Gary is a long standing member of the Wharfedale Group, and has long experience of car restoration work. This is the story as told by Gary.
I got my first TR4a in 82 so must have gone to my first meeting at the Red Lion Burley in Wharfedale about then, I was 19 years old at the time, not many 19 year olds driving TR's these days .
Next the TR2, it's made up of a very rough car I bought from TRGB which will supply the running gear, a second car bought from TR Trader which supply's some body and chassis, ID logbook and Reg number, and also bought from TR Trader an American inner body that had bean damaged in transit that has provided the lower panels.
At the moment I am using the best bits and new floors and sills and trying to get it all to line up. I have rebuilt the engine, cleaned and painted other bits and collected other parts, new and secondhand.
When finished I will build it to the Logbook, which is red with stone interior and fawn roof and will be standard, but I'm not sure on the wheels.
The bits that are causing trouble at the moment are the seats, which are rare. I don't work to timescales, it's taken 5 years so far and with having other cars that need work it's impossible.
I do most of the work myself being a welder sheet metal worker by trade helps.
My other classics at the moment are 1967 TR4a 1962 Austin Healey 3000mk2 1957 Austin Healey 100/6 and I part own with a friend two Morris minors a1950 Lowlight Convertable which is for sale at Classic and Sportscar Centre in Malton, and a1957 Convertable in a rare colour of BMC dark green which is under restoration.
JOHN & JEAN HUSSAY
John & Jean have been long standing members of Wharfedale Group.
In 1989 we had been searching for a TR for a while and I had gone down to see Roger Wiper who had a LHD TR6 for sale, took it out for a test drive but wasn't certain a 6 was what we were after. On the way home I had a phone call from Arthur at A&J Motors in Guiseley to say he had a LHD TR3A in from Florida needing restoration.
Upon inspection it certainly needed a full restoration but I couldn't say no! The chassis was solid, the car virtually complete, and all the panels appeared sound. Let's go and to hell with the cost!!!
Rather unusually the first inspection of the body/chassis proved correct so no "body off" carried out and all the panels remained essentially in place to be just rubbed down and repainted. A lot of big dents were found in the wings which had just been filled so these were all knocked out. The car remains with all panels original to this day with the exception of the offside external cill. Amazingly the engine ran so it was decided to just leave that bit for another day when the bank balance had recovered a bit. It came with a non-overdrive gearbox so this was easily sorted as there were plenty of overdrive boxes around in those days.
We have now had the car on the road for over 25 years and it has given us great pleasure. It has only failed us twice. The first time was the fuel pump going just north of Leeds and the second the differential failing completely on our way back from Grange over Sands. There have, I must admit, been a few occasions when we have limped it back home for various reasons but that's all part of the fun.
As always there is always a grand list of jobs to do but that, really, is part of the pleasure of owning it--if we wanted something just to drive we could go and buy a modern car but where is the character in it? Rack and pinion was fitted earlier this year so I hope that makes the steering easier to use, saves on my arm muscles especially parking and stops the Mot man having a panic attack every year to pass it under modern rules.
Here's to many more years of fun and friendship!!
Unfortunately the car received some back end damage in 2016, fortunately no one was hurt, and there was no structural damage to the car. TRBITZ was the repairer of choice and off the car went. I think John was hoping he might see it back in time for the October Autumn Leaves Run, but as ever in these things it wasn't to be. John picks up the story below.
Wonderful news!!! Our TR is now back home and in the garage--just about to come out and get a wash though. 1st for 2017.
Ended up using Swillington Trailer hire and can thoroughly recommend them. No problem picking trailer up, getting car on trailer at TR Bitz and then the Kia Sportage of our son pulled car and trailer fine over the M62. So, so glad I decided not to drive it back as weather across the top was horrible. As we were running a bit late to return trailer I decided to go direct to yard, take TR off, return trailer and then drive TR the short distance back home, that was a mistake!!!!!
The car was starting/running fine but as I pulled away from the yard it just died--our son had already set off home. Just a bit of panic I must say but decided it was out of fuel--yes TR Bitz had put hardly any fuel in it. Fortunately one of the guys at the yard grabbed a couple of fuel cans, took me 3 miles to nearest garage and back, then waited until car was running--unbelievable service.
After that a steady run home and looking forward to some summer runs. I've had rack and pinion steering conversion done and it certainly makes a huge difference to driving the car especially at low speeds.
MIKE & KATE SLOAN
Mike presents a brief summary of his life with what turns out to be a fairly special TR4.
I bought my 1961 TR4 in 1999, shortly before I was "early retired". I particularly wanted a car which didn't need attention and the following years proved it was a good choice. It had a major (and very expensive!) overhaul in 1990/1. The car was originally owned by Lord Arran. It was one of only ten RHD cars built in 1961 and has many features which were altered on later production. This can lead to problems in getting the correct parts for brakes and suspension for example.
Over the past seventeen years the car has done around 120,000 miles in this country and abroad. The only serious engine work done in that time is the fitting of hardened valve seats to cope with unleaded petrol. We have done the Club Triumph Round Britain Reliability Run four times from 2000 to 2006 and were on the inaugural Ten European Countries run in 2003. We've done the LAC Coast to Coast many times. The Scottish Isles Tours are a particular favourite for driving pleasure and we've done four.
In 2004 I started doing body repairs and painting with much help from Gary Stead and Charlie Edge, which at least put off major work until last year when new rear wings were fitted and the car was painted professionally. It now looks better than when I bought it! I've done all my own servicing and repairs apart from occasional jobs by Stan Lowe when a lift was necessary.
We've had our share of problems over the years and are familiar with the Register breakdown service. Some members will remember a trip to Le Mans when I limped home as far as Dover with no starter motor and a blown head gasket. Malvern had to be missed one year when the clutch gave out towing our trailer tent up a steep hill. Burst hoses and punctured floats have also brought us to a stop. Still lots of fun and every occurrence is part of learning about the car.
Apart from racing I think I've experienced everything that owning a TR has to offer and I look forward to lots more.
Along with wife Pat, Barrie has been a member of the Wharfedale Group for some years, I got to know Barrie through the Group which I joined in 2013, never knowing Barrie before then, in spite of living in the same town. for 40 odd years.
When I first knew Barrie he had a TR4, I never saw the car, but by this time Barrie had developed a love hate relationship with the car, due to a persistent oil leak, Barrie recounts -
I bought the TR4 for £8010 off e-bay after visiting to see it, the only admitted fault was an oil leak from the rear main, but I thought that I could cure it---wrong. The light leak just got worse, and a new conversion oil seal could not solve it, neither could a TR Specialist!!! In spite of this I loved it, it went very well, I changed the o/d gearbox oil to an SAE 40 engine oil, it made it a super driving car with the o/d as smooth as silk and no jerking/kicking in or out. Covered some 10k miles in 5 years. But I really wanted a TR5.
It does look a nice example Barrie.
I bought a TR6 in York last June for my son. It was used for 3 months, listing anything that needed attention ready for when when it was taken off the road in October 16. O/D wiring and switch needed attention along with the gear lever that had been re-assembled with the spring up side down, it was like stirring a race pudding!! As we progressed it appeared that a lot of money had been spent on it, including a galvanised chassis and new floors, but skimped in a number of areas. It needed a total re-wire, and a full re-paint. The rear bumper was re-chromed and the front one was replaced, due to damage. It was completed at the end of March 2017, and after Ray at Jagger Garage had worked his magic on the fuel injection it ran like a totally different car -- it was. Final job was to fit 2 new Gaz rear shockers and scrap the new looking ones fitted, as they were not up to the job. Took it back to my son in Henley in foul weather, but it never missed a beat, nor did we find a drip of water getting in!
Other Cars In Barrie's Garage
Coming back to the end of the TR4 and the 'I want a TR5 story, but they are too expensive'
Now anything half decent was Jaguar e-type money. After viewing a "well restored" TR5 at over £30k that was grossly over restored, and various dogs needing full rebuilds for circa £24k I decided if they were E-type money then I had to get an E-type-----which is what I did. Good decision!
I was looking for an OTS either series 1.5 or a series 2, the latter not as desirable, but it did have a good cooling system that the early cars did not, and as a result overheated easily. Like TR5's these cars were getting thin on the ground in 4.2 itre form. I visited a few. After one dealer visit to look at a 'restored dog at £55k' I decided to only look privately, eventually buying XKE 663 that was sharing a row of damp garages with a 1951 XK 120 OTS.
Barrie you forgot to mention the Hood chewed away by your resident mouse.
It needed work, the micro blistering dictated a re-paint, but apart from that and new seat leathers it was basically ok, and at £32.500 a good buy. So finished it should come in at £40k all in!!! I said should!!! Drives well, love it to bits, leaks like a sieve, but still its great! Now about to spend £5k on it, having ez power steering fitted, and a removable steering wheel along with a new higher output alternator that failed in Henley last month. Remember, no wheel no steal!!!
Barrie and E Type at Leon in France.
A very nice BJ8 Healey, also owned by Barrie for a short spell before being sold to his good friend Eric, yes that is the oily TR4 next to it at Ripon. Some other nice example Classics in the background.
I bought this Reliant Scimitar from a dealer who was taking it in part exchange under the £2k scrap scheme!
All Ford Escort running gear, low mileage, far too good to break with an Escort 1600 engine and ran well.
Interesting car, drove well. Sported both hard top with glass roof and a soft top.
I had it for 3 months and took it to York Race Course Rally, parked it next to Eric's Healey BJ8 (very nice one)
It attracted more attention than anything else on the line. I stuck a for sale notice on it and sold it to a very enthusiastic young Reliant fanatic for the same £2k I had paid for it,
STEVE & NICOLA ELLMORE
Steve & Nicola are newcomers to the Wharfefdale Group joining in early 2017. Steve says on joining the Register he was assigned to the York Group, but enjoys having a foot in both York & Wharfedale camps.
Steve is the owner of a very nice TR5, and takes up the story -
I bought a fully restored TR5 earlier this year (2017) having admired them for a long time.The car dates from 1968 and was restored around 10 years ago.
When I bought it, it had 9000 miles on the clock, I am assuming it was at set back to 0 when restored and the MOT certificates seem to back this up. I have covered about 1500 miles this year. My wife and I have attended a number of car shows including Castle Howard, Pateley Bridge, Ripon and Cropton on the North Yorkshire Moors.
Steve & Nicola are looking forward to the Holland trip in April 2018, but Steve reckons to have no mechanical expertise, so will be relying on the professionals when it comes to maintenance and servicing, he won't be alone there.
TR Register Wharfedale Group