I heartily endorse all correspondence concerning TRs.
Prior to Mr. Thomson’s letter, I can recall but one solitary murmur from the TR ranks. A corner portion of a page of your magazine had been devoted to a reader’s letter entitled “Where have all the TRs gone?”
My first TR was purchased in 1965 at the tender age of 19 (since referred to as graduation day!). This machine, a 1955 TR2, was purchased for £160 and stayed with me eight months. Young at heart, and with illusions of the “Bentley Boys”, fly screens and leather headgear. I ventured forth.
My mania for open air unfortunately served as a deterrent for friend and tray alike and I mostly drove alone (contrary to the MG-B advertisement).
This first machine was fitted with a reconditioned engine and gearbox, coupled to the 3.7 rear axle. Mechanically she was first class, and needed no attention whatsoever in the 8,000 miles I covered. A return of 30-33 m.p.g. and oil of 450-500 m.p.p. was certainly nothing to be grumbled at.
The electrical system, perhaps as was to be expected, was a little troublesome at various times, but happily never burned. Brakes were bog standard drums, and, of course, were absolutely hopeless, although braking did improve somewhat if one wore heavier shoes. (Diver’s boots for preference!) The road-holding, even with new back springs, was non-existent, and gave me some hair-raising moments.
My dream world was shattered in 1967 by Britain’s decadent judicial system, and I retired from active participation in congestion for six months.
Early 1968 saw yet another of these fearsome brutes on my doorstep, much to the dismay of my parents, who insisted I should have bought “a nice family saloon”. A devilish gleam in my eyes, I ventured forth again. This machine was a 1954 TR2, purchased for £100, and possessed a few extras, namely, HC head, four-branch exhaust, overdrive, 2, 3 and 4 on 4.1 rear axle and the most raucous exhaust system I have ever heard. (The overdrive switch was conveniently situated on the gear lever.)
This machine, too, returned excellent fuel and oil consumptions. The braking system this time was front discs and a familiar rear drum, a most effective combination, especially on ZX tyres. Road-holding, happily, was still non-existent, and really terrifying experiences occurred on some hairpin bends, flicking overdrive in and out of second gear and generally playing silly B’s.
Needless to say, I am again in retirement, lusting for further experiences of these remarkable motor cars some time in the future. Who knows, perhaps next time, Mr. Adams, with 87 mm. pistons! I, too, derived more pleasure from my “old bangers” than from other more modern, and very much more expensive machinery.
My elder brother has experienced four motor cars in the last four years, all of which I drove for some considerable distances. A Lotus Elan, Austin Healey 3000. Lotus Super 7 and at present Unipower GT. None of these expensive motor cars I found comparable to my TR, but perhaps as Mr. Adams stated, I too, meter to drive my cars and I do admit I’m old fashioned!).
I hope your magazine is flooded with letters from enthusiastic TR Owners and ex-owners, now that the brave have paved a way for the timid.
Peter E. Fisher.
[Seldom before has one make and model caused so much enthusiasm. These are but a selection of letters sent from Triumph TR enthusiasts.—E.D.]