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tomfpurves

TRS 929HP

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I was looking through an old Thoroughbread and Classic Cars from April 79 and found an ad for the Le Mans TRS 929 HP for sale by Rod Leach's Nostalgia outfit,fully rebuilt and in excellent condition.It made me wonder where the twin cam cars are today and what condition they are in.Does anyone know?

Tom

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I was looking through an old Thoroughbread and Classic Cars from April 79 and found an ad for the Le Mans TRS 929 HP for sale by Rod Leach's Nostalgia outfit,fully rebuilt and in excellent condition.It made me wonder where the twin cam cars are today and what condition they are in.Does anyone know?

Tom

 

929 and 926 are owned by Charles Runyan of the Roadster Factory. 929 is pretty much intact but has lost its Sabrina engine and currently has a TR4 engine installed. 926 is undergoing a total restoration including a rebuilt Sabrina engine but not one that was ever raced in this car. I believe the engine from 926 is in the UK in the Conrero.

 

There are two other cars that are owned by Mike Otto from Germany, restored I think and were at the TR Reg international last year or the year before. John Clancy shot some nice footage as well as an interview with Mike Otto that he put on his DVD of the event.

 

I spent an hour last week looking at the 929 HP and 926 HP projects at TRF and have some pictures. Prettly amazing that they hammered around Le Mans in these cars at 140mph with no roll cage and no seat belts.

 

Stan

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Charles has been posting irregular updates on the restoration of X654 on The Roadster Factory website.

 

Here's the link:

http://www.the-roadster-factory.com/Images/Customer-restorations/Runyan/TRS-restoration-folder/TRS%20restoration.html

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Hi Stan,

 

So what has happened to the engine of 929 ? It was in fine fettle when I thrashed it around at Silverstone in 1980, and it can't have done that many miles since then . . . . no seat belts or roll cage that time either, and we weren't hanging about !

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Hi Don,

 

interesting to see those restoration notes.

 

Red painted brake calipers, because that's a TRF tradition . . . . . only in America could anyone do that.

 

As for replacing dash switches with nos, and fabricating a new air duct because the old one was in poor condition ? What's wrong with repair and refurbishment of the originals ? Replacement isn't keeping the car original. it's a historic race car, a piece of history, not a concours exercise.

 

I'm still trying to work out the humorous aspect of Aston front pads and Humber rears, given that the two marques were both relatively technically advanced in their day, and of decent quality, on both counts more so than Standard Triumph. Am I missing something ?

 

As for Greenstuff pads, yes that is humorous, ludicrously unoriginal and hardly the stopping power for a race car. I wouldn't use them on the shopping car. Presumably this is to be a museum piece or trailer queen and not a racer ?

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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When I visited Roadster Factory for their Summer Gathering about 2002, John Ames was there and he gave an extensive and very detailed conference to about 30 enthusiasts. I counted enough parts for about 3 if not 4 Sabrina engines on display while John gave his talk. I video-taped most of the presentation and maybe someday I'll find some free time to edit it and to put it together.

 

This may explain where the engines are.

 

Cheers

 

Don Elliott

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When I visited Roadster Factory for their Summer Gathering about 2002, John Ames was there and he gave an extensive and very detailed conference to about 30 enthusiasts. I counted enough parts for about 3 if not 4 Sabrina engines on display while John gave his talk. I video-taped most of the presentation and maybe someday I'll find some free time to edit it and to put it together.

 

This may explain where the engines are.

 

Cheers

 

Don Elliott

 

Back in March Charles said this about the Sabrina engines that he has:

 

Next week, we plan to visit the shop to which we are entrusting the rebuilds of the two TRS Sabrina twin-cam engines. These were disassembled years ago by Lanky Foushee of Group 44, and we have a tablet full of his notes to aid in turning our parts into running engines. Further notes were supplied by John Ames, an English friend who has devoted his life to the TRS and other Triumph prototypes. This job will take six months or more to complete, and it will be the biggest part of the investment to be made in the cars. I hope one day to take one or both of the cars to shows and events, and I want to create a little museum to house them here at the farm along with other British cars and memorabilia.

 

This week I think I heard TRF has bits for three or four engines although not all are salvagable or perhaps complete. Fom the above it sounds like they have confidence that they can build two engines although without a workshop manual or factory notes it it a bit of a challenge as they dont even have the simple stuff like torque settings.

 

i think the above also answers some of Alec's questions regarding the eventual plan for these cars.

 

Stan

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Thanks for the photos Stan.

 

The Ottos managed to successfully rebuild a twincam engine from scratch years ago, albeit with some deviations from original, and if the Germans can do it so can the Americans.

 

John may indeed have devoted his life to Triumph prototypes and TRS, but the net result of that would appear to be however many cars (or mortal remains of) decaying in lockups, as they have been for decades, and a modest amount of dismantling of parts. The nearest thing to an achievement that I can recall was John selling one TRS to the Ottos . . . . . which of course they successfully rebuilt.

 

Other than that . . . .

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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I really appreciate all this information and thank the Americans in particular for the input. I am struggling to find out more about the engines as the books are quite lightweight on this particular topic. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good article or paper on the twin cam?Given the all up weight of the cars they must have been heavy.I always understood that the twin choke SUs looked better than they worked...but they do look good..What would a pair cost today if they were available?

Tom

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Tom, I didnt get to see an actual engine last week but they did have a copy of a period magazine that seemed to go into great detail about the engine.

 

I recall that is it a 5 part sandwich with a magnesium sump, lower crankcase, upper crankcase, head and cams with a magnesium cam cover. The cams had an extension bolted to the front to carry the gears. Cylinders had liners, pistons were machined to allow space for the valves, 10:1 compression, mechanical fuel pump. There were two spare coils under the hood and we were told the the drivers were instructed to swap them during pit stops.

 

The outer body is all fiberglass that is bonded to the steel floor so it probably doesnt weigh a lot.

 

I wonder if you could scan in and post the ad that you have ?

 

Stan

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Somewhere between £1200 - £1500 the pair, there were only 80 made. Make good mantelpiece ornaments unless your engine starts to work at 6000 revs plus like the FPF Coventry Climax F1 engines in the Coopers.

 

Mick Richards

Edited by Motorsport Mickey

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The outer body is all fiberglass that is bonded to the steel floor so it probably doesnt weigh a lot.

 

I wonder if you could scan in and post the ad that you have ?

Stan, I wouldn't make the assumption that a glass fiber composite is lighter than steel. In fact, it could easily be heavier. It's been reported many times the TR3S shells were.

 

Fiberglass has the advantage of relatively low cost tooling for small volume production, but in the land and time of superb panel beating, one wonders what was behind the choice of fiberglass vs aluminum. Revington is using aluminum, yes, for replicas?

 

I'd love to see a scan of the T&CC ad from 1979, too.

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The fibreglass shell was not light, far from it, it was substantial enough to offer a reasonable amount of impact absorption, and it was a pretty stiff construction too - 929 drove a bit like a small powerful truck, but at speed it felt hugely more solid than a TR4, let alone a TR3, and it did not flex anything like the way that production cars did.

 

Le Mans was a rough road circuit back then, even before taking into account the likelihood of off piste excursions, and you didn't survive 24 hours of pounding without building in a lot of strength and stamina . . . .

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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OK I will organise a scan of the ad and post it here but it will take a few days as its in the Club library in London. I imaginethe value of the twin choke SUs simply reflects rareity and appreciation of mechanical things in an electronic era.............and they do look good!!Wow was there really that much magnesium used in those engines?A bit out of character for Standard Triumph.

Tom

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Stan and Tom, I had a four of the final version of the twin choke DU6 SU carbies and discovered they were a race carby designed to work efficienly at high rev's. They were mainly used on Coventry Climax F1 and F2 engines before going over to Webers. As to value, I've heard of them changing hands for $6,000 a pair, but I sold mine for less.

 

They didn't have a choke, but a pair have been adapted to work well on a TR3S tribute road car in the UK.

 

Regards,

 

Viv

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Stan and Tom, I had a four of the final version of the twin choke DU6 SU carbies and discovered they were a race carby designed to work efficienly at high rev's. They were mainly used on Coventry Climax F1 and F2 engines before going over to Webers. As to value, I've heard of them changing hands for $6,000 a pair, but I sold mine for less.

 

They didn't have a choke, but a pair have been adapted to work well on a TR3S tribute road car in the UK.

 

Regards,

 

Viv

 

The tach on car 929 HP red lines at 6000 rpm but I was told they were pushed well beyond that. There was no OD on these cars so I imagine they had to rev the nuts off it to get to 140 mph.

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Keith Ballisat, co-driver of #27 that finished ninth at Le Mans in 1961, said in 1962 that he was pulling 6800 RPM on the main straight in practice. Ken Richardson at the same time declared the TR-S (as he called it) had a top speed of 129mph in LeMans trim, restricted somewhat by being no lightweight at 20cwt. He also put the disappointing 1960 TR-S campaign down to insufficient hardness valve seats that left the valves with no clearance. Power output sapped to just 120bhp. Apparently "some specialist" changed inserts of Brinell hardness 360 to half of that and were "confounded" when they failed.

 

Back then Canley described the engine as "the double-knocker", or S engine for short. Perhaps for politness of the day Sabrina wasn't mentioned. All up the engine weighed 438lbs, or 14 lbs less than a standard TR, and at 26.25" it was 3.25" longer. It ran 9.25:1 compression ratio and gave 158bhp.

 

Interesting recollections of the day that could be taken as reasonably accurate.

 

Viv

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That advert would have been 1979, Rod brought the car to IWE Donington one year, '78 or '79, I can't remember which - he had the car for a long time, it started off around £12K if I recall correctly, eventually sold to the Willhire collection later in '79 for closer to what I'd offered in the first place, around £8K.

 

I'm not convinced it was quite as original as the advert suggested, but it's always difficult to know with such an unusual car and so little contemporary detail record.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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That advert would have been 1979, Rod brought the car to IWE Donington one year, '78 or '79, I can't remember which - he had the car for a long time, it started off around £12K if I recall correctly, eventually sold to the Willhire collection later in '79 for closer to what I'd offered in the first place, around £8K.

 

I'm not convinced it was quite as original as the advert suggested, but it's always difficult to know with such an unusual car and so little contemporary detail record.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

 

I took some pictures of the TRS at Donington which I have posted to my Flickr account. This link will take you to one of the pictures and if you look in the set there are a couple more plus Reg Woodcock's TR5. Bit grainy I'm afraid and in these digital days of course I would have taken dozens more!. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21640011@N07/8354936863/in/set-72157603399503386

 

Nick (Faded Image).

Edited by Nick Webster

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