Exhaust Notes

Newsletter of the St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

www.SLTOA.org                                               September 2005

September Meeting, Tuesday Sep. 20th, 2005, 7:00 PM, at

The new Chuck-A-Burger at Highway 370 and Elm Street in St. Charles.

A new Chuck-A-Burger is now open at Highway 370 and Elm Street in St. Charles.  Our meeting will be there, not the original location.

President’s Epistle, By Dave Massey

Here it is, the end of the summer season but not the end of the TR driving season.  This is the best season for driving top down, in my opinion.  The weather is cooling off after the hot, summer season, it is usually dry this time of year, and later on the trees will be in their full glory.  There are a couple of shows coming up and some drives on tap.

The All British Car Show and Balloon Race is coming up quickly.  The Balloon Race will be Saturday with a special convoy and a special parking arrangement for participants.  Then, when the balloons take off you can follow them to see where they land.  And following that, on Saturday evening, will be the Hanger Dance in St. Charles County.  (See registration form elsewhere in this newsletter.)  And of course Sunday is the car show.

As all of you know by now, we do the food vending for this event.  The reason it is successful year after year is due to the efforts of Joe Mueller and all of the volunteers who help out.  This year, once again, Joe has made the arrangements for the food and beverages but he asks for your help in bringing coolers, ice and volunteering to help sling hash... er... sell hot dogs and brats.  Since there will not be a meeting between the time you read this and the show this is your only notice.  So please load your cooler with ice and come out to the show.  If you have any questions for Joe you can call him at (314) 965 7924 or Email him at Mueller@cdgengineers.com.

On the same topic, we usually request that the MG club set up the field so that our cars are reasonable close to the food vending is, since we divide our time between the show and the food.  They responded by requesting that we pre-register so they will have a better idea how many cars to set up for.  So please send in your registration form today.

Immediately following on the heels of the car show will be our next meeting which will be held at the location listed elsewhere in this newsletter.  I hope to see you there so we can discuss the other following events for the rest of the fall season.

Coming in October, for the fifth time, is the St. Louis Scottish Games and Cultural Festival and the British Car Display therein.  Once again, as in the past two years, we are encouraging all British Car owners to turn out for this Grand event and display your car.  If you bring a British car to the games and display it you will get a dash plaque, free entry to the games (a $15 value) and you will get to see all the things there are to see at a Scottish games which include the heavy athletes tossing cabers, throwing weights over high bars and throwing weights for distance.  You will also see the young Highland dancers competing for trophies.  There will be Scottish music, story telling, sheep dog demonstrations (where the dogs actually herd sheep), Scottish food, activities for the children and the whisky tasting tent.  It's a fun time for the whole family.

In the planning stages for later on in the month of October is an overnight drive.  A B&B is being selected as a destination for a Saturday drive and a return trip on Sunday.  We will know more at the next meeting.

But as for me, my plans this fall include starting a project I reluctantly decided to do which is the restoration of the TR3.  Since it will be 50 years old in 2007 the plan is to have it freshly restored for the event.  More on this later.

See you on the road.   Dave

The Third Leg of the 2005 Triple Crown Endurance Series –Oct. 8th & 9th 2005

By Adrian van Osch

Greetings!   All systems are go for the third leg of the 2005 Triple Crown Endurance Series, ( Abingdon Trials ) which will start in beautiful Jasper, Indiana, October 8th & 9th.  The host motel is the Jasper Days Inn located at the junction of hwy 162 & 164, actual address 272 Brucke Strasse.  When making reservations, ask for the ' Fisherman's'  rate. 812-482-6000   Open to all British cars 1981 and older, the rally will be completed in 24 hrs and no more than 1000 miles, with the shortest distance winning.  WHAT!   You've never done a rally before?  Then come join us for your first rally experience; we promise to be gentle! 

Questions?  vanosch@sbcglobal.net


Hosted by British Iron Touring Club of NW Arkansas

In Fayetteville, Arkansas, Agri Park  September 24th, 2005

Benefitting the Razorback Chapter of The Muscular Dystrophy Association

September 23rd  - “Ozarks 200", self guided tour (9:00a.m. - 2:00 p.m); Registration, dinner, parking lot party, and hospitality room at the Quality Inn Hotel, 7 PM until.....

September 24th - Car and cycle display and popular choice judging at Agri Park, 10 AM - 3 PM.

Lunch concession benefits MDA. Twisted Fun Run on your own 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM.

Catered Awards Dinner at Agri Park 6 PM   SPECIAL GUEST: “TOLY” ARUTUNOFF

Due to the nature of this non-profit event, no vendors will be permitted.

Contact Creig Houghtaling for a registration form.  Oldtoys @ charter . net

SLTOA Benefits? By By Gary Allgood

As a reminder to all SLTOA Members, the SLTOA Web Site has a Members Pages section. At last look it does appear that many members are not taking advantage of this benefit. Yes this is one of those benefits that we all love like the Holiday Dinner in December, the picnic in the summer, the sound of three TR?s with the last name of Massey and the occasional cruise with your fellow club mates.

Got you thinking? Good! It is as easy as writing a letter or sending an  e-mail. I know everyone has a picture of their Triumph, yeah probably more of the TR than of the kids/grandkids/dogs/etc.

It is pretty simple to get your car here, a simple picture and some text would be fine. For those with some technology lying around you could scan a picture or use a digital camera and e-mail your info to me. For those who prefer snail mail send your letter and picture to me with the information required  below and I will see you get your own Members Page. What I need is the following:  Your Name  Year and Model of car  Commission Number 

As an example:  Gary Allgood  1962 TR4  CT/3795-LO

Pictures are always nice and I will put in as many as you get me. You may even want to put a story or favorite quotes in there, use your imagination.

Let?s get more members pages going.

Send your Members Info to me at:  gallgoodATlvsDOTnet 

Or by Snail Mail at: Gary Allgood  42 Lazy Ridge Ct. Saint Charles, MO  63304

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 17th & Sunday, September 18th, 2005


FRIDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 16TH: Join us at the Host Hotel, The Red Roof Inn @ Page and Concourse – Westport, for complimentary snacks and beverages; 7 P.M. – 11 P.M.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH: Hospitality and Registration at The Host Hotel 8 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.

At 11:30 A.M. Cars & Cycles Will CARAVAN from The Red Roof Inn to Forest Park to Our Reserved Display Area at The Great Forest Park Balloon Race From Noon – 5 P.M., 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, a Sky Diving Demonstration, And Food & Beverage Concessions.  The First Balloon Will Lift Off Around 4:30 P.M.  After Which, Our Cars May “Chase” a Balloon or Attend a WWII-Style Big Band Hanger Dance at Smartt Field in St. Charles, MO from 6:00 P.M. - ????


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18TH: Registration for the 24th Annual All British Car & Cycle Show Opens at 8 A.M. at The Show Venue, Creve Coeur Lake Park, Located on Marine Avenue Across From Beautiful Creve Coeur Lake in Maryland Heights, MO (Dorsett Road West From 270 Then North on Marine Ave. to The Show Venue).  Popular Voting Will Take Place From 11 A.M. to 1 P.M.  Trophies Will be Awarded for Over 25 Classes Including Awards For Best of Show, Chairmen’s Choice, Diamond-in-the-Rough, And Our Photo Contest (Club Not Responsible For Returning Photos).  *Registration Closes at Noon*


For More Information Visit: www.stlouismgclub.com  or Call Our Hotline at 314-995-TOMG.


REGISTRATION FORM: Complete And Return To Registrar Ron Birke, 413 Oakmont Circle, Ballwin, MO 63011 – or Email Questions to rbirke@irco.com


(Please Print) Name: ________________________________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________ City/State/Zip:________________________________

Marque:______________________________  Model:_________________________ Year:________________


Please Enclose Your Cheque With Pre-Registration Made Payable to: The MG Club of St. Louis.

Vendor Spaces Available – First Come, First Serve – NO COST – Contact Registrar


Early Registration For Sunday’s Show (before September 10th please) is $22 per Car;

$10 per Additional Vehicle.  Show Gate Registration is $25 per Car.                                         $_______


GREAT FOREST PARK BALLOON RACE DISPLAY (Saturday) $5 per Car                                  $_______


T-Shirts: $12 Paid in Advance; $15 Day of Show.  Please Indicate Size(s) and Quantity

Size: M_____ L_____ XL_____ XXL_____(XXL Shirts are $1 Extra per Shirt)                                 $_______


Will You Be Attending The Hangar Dance Saturday Evening?                                                   ________

Hangar Dance Tickets Available at Host Hotel Saturday Morning 8 – 10:30 A.M.


Host Hotel: Red Roof Inn, 11837 Lackland Road, St.Louis, MO.  Special Rates Available Before 8/16/05

Call 1-800-773-7663 and Request Block B126000797

Stories about those Triumph Cars By Kathy Kresser

Karl Schmitt, the "Grill Master" of the Triumph Club, owns a Spitfire.  I asked Karl about the acquisition and rebuild of this car.  Here is what he told me:

"I first noticed a Spitfire on my way to work one Saturday morning, back in the early 80s.  I thought it to be a neat looking car, and as I soon learned, well within the range of my available funds at that time. As luck would have it, a ‘basket case‘ showed up in the ‘Thrifty Nickel‘ a few weeks later.

The car, a 1980 model, had but 24,000 miles on it, but the engine was essentially shot!  The young lady who owned it from new had managed to blow a head gasket (I can't understand how this could happen to a Spitfire 1500????).

She continued to drive it, with a jug of water her constant companion. Well, one day she neglected the demands of the engine for coolant, and lock it up she did.  Then some helpful friends (???) tried to free the engine with ‘muscle', and in turn did further damage (actually bent several valve stems in the process, along with scoring the bearings. Yuck!).  She had also played ‘fender tag’ with a few other cars during the years she drove it, which I learned much later, to my dismay, after starting to work on the car.

At any rate I liked what I was looking at and it seemed like a perfect father/son project car, as son Ken was approaching the magic driving age at that time.  So I bought it for a bit under a thousand bucks, best as I can remember now, and towed it home.

Now, the first problem surfaced.  Pop wants to take everything apart; Son wants to get car on the road, now!  His reasoning: ‘If it is not broken, do not fix it‘.  Pop's reasoning:  ‘You can't understand a mechanical device unless you take it apart‘.  It soon became apparent that our relationship was faltering, so I gave him my older Pinto Sport Coupe, which he fixed up, (valve job, (we) painted it metallic blue, and with his mom, reworked the interior).  When done, the Pinto looked and ran good and attracted the proper ooohs and aaahs, so we all were happy.  Now, perhaps you can understand why he is a successful attorney, and I am the mechanical engineer!

Now, to take the Spitfire apart -- almost every part except the transmission (I did peek into it) and the rear end.  Except for boring the block, grinding the crank, and replacing the bent valves (all done by the late Bill Boemler), I did all the work in my well-equipped home shop, or at Nooter where I worked at that time.  The body work was especially bothersome to me, as the car had been hit several times, and I am not good at ‘metal bumping’ (heaven forbid, use bondo,??).  With time and a little bit of bondo (yes I succumbed), I finished it.  Then, based on my experience with painting Ken's Pinto, I painted the Spitfire, but I resisted the ‘go fast stripe’ down the middle of the hood.

I did do a bit of extra work on the engine, sort of a mild power upgrade.  Max bore size; milled the head and block, which raised the compression ratio a bit; Weber down draft carb with a much better manifold, free flow exhaust system with straight thru glass packs, and a dual point, high energy ignition system. I also rebushed the entire suspension, along with reworking the brakes. (This now needs to be redone. After some 15 years, the bushings have deteriorated, and as Dave Massy recently said, the tires are no longer reliable after five years, even though they look like new with only about 4,000 miles on them). I redid the entire interior with Barb’s help on the sewing machine, and installed a decent radio, which has since died due to the ‘smooth ride‘.

I finished the car in the late 80s, or early 90s.  It won its share of places at our local car show, and Barb and I have truly enjoyed driving (and her riding in) it. A racecar it really is not!  Above 80 and approaching 90, the steering starts to lighten, and I no longer feel comfortable or safe.  So, we drive it at reasonable highway speeds, and enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed, a simple little, nimble sports car.

What is the allure of these cars to so many of us?  To some, me included, it is the fact that we can repair, modify and work on them by employing classical mechanics.  When I was a kid living in the suburbs of a large city back east, most all of us had a ‘jalopy‘ or some other junk car, which we could mess around with out in the back yard.  Drive it on the streets we did, on occasion when the cops were not looking, or on an old dirt road back in the woods some place.  Then when seventeen came, the jalopies would hit the streets.  Most of us had an engine apart by the time we were fifteen, and one didn't have to have a computer, or a lot of bucks to fix one up back then.  Gas was $.15 a gallon and you could have a lot of fun for a buck, which was the going rate for an hour of labor back then. Additionally, I was educated as an airplane engine mechanic, a trade I participated in for several years after graduation, so I was one up on the technical side of my buddies.

What is the allure of these cars to so many of us?  To some, me included, it is the fact that we can repair, modify and work on them by employing classical mechanics.  When I was a kid living in the suburbs of a large city back east, most all of us had a ‘jalopy‘ or some other junk car, which we could mess around with out in the back yard.  Drive it on the streets we did, on occasion when the cops were not looking, or on an old dirt road back in the woods some place.  Then when seventeen came, the jalopies would hit the streets.  Most of us had an engine apart by the time we were fifteen, and one didn't have to have a computer, or a lot of bucks to fix one up back then.  Gas was $.15 a gallon and you could have a lot of fun for a buck, which was the going rate for an hour of labor back then. Additionally, I was educated as an airplane engine mechanic, a trade I participated in for several years after graduation, so I was one up on the technical side of my buddies.

Today I am retired for the second time, and looking for time to work on the four or five LBCs sitting around my yard or garage. I still prefer to do most of the work myself, as this is a form of self-expression for me, but I doubt it if I will ever paint a car again, as I have done three and a large sailboat. My shop is well equipped, and I know enough guys that know way more about these cars than I do, so help is still available for a few more years.  Parts are becoming harder to get, but still available for perhaps my lifetime.  After that, let them play with their Miatas.

Well, Kathy, my glass of Bourbon is dry, and you are probably tired of my ramblings."

Thank you, Karl, for sharing the technical aspects of your Spit.  Happy Motoring. 

Karl and Barbara Schmitt’s  1979 1500 Spitfire

SLTOA Newsletter, By Creig Houghtaling

In July there was a newsletter editor clinic at Rockford VTR.  Dave Massey volunteered to sit in for me since I was not planning on attending VTR this year.  It ended up that he wasn’t able to make it either, but it got me to thinking.  SLTOA does not have a newsletter editor.  I have the title, but I do not perform the function.  The only function I have performed is that of publisher.  An editor would take an active interest in the content of the newsletter in an attempt to make it more interesting to the reader.  That is something I have done very little of in all the time I have been publishing Exhaust Notes.  Luckily, Dave Massey and Kathy Kresser have taken an active roll in providing interesting content.  So, in an attempt to put in some additional interesting content, I thought of something relatively simple; a posting of short notes relating to what different people are doing with their cars.  In “President’s Epistle” Dave Massey talks about what he is doing with his cars.  Today Gary Allgood dropped me a note telling me what he is doing with his TR4.  I replied telling him what I am doing with my TR8, TR6, & Spitfire.  Here it is:

9/6/05 Gary Allgood to Creig Houghtaling

How goes the TR8, would be great to have an 8 as a daily driver! I finished the TR4 last weekend. Took your advise and replaced bout everything there to do with the clutch. I also fixed the fuel gage that managed to quit

working years ago as well as the heater now has all new controls and actually puts the heat were I need it now.

September I won't be around for the meeting, have a wedding and a 50th anniversary going on then (not ours).  Hopefully see you in Oct.  Gary

9/6/05 Creig Houghtaling reply to Gary Allgood

Gary,  The 8 has been driving regularly over in Illinois.  My friend Tom was itching to get his hands on it.  It was idling and driving very poorly at stop/start city-type driving.  He has some experience with 4-bbl carbs (which are totally foreign to me) and he thought he could improve it.  I think he is getting it tweaked.  He worked on it for 4 days this last weekend.

The good news is the oil pressure has stayed good!

Glad to hear your 4 is doing well.  Which clutch attachment point are you using for your slave-arm?  Did you get down to the bottom one?  If so was that where it was before?  If not, do you notice a lot smoother clutch operation?  Since you have a heater now, does that mean you will challenge the Missouri Endurance Rally next spring?

I need to put new U-joints in my 6.  Then I am planning to go back to work on my Spitfire.  When I brought it back from IL on my trailer I had two guys go out of their way to tell me how much they liked it.  I thought I was in a very small minority that liked the look of the old Spitfire.  But when two non-triumph guys off the street go out of their way (unsolicited) to tell how much they like it, I guess there might be a wider attraction than I thought.  That encourages me to do something with it.

Sorry you won't be able to make the next meeting.  I was going to try to get Tom to drive the 8.  I guess I'll have to try to make one of the SLTOA drives.  We should have a Fall tour coming up.  TTYL Creig

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

ü                                       Original TR3 &TR4 tools: I have some original TR tools available, in very nice condition. Please contact Don Weinberger - vallarta@enter.net

Late Breaking News  -  Parking Lot Tailgate Party for Show Registrants

Just as I was finishing the letter for publication I got a call from John Mangles.  All St. Louis All British Car Show registrants are invited to a parking lot tailgate party.  The party will be Friday night, the 16th, starting at 6:30PM.  It will be on the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn near Westport.  Barbequed brats & burgers along with beer, chips etc will be served on the lot nearest Page Ave (behind the inn).  For more information, call John Mangles at 314-426-1600 at work or 636-939-9338 at home.


St. Louis Triumph Owners Association

Creig Houghtaling, Editor

36 Copper Mountain Court

Fenton, MO 63026