The collaboration between the TR Register and TSSC car clubs to put on a joint international Triumph event at Stratford upon Avon Racecourse last weekend, proved a huge success as record numbers for both clubs attended. Around 2,383 Triumph owners gathered during the course of the weekend, to celebrate the anniversaries of the Triumph Herald and Triumph TR6, at a show that had vehicles on display from all eras of Standard Triumph.
The event's focal point was an arena hosted by Wayne Scott and Graham Robson who guided visitors through the story of Triumph with a number of entertaining, but informative presentations detailing the history of the models and interviews with their owners.
The arena was also blessed with a number of star interviews including a fascinating chat with British Rally Champion, Russell Brookes. Triumph's chief experimental development test driver Fred Nicklin also shared his memories of the development of the Le Mans winning Spitfires, whilst an arena packed with various eras of the Spitfire model from a Mark 1 to a late 1500 told the story of the model's development.
Meanwhile, live music continued, with the act that began proceedings on Friday night, Betsy Harmony, who 'entertained the troops' with her 1940s renditions of popular pop songs.
On Saturday afternoon, the arena schedule concluded with the presentation of the award for International Car of the Show which went to the Herald Coupe of Claude Buntix (right) who drove over with his friend (left) from Liege in Belgium to enjoy the weekend and celebrate the Herald's anniversary.
Swallow Dorettis also gathered in the arena as part of their marking of the 65 years since the first Swallow Doretti went on sale. For TR7 / 8 fans there was not one, but two factory Sprints in attendance plus a factory TR8 and a superb 'growl' of Grinnalls amongst a healthy display of coupes and convertibles in various guises.
Spitfires could be seen overhead, as well as in the showground, as the event was blessed with an air-display from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight featuring a Spitfire in D-Day markings and a Dakota DC3 on the Sunday.
The arena then hosted special celebrations for sixty years of the Triumph Herald and 50 years of the Triumph TR6, where owners were interviewed and treated to a glass of champagne and a cake cutting ceremony. The line-up included some historically significant cars including the only 948cc convertible Herald known to exist and a number of rare Herald coupes.
The TR6's had amongst them, the oldest surviving TR6, a TR6 that was owned by X Factor judge Simon Cowell (wearing the famous plate A TR6 OK) and a famous press car that was used for the vast majority of Autocar and other period magazine road tests following the model's launch in 1969. The anniversary cars attended in vast numbers, with over 240 TR6s on display, which the TR Register believes is the largest number seen in one place for many years.
Another historically significant car on show, was the 1950 TRX prototype. Arguably the first ever TR and most certainly the very beginning of the TR story, the TRX was a prototype based on a stretched Standard Vanguard chassis and an aluminium body. Ironically, just like the last of the TR line, the TR7, it also had pop up headlights! Ultimately the complex design was too expensive to produce and so the company went the way of the design that we now know as the TR2, but it is a fascinating part of Triumph's history nonetheless.
Those seeking fast-paced, adrenaline fuelled action were kept entertained with the highly competitive Triumph Autosolo competition, where attendees pitched their wits against the clock around a twisty course of cones testing driving accuracy and skill to the max. Saturday's winner was Robin Fountain in a TR7 V8 coupe with top honours on Sunday going to the TR250 of Neil Brown which, unusually, was fitted with V8 from a Triumph Stag.
Money was raised into the thousands for charity by the event's bring and buy sale, which enabled visitors to offer unwanted parts for sale throughout the weekend with all commissions going to East Midlands Air Ambulance. A large number of traders supported the event, from Triumph specialists to tool suppliers, craft stalls and more general classic car businesses, to offer a variety of buying opportunities for visitors.
Meanwhile, tune up areas, free insurance valuations and technical seminars from experts such as Martin Gough from Duckhams Oil and John Crocker from BCC Parts, offered a number of opportunities for visitors to gain further knowledge about their Triumph cars.
Martin Gough from Duckham Oils said, "The response has been fantastic both on the trade stand and in our seminar. It's been great to share the story of Duckhams and answer lubrication related questions for such a huge number of Triumph enthusiasts and speaking to other traders, they have been equally busy as well."
After the trade stands had closed and the arena activities concluded for the day, visitors enjoyed a night of live music and entertainment from the fancy dress competition, where owners had to dress from the period of their car and have photos taken against a photographic backdrop of a period factory. The entertainment marquee then provided live music from the band 'The Classics' and a disco in the small hours. Even the ale had a distinct motoring theme, with a selection of Prescott Ales, including 'Pitstop' and 'Hillclimb'. Many members remarked that the atmosphere was "rocking' and reminiscent of both TR Register Malvern and TSSC Stafford events of old. "It's been twenty years since I saw the bar this busy... fantastic!" one member barked as they wrestled their way back to the dance floor.
Competition of a more sedate nature was to be found in the Concours marquee, where stunning examples of all the Triumph models, restored to incredibly high standards were battling out for the Concours D'Elegance and Pride of Ownership awards. Original, unrestored cars also competed for the Survivors cup. The largest number of Concours awards went to the achingly beautiful, modified TR6 of Venkatramanan Panchapakesan, who as a result of his win, will go on to compete in the Meguiars Concours D'Elegance at the NEC Classic Motor Show this November.
Other clubs also joined the party with the 2000 / 2500 Register putting on an amazing display of Triumph's big saloons and members of the Stag Owners Club provided interest in the arena as part of a presentation on V8 Triumphs.
TR Register Chairman, Allan Westbury said; "The variety and diversity that can be added to an event by clubs coming together to pool their resources has to be the way forward and the huge success of this year's Inter-club Triumph Weekend shows that it can be done. It was really special sharing the celebrations for the TR6 anniversary with our friends at the TSSC who brought a stunning selection of Heralds along for their anniversary as well. I am sure that lasting friendships across the clubs and new knowledge has been brought about as a result of the event and we will be announcing the date and venue for next year's very soon."
Commenting on the numbers, Allan Westbury said; "The sheer numbers through the gate did cause us a few issues with traffic movements due to the restrictions imposed by the venue and there was clearly more catering needed, but we will learn these lessons for next year and ensure improvements are made."
Paul Tunnadine, lead organiser for the TR Register said; "A huge thanks to our office staff Jo and Sue, to our arena team Graham Robson and Wayne Scott, but most of all to the hard working and invaluable team of volunteers from both clubs, who pulled out the stops to make the event what it was. From gate duty to arena recruitment and marshalling, the AutoSOLO team and all those seen around the site helping out visitors and keeping things running smoothly from both clubs - a sincere and heartfelt thank you. Many members do not realise that every person wearing a hi-viz around the site was a volunteer club member."
TSSC Chairman Chris Gunby said, "A massive thank you to all the volunteers from both clubs, to Nigel Hill and to Bernard Robinson and all those who worked so hard to make this possible. When I became Chairman of the TSSC six years ago, I stated that it was my mission to see the clubs working together, so I hope we have set an example to inspire other collaborations across the classic car world."
There will be more photos and a full report appearing in TR Action Magazine, with thanks to Martin Lovell from the Devon TR Register for the photography.
News on the dates and venue for next year's Triumph Weekend will be announced via www.triumphweekend.com and through the pages of TR Action Magazine and the TSSC's Courier before the end of the year.
The attendance stats in detail
Of which TR Register members: 1,329 and TSSC : 425
An additional 629 from all clubs including TR Register, TSSC, Stag Owners Club and 2000/2.5 Register arrived through the gate on both Saturday and Sunday.