, at Gary and Chris Allgood’s,

 42 Lazy Ridge Ct.  63304-7272, Phone, (636) 922-1812

Arrive any time after 6:00 p.m.; meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. The club will provide grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Attendees should bring a dish or dessert to share, your beverage of choice, and lawn chairs.

President’s Epistle, By Dave Massey

As I write this we approach the busy season in terms of British car activities.  By the time you read this the Kansas City British Car Meet will be history but the St. Louis show is fast approaching.  If you haven't already registered (using the form included in last month's newsletter) you can use the registration form included in this month's newsletter.  And if you can, help out in the food vending.  If we get enough folks we can work short shifts so no one must miss out on much of the festivities. 

Also on the horizon is the Scottish Highland Games and the British Car display therein.  Bring a British car and the driver gets in free.  Later in the month is the Highway 19 drive organized by the Chicago Austin Healey folks.  At the moment it looks like there will be more St. Louis TR's than St. Louis Healey's.  

And the Christmas Party will once again be held at the Bevo Mill on December 10th.  Let Bonnie know you are interested in going.  Better yet, Send in your check.

In addition to all of this activity, Chris and Kathy have been organizing a drive just about every weekend.  This is really exciting since the weather has been so nice throughout the month of August.  September and October are typically good driving months as well.  Having so many drives means that missing a drive due to a conflict means you only have to wait until the next weekend.  One Ataboy for Chris and Kathy.  (Oh, heck, a THOUSAND Ataboys to Chris and Kathy, Ataboy's are cheap)

This coming meeting will be held a week early to get it in before the car show so we can discuss last minute details.  This meeting will be held at the home of Gary and Chris Allgood.  This caps a summer season of holding the monthly meetings at various member's homes.  So the October meeting will need a home.  We can return to The Crossings if there are no objections or better options.  Bring your thoughts and opinions to the meeting at Gary's house.  Hope to see you there.


September 4th, 2004


SLTOA Summer Meeting hosted by Steve & Sandy Street

September 12th, 2004


British Car Fest in Palos Hills, Illinois

Website: www.birtishcarunion.com

September 14th, 2004

SLTOA Monthly Meeting at Gary & Chris Allgood’s

September 18th,



September 19th,


Forest Park Great Balloon Race/Car Display (Sat.)

St. Louis All British Car Show (Sun.)

Sponsored by the MG Club

Contact:        Charlie Key

Telephone:        314-428-9335

Email:                britcarguy@aol.com

September 17-19

Indy British Motor Days at Arbuckle Acres

September 19

Talk Like a Pirate Day - Website: www.talklikeapirate.com

September 30th, 2004

Triumphest 2004

October 2nd – 3rd,

Saturday & Sunday

Overnight trip - New Harmony, Indiana

New Harmony Inn  www.redg.com

Contact: Chris Kresser 636-394-3012

October 3rd, 2004

South Lake Tahoe, Nevada  -  Contact: Richard Gibbon

Telephone: 209-296-8792  -  Email: krgibbon@volcano.net

October 9th, 2004


St. Louis Scottish Games and Cultural Festival  Location: Forest Park  Bring a British car and driver enters Free.  Activities: Dash plaques, bagpipes, caber throwing, Highland dancing, sheep dog demonstrations, children's activities.

October 16th, 2004

Possible Fall Color tour

October 19th, 2004

SLTOA Meeting

October 22nd – 24th

Friday - Sunday

Midwest Region Fall Tour Hannibal to Poplar Bluf

Cnct: Bob Brown Telephone: 630-393-1413 Email: blkbt7@aol.com

Stories About Those Triumph Cars, By Kathy Kresser

Bonnie and Jack, tell me how you came to be owners of a Spitfire.

Jack said he owned two convertibles earlier, one being a 1969 MG Midget until the arrival of their first son, Jeffrey. He loved the thrill of the convertible ride and felt he needed to experience at least one more convertible. Convincing Bonnie took a little effort, but the accountant was helpful. He suggested the checking account had excess money – that was all Jack needed to hear.

Daily, he scanned the newspaper ads. Initially, his searches focused on MG’s, but his auto mechanic advised against it if one is not mechanically inclined. According to Jack, “That was more than enough endorsement for me.“

Bonnie and Jack live in St. Charles and as luck would have it, they found their 1975 Triumph Spitfire just a few blocks away. They didn't even have to cross the river.

After introducing the Spitfire to its new home, the brakes were rebuilt by the auto mechanic. He also took care of other odds and ends. The interior was re-upholstered and a new top was purchased. Jack said he tackled the parts he could handle, the body repairs and a fresh coat of paint. His earlier experience as a body shop owner was helpful.

Bonnie told me they love to drive the Spitfire and frequently take short drives in the evening and join other SLTOA members on longer drives such as the Champagne Car Show and the Hannibal overnight trip they arranged one year. Bonnie takes comfort in the fact the car has never stranded them -- knock on wood. The grand kids are too small to ride in the car, but they love playing in it and often sit behind the wheel for a stationery ride. Jack was quick to add his favorite part about the car is the “heat rising up from the floor boards.”

The long and short term plans for the car -- drive it. All the kids want the car when Dad is finished, but Bonnie and Jack said, the oldest, Jeffrey, is most likely to inherit the car, but not anytime soon.

Happy Motoring           Bonnie and Jack David 1975 Triumph Spitfire



The MG Club of St. Louis and The Great Forest Park Balloon Race

Invites You To Attend A Very Unique


In St. Louis, Missouri

Saturday, September 18th & Sunday, September 19th ,2004


FRIDAY EVENING, Sept. 17th : Join us at the Host Hotel, The Red Roof Inn**,  Page and Concourse-WestPort, for a complimentary snacks and beverage  Welcome Reception from 7PM -11PM.

SATURDAY, Sept. 18th :  Hospitality and Registration at the Host Hotel from 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM.

At 11:30 Cars & Cycles will CARAVAN from the Red Roof Inn to Forest Park and our reserved display area at  The Great Forest Park Balloon Race,  from NOON- 5PM, in front of 130,000 spectators who have come to see the 70 Hot Air Balloons.  Pre-race activities include an entertainment stage; an amateur photo contest on the launch field; sky diving demonstration; plus food and beverage concessions. The first balloon, the 40 foot high ENERGIZER BUNNY, will lift off around 4:30.  Afterwards our cars may  “CHASE” a balloon – or attend an optional WWII-Style “Big Band Hangar Dance”* at Smartt Field in St. Charles, MO. From 6 PM - ????

SUNDAY, Sept, 19th :  Registration for the 23rd Annual Midwest Regional All British Car & Cycle Show

opens at 9AM at the show venue - Creve Coeur Lake Park @ Marine Ave –across from beautiful Creve Coeur Lake, in Maryland Heights, MO. (Dorsett Road-West off I-270, then north on Marine to the show venue). Popular voting will take place from 11 AM to 1 PM.  Awards will include trophies for classes (three or more cars/cycles will constitute a class and less then three registrants per class will be assigned to the closest Marque.  In addition there will be awards for BEST OF SHOW; CHAIRMENS’ CHOICE; DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH;  and NEW FOR THIS YEAR – A PHOTO CONTESTso we encourage all to bring their favourite  photo of their British Car!

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: www.stlousmgclub.com or call the HOTLINE at 314-995 TO MG


REGISTRATION FORM: Complete and Return To Registrar Ron Birke, 415 Oakmont Circle,

Ballwin MO 63011 ∙ E-mail Questions and Concerns to <rbirke@irco.com>

Please Print Name: ______________________________________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________ City State Zip________________________

E-mail Address:_____________________ @ ________________Phone: (        )­­______________________

Marque:_________________ Model: ______________Colour: ____________ Year: ___________________

Please enclose your cheque with registration made payable to THE MG CLUB OF ST. LOUIS

EARLY REGISTRATION For Sunday‘s Show (Prior to  Sept 13th)

 $22/car and $10/additional vehicle.  After Sept. 13th – and at gate Registration will be $25             $__________

GREAT FOREST PARK BALLROON RACE DISPLAY (Saturday) $5/Car                                                    $_________


T-SHIRTS – SPECIAL AT $10 each when ordered before August 15th, and $15 each afterwards-please indicate qty & size  M_____L_____ XL _______ XXL (+$1 more/shirt)_______                                                 $_________

*Please cheque here if you would like to attend the COMMERATIVE AIR FORCE HANGAR DANCE on Saturday Eve -

Tickets will be available for purchase on Saturday AM at Host Hotel from 8-10:30  AM                         _________

**Host Hotel: RED ROOF INN 11837 Lackland Road, St. Louis.  SPECIAL RATES AVAILABLE BY CALLING 1-800-773-7663

and requesting block B12600073 prior to 8/18/04


Have you joined any of the impromptu Triumph drives this summer?, By Kathy Kresser

The St. Louis weather has provided some really nice days for driving this summer. As the SLTOA president Dave Massey suggested in an earlier column, impromptu drives as well as planned drives are wonderful. The following is a recap of some recent drives:

Mid June, John Lamberg organized a drive to Illinois crossing the Mississippi River on the ferry and enjoying lunch in Kampsville. 

In July Dave Massey, John Lamberg and Gary Allgood and others explored some very back roads on their adventure to Hermann.

In August, the weather on Sundays has been incredible and Chris Kresser put together several rides including a winery visit in Hermann winding through Defiance, Augusta, Dutzow and Treloar and a beautiful back road drive in and around House Springs, Catawissa,  obertsville, Londell, Luebbering, and Richwoods ending at Meramec State Park for a picnic. A drive to Augusta and the Mount Pleasant winery included some very scenic country roads and the quaint village of Femme Osage. We also drove to Hawn State Park via Cedar Hill, Morse Mill, DeSoto and Valles Mines for a picnic.

The rides are posted on the Internet, but if you are interested in joining the drives and prefer a telephone call, be sure to share your name and number with Chris Kresser.

Look for details on the Internet for an upcoming overnight trip to New Harmony, Indiana, being planned for October 2-3.

TR6 Tune-Up Challenge Update, By Creig Houghtaling

Fellow SLTOA member Mike Mason was having a hard time getting his TR6 to run properly.  So last month, I published a note in the newsletter asking for help.  On Saturday August 21st, Chris Kresser, Dave Massey and I went over to Mike’s house to see if we could help.

Chris & I got there first.  The car was very difficult to start.  With a little starter fluid persuasion, the 6 finally started.  From an experience I had with another TR6 a few days earlier, the first thing I looked at was balance of lift of the carb pistons.  The front would lift on acceleration, but the back would not.  So we quickly saw the problem.  The reason for the problem and the solution took a little more effort.  First we switched the pistons and caps front and back.  The front was still breathing and the back was not.  So it wasn’t stuck or badly breathing carb pistons.  So we had to figure out why one carb was pulling all the air and the other almost none.  One member suggested checking the valves and timing.  After looking very carefully for vacuum leaks, we did a compression check on the engine.  One piston was a little low, but that was on the end of the engine that was breathing OK.  So that didn’t explain anything.  We adjusted the valves.  A few needed some adjustment, but nothing dramatic.  The engine ran worse!  (Only on starter fluid.)  The smell of stale gas, and the fact that the tank was very low, inspired us to put in a few gallons of fresh fuel.  The car started.  On a lark I adjusted the throttle plate on the rear carb to open obviously earlier than the front.  Now the rear was doing all the breathing and the front none.  I didn’t realize a little difference in the throttle plate balance could make one carb do almost all the work and the other almost none.  So I went about balancing the carbs,  After balancing the front and back the engine ran dramatically better.

Mike has a pair of SU’s on his car so Chris taught me how to adjust the fuel mixture.  About that time, Dave showed up.  We didn’t have the engine running just right so he rolled up his sleeves and worked on adjusting the carbs some more.  Mike had a different set of needles that he wanted to find out if they would work better.  So Dave switched the needles and adjusted the carbs again.

We left the car drivable, but running kind of rich.  There was lots of gray smoke coming out the tail pipes.  So Mike says he is now inspired to check with Joe Curto to find out what he might do to improve the car even more.

A Day In The Life of Walter Mitty: By Mike Mason

I think I have always wanted to be a racecar driver.  And I may have been born in the wrong era.  My idea of racing is not to go around in circles as fast as a computer-designed car will go.  Nor is it to have electronic sensors and black boxes adjust my brakes or traction and compensate for my boneheaded moves.  I want to weave through tight corners on a twisting, narrow piece of blacktop.   I want to drive the car and not the other way round.  And if I plant it in the scenery, I want it to be me who's done it and not some mindless computer.

That is probably why I was so excited when Phil Wicks opened a world class driving academy right in my back yard.  I thought and dreamed about it for months.  In fact I had wanted to do a drivers school since I was a kid.  But why in the world would a stolid, middle-aged, stuffy, college professor even consider being on a racetrack, and what's more, being there at speed?  I decided to let the Freudians on our University faculty try to decipher that one.  In the meantime I talked my wonderful and longsuffering wife into parting with the fee, ordered a racing helmet from a phone number on a sticker on my tool chest, and showed up at Gateway Race Track.

I wondered what it would be like to fling my thirty-one-year-old, underpowered and cranky, British Triumph TR6 through the tight corners of a road track.  I had no doubt that it would be a wild and stimulating ride. Any speed in that old girl gets the adrenaline running!  But the '6' had the one characteristic that is detrimental to a racecar.she wasn't running at the time.

So I took my stock, base model 2003 MINI Cooper. What was not mentioned in the advertisement was that this driving school was in conjunction with the St. Louis Ferrari club and that there would also be several Vipers, Porsches, and other big-ticket machines there.  I tried to be unobtrusive as I wheeled my tiny, low budget machine into the paddock.

The instructions said that time on the track would be alternated with time in the classroom.  I had visions of long hours of boring lectures on vector analysis, rubber compounds and tire aspect ratios, Newtonian mechanical physics and probably even some quantum physics.  Instead we were given a brief lecture (hey, any lecture under an hour I consider brief!) on track safety, the flagging system, and how to understand corners and corner apexes.  Keeping track of lap times was discouraged.  We were there to practice driving and to get a feel for the automobile and the course.

Then we were divided into groups of two or three to ride the track at a slow pace with an instructor.  The instructor described the approach and execution of each corner, when and how to brake, and what to look for as we rounded the track.  Back in for a few more minutes of lecture, a discussion of the corners we had just experienced, and we were allowed to put on our helmets!  Somehow putting on the helmet now felt different than it had right out of the box.  I was going racing!

Those of us on a racetrack for the first time had been placed in the Novice category.  Intermediates were those with more experience and the advanced people were there to practice hot laps.  Each hour was split evenly between the groups, with twenty minutes on and forty minutes off the track.  The first few times on the track, each Novice had an instructor in the passenger seat.  It is one thing to drive by yourself and try different things.  It is quite another to have a qualified race instructor sitting next to you.   To have someone say, ".hold the line, hold it, don't brake yet. NOW, brake hard, downshift, get on the power, more power, power, POWER!!!" or "Don't start into the turn yet.  Keep the power on, wait, wait, wait 'till you see the 'S' of the corner open up.NOW," or to reach across the cockpit and physically take the steering wheel, ".here's the line over HERE, that's better, you were too far over to take the next corner fast!" makes all the difference in the world.  And you feel yourself getting faster with each lap of the track.  The change is astonishing as you find out what you and the car are capable of doing.

When on the track, we were only allowed to pass on the first half of the front straight and then only if the car ahead waved us through.  The big Ferraris could hit close to 140 miles per hour on the short front straight, while my MINI could only manage about 90 before it was time to hit the brakes and dive into the first corner.  But it was ever so gratifying to find that they couldn't stay away in the corners.  By halfway through the infield, I would be right there in their mirrors.   Cars that were slowing others down in the corners were instructed not to drag race down the straight, but to allow those others to pass.  So coming out of corner seven I was waved-by by a Ferrari.  By the time the twenty minutes of track time was up, I had lapped the big car again.

Now I realize this was only a group of Novices on a highly controlled training exercise, but I lapped a Ferrari.  And I don't care if the driver of the other car was dead or comatose; I lapped a $257,000 Ferrari in my $17,000 MINI!  That alone was worth the price of admission.

I hadn't known what to expect, but I got way more than my money's worth.  I probably don't have the reflexes or the bottomless pockets to be a real race driver.  And if you have to ask yourself at seventeen if you want to be a racer, you probably never will.  Other passions led me elsewhere.  But for a few moments I could push my limits, feel the adrenaline pound, imagine with Walter Mitty that I was a team driver in a factory prepared car, and appreciate what it must mean to be a real racecar driver.

But more than that, I came to appreciate and trust the wonderful suspension on the MINI and to know how incredibly agile and quick it really is.  At only 116 horsepower it's not the supercharged model and doesn't have all the fancy automatic traction controls and computer systems.  But I have a much better understanding of what it will do in an emergency and how to avoid an accident.  I find that I now drive it and the TR6 differently.  Besides, there's a college kid who loves to come over and work on cars with me.  I think the best gift I can give him is to get him to one of the training sessions.  He loves to drive fast and I would like him to stay alive.

I've become one of the most outspoken advocates for the program.  Everyone should consider taking it.  We lost a great deal when Phil and his lovely wife moved from St. Louis, but he is back several times a year to put on a top notch driving school.  Even if I had only been able to drive my beat-up old Saturn Station Wagon, it would have been a blast.  The next driving academy at Gateway is on the weekend of October 2 and 3, 2004.  Check out http://www.midwestdriver.com/ and I'll see you there!  I'll be the one with the Ferrari outline painted on the front wing!

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.

For Sale, 1980 TR7 Spider $1,800, Contact Dave Gries 618-514-1200 Cell or Jim @ (618) 977-5548


Editor’s note: I went and looked at this car.  It started difficultly, but ran well.  Then I found a manual choke.  I suspect it would start fine with the choke pulled.  With a little work this car could be a very nice driver.  If I could have figure out where to put another car, this ad would not be here…

61 TR3,  Call Joe Mann, (618) 357-8168, joegmann@webtv.net

Wanted: TR6.  Call Kevin McMahon (314) 997 7752 (O), (636) 207 6838 (H)

SLTOA Shirts, $25, Call Bonnie David for delivery to out next meeting.  (636) 949-0825

1967 Austin Healey Sprite - red convertible, rebuilt engine, new gas tank, fuel pump, tires, timing chain, battery, and lots more!  Professionally done.  A great car.  Call 314-713-9327 anytime and leave a message.  Asking $4200.  Thanks - Jeff Weintrop ('72 blue/white spit driver)

For sale, 1974 Red Triumph TR6, in Peoria, Illinois  Purchased in 1998, Weymouth, Massachusetts.  Completely rebuilt and restored.  It has a 1973 block, a new engine, transmission, oil, water and fuel pumps, 4 new tires and a new top. Needs very minor chipped paint touch up.  All records of what has been done are available with it. We're asking $17,500, OBO.  (309-674-8688 or email 4edmonds@ameritech.net)

76 Triumph Spitfire 1500 Green w/black top 71,927 miles  Not running at present time - needs work      $1500  Peggy Shores  636-527-8320

TR6 in KC - For Sale.  A 1976 in great condition.  Carmine red w/biscuit interior and top.  Not ORIGINAL, but complete and mechanically/ cosmetically sound.  Asking $6850.  Have numerous pics I can send by internet.  Contact:  Bernie at  bchseh1@juno.com. or  Ph: 816. 942-6474.

St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

Creig Houghtaling, Editor

36 Copper Mountain Court

Fenton, MO 63026