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Social Scene Report - TRaction Issue 350

Social Scene Report - TRaction Issue 350

Chris Thirtle writes: Welcome to the new members of our Group. Firstly, Mike Levers and his newly acquired TR4A known as Harold (and possibly some other names if ‘he’ misbehaves). Mike’s journey to owning ‘Harold’ is rather extraordinary. Back in 1979 he and a friend each bought a TR4A as a daily driver. Mike’s is the blue one in the picture. It cost him £500 and he ran it for 2 years before, one fateful night after a Charter Ball the head gasket let go. The TR went to the local garage for an engine rebuild but Mike never drove it again – and bought a Mini. The TR remained in his ownership and was dragged around the country and stored in various lock ups over the years. After treatment for throat cancer Mike took early retirement and built the TR a more permanent home ready for the planned rebuild, but the TR would sit on blocks for a further 12 years with the engine being turned over by hand every month before Mike’s enthusiasm returned. Recently the TR was put back on its wheels and, with the battery reconnected and his fingers crossed, Mike inserted the ignition key and turned it. Amazingly, the engine turned over beautifully, but Mike had decided the task of a full rebuild was now beyond him and work ceased again. Not yet ready to give up on his dream of driving a TR again, Mike took a trip to TRGB and ended up driving away in Harold, a lovely red TR4A which we look forward to meeting very soon. So, what happened to the original TR? Well, it remains in Mike’s ownership as it has done now for 40 years. He’s only the second owner, the car has no overdrive, but body and floors are all excellent and the chassis solid (except for the outrigger ends). If anyone is looking for a project TR4A, it might be worth having a chat with Mike.

Our second new member is Ian Littlewood along with his ‘mean, green, TR7 machine’. Ian has also taken delivery of a freshly imported TR8 restoration project and we will follow its progress with interest. Great to have you both on board.

Sadly, I must also report the passing of Bob Green on 14 January 2024. Bob was an active member of the Group who will be much missed, and our thoughts are with his friends and family.

A highlight of the Group calendar is always the Annual Dinner, and this year it was attended by 51 guests who enjoyed fine food, good company, and live music at Makeney Hall Hotel. The proceeds from the raffle on the night has given the Group a great start to the new financial year and means it can centrally fund events such as the AGM and summer BBQ. Prizes were also awarded, with none other than our Group Leader Dave B lifting the prestigious ‘Nut of the Year’. Strangely, Dave, being Group Leader doesn’t mean hotels hosting us for the Peaks Weekend will automatically book you accommodation; you need to do it yourself. Lucky for you and Sarah the Travel Lodge (other hotels weren’t available) could fit you in and I understand, as an extra nice touch, were even able to give you a room with a view of the luxurious official venue.

Group monthly meetings over the winter have been lively events. Thank you to Chris T and Barry and Hazel C for the enjoyable ‘TR Drive’ in January, and to Jim T who hosted a quiz in February. Sensibly, Jim made sure that none of the featured topics were too controversial, and stuck to the safe ground of Triumph, sex, politics, and religion. The Group have also resumed meeting twice a month and we enjoyed a warm welcome back at The Crispin, Gt Longstone in February.

It's not been all about the socials though. The wet and mild weather has meant that the salt has, thankfully, stayed largely in the Council depots. This has meant that on the sunnier days some TRs have ventured forth from their garages, and Darren and Wendy S lead the charge with a New Years Day blast through the villages along the river Trent.

Of course, some cars have been the focus of improvement over the winter and Ian H was one who took the plunge and decided to rebuild the engine on his TR6 (with considerable assistance from Group gurus Howard J and Alan W). The problem to be solved was low oil pressure, but on stripping the engine it was clear a new crankshaft was required and a second hand one was sourced. The engine is now away being professionally rebalanced, re-bored, and having the head converted to unleaded. In removing the engine a few other issues came to light, as is often the way of things TR, and having removed so much from the engine bay the decision was made to take everything out and get the engine bay re-painted. The car has just returned from the paint shop and, once it’s all put back together, we look forward to seeing it back on the road in the Spring. To end then, a public ‘thank you’ to all those in the Group who willingly give their time, and share their knowledge, to help others keep their TR’s on the road.

Diary dates:-

Club nights: 2nd Wednesday of the month, South Wingfield SC, DE55 7LX

4th Tuesday of the month, The Crispin; DE45 1TZ

21 April 24 – Drive It Day – details TBC

21-23 June 24 – Derbyshire Dales Peaks Weekend. See advertisement and website for details

14 -15 July 24 - Overnight Club Run to Lincolnshire

Photograph Caption:

Mike Lever’s first TR4A -open to offers.

Derbyshire Dales Group

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