Archive | June, 2015

Tim’s Triumph!

29 Jun Tim Loves His Triumph TR6

They say you never forget your first love or your first car.  If your first car was a Triumph TR-6 it is easy to understand they are one in the same.  At an early age my father introduced me to the concept of having irrational opinions and passions about cars.  So naturally he was determined I would get an Red Blooded American Car such as a Trans-Am or El Camino (just as long as it was not a Ford).  Naturally being a young teen I pointed my passion in another direction and my intentions were seduced by the British (Rovers, Jags and most importantly Triumph). The sweet nostalgia as I write this of remembering delivering newspapers to save for a car while checking the classifieds to find the TR-6.  There was a nice white TR-6 around the lake I would see and lust over.  While some friends had Spitfires and TR-7’s and TR-8’s, the 6 was always my love at first sight.

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Finally, I found my first TR-6 (Pictured below) and my father swore that if I purchased that I was on my own when it would to working on it.  I welcomed the challenge because I never looked at the size of metric wrenches anyway, like most men whether they admit it or not I just would tinker until I found what worked.  In retrospect it was probably one of the best things to have happened to me because I learned so much about cars and worked on rebuilding it from the ground up.  It also helped me learn to troubleshoot and improvise solutions in the days before mobile phones, you tube tutorials or even readily accessible parts.  This was a skill set that served me well into my adulthood and other professions.  It was among the favorite parts of my youth.  After a few years it threw a rod on I-30 over Lake Ray Hubbard.  Determined to rebuild the engine and get her back on the road I was also studying to go into the performing arts.  I had to give her up with the condition that I would get another one someday.

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An appropriate amount of decades later I had a significant birthday and a car collector out of Plano must have known men at that birthday have the means for a quick sale and a desire to recapture that youth.  It was also a Blue TR-6 but of the early years.  Getting behind the wheel was quite literally and figuratively a time machine.  The unique symphony of the senses of sound, smell and of course the classy visuals reminded me it was time to fulfill that promise I made in my youth.  However my credit union was closed and by the time I got back to him during the week the car had already sold.  1000196_10200452941307347_180872773_n1005452_10200452935547203_124823924_n

I could not be disappointed because part of the Triumph experience for me is working on them and so I knew I was looking for an Early Triumph T-6 that I could actually rebuild and invest in it to make it exactly what I wanted.  With modern innovations I could do things I only dreamed of with my first TR-6.  There were kits that introduced modern technology and reliability with classic style.  If it were already impeccably restored it would be a shame to tamper with that.

In the fall of 2013 I found my current TR-6 near White Rock Lake being sold on behalf of its owner for nearly 25 years by a Dallas Realtor named Ben.  Another “Car Friend” named Bill Mott strongly encouraged me to make the investment.  She looked rough as she had seen much more action than many that spent most of their times on display or trailer-ed to shows instead of on the road.  Everything that needed attention with her were all things I was experienced or had resources to fix.  One of the big selling points is that she drove and had seen a good portion of the United States.  Here are her pics from when I got her in 2013.

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Again referencing British Culture, she immediately made me think of Doctor Who’s beat up old blue box known as the TARDIS.  Many friends that saw her also jumped to the same conclusion.  It was further refined to “Sexy” (As Whovians know that is what the TARDIS thinks is her name) and it is a play on “Sixy” as in TR-Sixy.

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I spent the winter of 2013 refinishing her wood and customizing her interior and having a very nice custom paint job done by Victor Figueroa.  Although not one of the original colors I chose the color based on my favorite blue TR-6’s and the color of James Bond’s Aston Martin  (Another passion of mine of British Culture and many people don’t realize James Bond also drove a Triumph as seen below in a STAG).  When Victor presented me with the options the color code was the same as my Birthday and then it was like it was fate.   
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trrestoreprimer2She made her debut to the All British Car Day 2014 at White Rock Lake as a work in progress and I was excited to meet some of the Red River Triumph Club and am proud to now be an official member returning in 2015.

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As a 72 (and a half) she falls more on the early 69-72 side which are known to have leaky transmissions.  She had her original transmission that needed some love.  I invested in a freshly rebuilt, tested and warrantied Toyota Supra 5 Speed using the HVDA kit. (www.hvdaconversions.com). There are other kits out there but Herman came highly recommended and was always available for questions both before, during and after the upgrade and the shipping and instructions were very helpful and informative.  There is a local shop Trans Pro in Garland Texas that knows exactly how to do it. (Ask for Stuart and tell him I sent ya).

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Combined with new Pirelli P4 Tires it feels like a smooth performance machine that Triumph probably would have opted for if they had the technology.  I was a fan of the red line tires but was advised if my goal was to have an ultimate driving machine instead of a display trophy, Pirelli was the way to go.  The narrow red lines did not handle well in corners or elements and look classy with the wire wheels, but I have the original drum wheels, which look like a front loading washing machine, at least according to TOP GEAR:  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FageCtKA0g)

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The Lucas Lamp of Darkness has been upgraded to modern LED including some pale blue halo running lights for a unique look with her classic features.  I have added a custom smaller steering wheel and some chrome accents.  Just prior to the 2015 ABCDE event I went back to Ray’s Trim (who professionally installed the New and Treated Sunfast Tan Cloth Top) to do the high end black leather seats complete with dual level seat heaters from Moss.  She is also equipped with the retro bluetooth stereo and the updated center counsel with dual utility jacks to charge modern tech.

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Tims Triumph TR6 Cooper Show RRTC Tim Loves His Triumph TR6 1907483_10207243455144503_5150573382868653522_n

My plans are to rebuild the entire engine and add a supercharger if Moss ever makes them available again.  They are available for early TR-6’s prior to the 72 and a half.  Once complete I plan to tour doing the Moss Motoring Challenge in 2016.  I am hoping to do much more as an official active member of the Red River Triumph Club in 2015.

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The Gates of the Undiscovered Country

4 Jun

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Today I walked my long-time companion to the gates of the undiscovered country and learned more about life in his final moments than a living soul might.  My companion saw me through multiple transformations and been by my side through my highest highs and right there at my lowest lows.  I realized that we lived together longer than I lived with my parents growing up.  He was with me through romances, marriage, adventures, careers as well as depression, heartbreaks, divorce, rejection and near death experiences.Spotmissed10930900_10153055008563250_2947396728175501239_n

…And I him during multiple times when he dodged death with grace and style.  We recollected every one of them and I swear I could not count 9 but we must have missed a few.  He was more than human, more than a friend.  He was my familiar.  He was a cat.

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How am I so emotional over a cat?  Well in my expe   rience people can make things complicated.  That is not to say it was unconditional love, as he was very clear there were conditions.  Incredibly protective, sensitive and strong he could also be terrible at times.  I fondly remember our fights and our pissing contests (literally and figuratively).  He made me bleed and was never shy about sharing his opinion of my actions or my friends ever since he was a kitten.  I never thought I would miss those little turds in my shoe when I return home from being away longer than he found acceptable.  I don’t miss the piss.

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As we approached the gates, the love and light that surrounded us by all the lives he touched filled the room and that’s when I noticed he was sending me his last light and suddenly everything made sense.  Every struggle, every line of literature and every moment was crystal clear as he passed.

Although it was just the two of us the broken parts of my soul stung with the healing support of the hundreds of people wishing their best and sending their love.  About the same time he came into my life, I was introduced to a philosopher who quickly became one of my spiritual leaders, Thich Nhat Hanh.  There was a message dedicated to us and it was the closest thing I can put into words to what I experienced and I hope if the day ever comes when I go, someone reads this in my memory.

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“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh