Giovanni Michelotti was a prolific designer, who styled cars for Ferrari, Maserati, BMW and Triumph, designing some of the latter’s most successful cars in the postwar era. When you look at a Triumph TR4, Spitfire, Stag or Herald, you are looking at Michelotti’s work. Giovanni Michelotti will be inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame on June 2, 2017.
From his position as Competition Director for Standard-Triumph in the United States, R.W. “Kas” Kastner was the guiding influence and prime instigator for the company’s success, essentially writing the book on how to successfully race cars on a budget and setting the standard for others in the industry to follow. He will be inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame on June 2, 2017. Kastner’s experience in the automotive industry spans over 50 years. He has particular experience in the field of performance vehicles and automotive racing and racing team management. Triumph powered cars still participate annually in the appropriately named Kastner Cup.
Instead of using caffeine to wake you up, how about a nice brisk morning drive in a beautiful Triumph TR3A? Via the fine folks at Petrolicious, our Video of the Week the go rounds is titled “A Triumph TR3A to Warm Up a Cold Morning“. Another soft spot for me since I once owned a small-mouth TR3, although admittedly I sold it before the was put back together enough to see road time.
Whether you know it or not, you very possibly already have a part produced by Clark & Clark Specialty Products on your car. I met Robert Clark at the recent BMTA conference, and he explained to me that their parts for a variety of marques and ranging from seat belt retainers and battery boxes to hood lifts and carburetor caps are sold by mass-market vendors including Moss, Victoria British, and The Roadster Factory. After discussing the ins and outs of engineering, development, and production, we then got down to the real business of the parts he produces. One of the newest items in their line was of particular interest to me – a replacement for the telescoping trunk support used by my Triumph Spitfire 1500. The original type supports are quite common on all types of MGs and Triumphs, and while […]
For our last Video of the Week of 2016 I thought we would take a look at one of the still affordable and often overlooked classics out there. A car that could very easily be in the Sunbeam Tiger category of collectibles. Our Video of the Week this time around is a Buyer’s Guide to the Triumph TR8. This video was produced in 2015 by Hagerty, the classic car insurance folk. In many ways, the comparison to the Sunbeam Tiger is a good one. Both cars are the V8 derivative of their more common 4-cylinder counterpart. Both were produced in limited numbers, and both were ignored as collectible for a long time. In the case of the Triumph, it still is for the most part. Although that may be beginning to change, a quick search online will find nice examples till […]
For students of the history of Jaguar Cars, a book written by Chris Cowin, first 2012 and republished 2014 may be of interest. The book, British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978 is simply packed with interesting history. This is the comprehensive story of a collection of once great and diverse British industries, primarily automotive, and their slow but relentless move toward destruction with only a few surviving pieces, Jaguar and Land Rover. For Jaguar only followers much of this book may be irrelevant as it deals in great detail about the downward spiral of the largest indigenous British car companies beginning about 1968 but this date is approximate.
Our Thanksgiving Video of the Week (VotW) comes to us by way of the fine Canadian folks of Men & Motors. Titled “Classic British Cars in America”, this is obviously a subject we can all be thankful for. In this video from just over three years ago, the M&M folks make their way to English Motors in Macomb, Michigan, which I believe is now closed, to look at some great British cars and talk about the fascination Americans have with them. Adrian Bell is in Detroit, Michigan talking about classic British cars. He meets British car enthusiast Sue Snyder who shows him her 1980 MG MGB which she has owned since it was new, plus Don Ensloe shows Adrian around his car garage which specialises in maintaining and restoring British cars for their American owners.
Our video of the week this time is a preview of an amazing new DVD set, The Standard Triumph Story, that I was given the honor of reviewing. This is two DVD set with over 230 minutes of footage on the history of Standard Triumph from the early days to the very end. Yup, it’s almost four hours in total so it’s a rather extensive look at one of Britain’s most beloved producers of cars. It is crammed full of great interviews with the men who were responsible for the cars in the factory, on the racetrack, and just about everywhere else in between.
I got an email from reader Joanna Ellis this past weekend that intrigued me, so I asked her about her most recent adventure. First the initial email… I raced a 1965 TR4A in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s in the US at Bryar Motor Sports Park (now New Hampshire Motor Speedway), Lime Rock Park, Bridgehampton, and others. I still own my 1962 Triumph TR3B and a 1967 Triumph TR250. I just returned from the VTR National Convention in Texas where I was privileged to drive my brother’s ’62 TR3B. What fun!!! I’ve also raced a ’62 XKE and a nice AH Bugeye Sprite. Long time British car fan, Joanna Ellis With a history like that, how could I not ask for more?! Here are the details she sent us on the VTR National convention… I flew down (after driving my MINI […]
British Car Day® is hosted annually by the Toronto Triumph Club, Ontario, Canada on the third Sunday of September. Since its inaugural event in 1984, it has grown in leaps and bounds, and this year drew around 1,000 British cars and 8,000 spectators, with room to grow even bigger. British Car Day® is open to vintage, classic and current British manufactured vehicles, including motorcycles. The event is the largest, one-day, all-British car event in North America, with visitors from Ontario, the northeast United States, the Maritime provinces, Quebec, and Manitoba, representing membership in 100 British car clubs. This year they celebrated six anniversary cars: • MGTA, 80 years, displayed by Rick Clark. • Triumph Roadster, 70 years, Michael Walton. • Morris Minor 1000, 60 years, Alan Brand. • Triumph GT6, 50 years, Warren Beech. • Jensen Interceptor, 50 years, Mike Lewyckj. […]
Our Video of the Week this time actually isn’t from YouTube! I know, amazing isn’t it? It is actually from the KXII Channel 12 television news station in Texas, and is a video of the 2016 Vintage Triumph Register National Convention. Quoting the story, which can be found in its entirety here, Triumph car owners from all over gathered at Tanglewood Resort this week for the 2016 Vintage Triumph Register National Convention. Dave Pilcher, who helped organize the convention, said he hasn’t met a stranger. “I met a guy today from England who drove my car over to the airport for me – and I just met him,” said Pilcher. “We’re all one big family.” Pilcher said he owns four Triumph cars, all of which he brought to share with 250 people. Eight even came from England all the way […]
Our video this week is a quick, very quick, look at what it means to own a Triumph Spitfire or MGB. Both of the people and cars in this video are unique, but even with the choices and differences, they hit upon some of the common threads of classic British sportscar ownership. I will admit to finding this video interesting partially for the reason that I have both an MGB and a Spitfire in the stable at the moment. The Spitfire is my daily driver and the MGB is undergoing a very slow version of a restoration. In a short period of time, with either car, you become intimately familiar with their quirks, charm, and personalities. And yes, unlike a lot of modern cars, the little roadsters have a ton of personality and no two – even of same year […]
Following a successful practice session at the Bonneville Salt Flats, achieving a speed of 274.2 mph to become the world’s fastest ever Triumph, Triumph Motorcycles has confirmed the attempt to set a new outright motorcycle Land Speed World Record will take place mid-September, 2016, weather permitting. Piloted by TT star Guy Martin the Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner will return to the famous Bonneville salt flats and attempt to beat the current 376.8mph record speed on an 11 mile-long course. Despite having a good course surface for testing the team felt that the salt wasn’t yet fully capable of supporting a top-speed streamliner run. In consultation with FIM course manager Mike Cook the team are targeting the September dates as the best possible opportunity for the optimal course conditions required for the record attempt.
Compiled from the original 35mm filmstrip and vinyl LP record soundtrack, this is a training film from 1970 which introduces the BL salesmen to the new Triumph Stag. Well, new to 1970. I love using our video of the week to look back at how cars were viewed in the period versus how we think of them now. OK, I will admit that it is also fun to view the world pre-PowerPoint. Even though Time lists the Stag as one of the “50 Worst Cars of All-Time“, I have always liked them. And, they have a pretty good following these days. The issues can be sorted out these days, the wrongs set right, and then you have a very stylish, comfortable, touring sports-car. Sure, the Stag should have gotten the Rover V8 that went into so many other cars of […]
The Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner has become the world’s fastest ever Triumph by achieving a speed of 274.2 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats on 8 August, 2016. Piloted by TT legend Guy Martin, the streamliner smashed the previous official Triumph record that stood at 245.667 mph as well as the unofficial Triumph Record of 264mph, both set by Bob Leppan, in the Gyronaut X-1. Near perfect conditions greeted the team on the final day of the team’s land speed practice week. With confidence high after a successful number of days running on the salt at Bonneville the team’s goal for the day with the Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner was the Triumph record.
Our video this week represents a comparison of classic British six-cylinder roadsters – the ‘big’ Austin Healey 100/6 versus the Triumph TR6. My only wish is that the MGC were included in this matchup. Yes, there were other six-packs out there, most notable may be the Jaguar E-Type. But, it was always in a different league than the common-man roadsters of Healey, Triumph, and MG. This video, coming by way of AutoWeek, features European spec cars which were a bit different, especially in fuel delivery, than their US shipped counterparts. Oh, and yes, the video starts off in non-English, but most of it is actually in English. So stick with it. Plus the visuals are beautiful.
We love reading the stories of people and their cars, so we have decided to start running some reader profiles. This is kind of like our sticker gallery but goes a step further to really focus on the people and cars behind the picture. Our first profile comes to us from Bill and Joanne Burroughs of Vista, California. Bill and Joanne have a 1968 TR250 and a 1970 TR6.
In their latest video, our friends over at Take to the Road test drive a fine example of one of the last big Triumph saloons, a 1977 Triumph 2500S. This car came up at Classic Central Auctioneers May sale and they had great fun driving it. Watch their film to find out how they got on. Quoting from their article, “The Triumph 2500S was the last in a long line of Triumph and Standard-Triumph big saloon cars. Launched in 1963 at the Earl’s Court Motorshow, the new saloon replaced the ageing Standard Vanguard and arose from Triumph’s failed Zebu project. With fresh investment from new owner Leyland, who rescued Standard-Triumph in 1961, the new saloon promised much for the future of the company. And when it was launched it was well received by the motoring press and the general public. […]
Our Video of the Week this week is of the TR Drivers Club Bullet Run, which we featured yesterday. The video itself comes by way of our friend John Clancy at TriumphDVD. June 2016 saw the inaugural Bullet Run hosted by the TR Drivers Club. The event commemorated the life of Tony Lee (Standard-Triumph’s Chief Development Engineer) who sadly died in September 2015. The Bullet Run re-traced the old Standard-Triumph test route which saw all the new and forthcoming models taken down to Bwlch y Groes in Wales. Gordon Birtwistle worked for Tony for over 20 years at Triumph as High-Speed Development Engineer and did an extensive interview with me in front of an audience of about 60 after the Saturday dinner. This video is the opening ten minutes.
The TR Drivers Club hosted the Bullet Run on the weekend of 17th to 19th June to commemorate the passing of Standard-Triumph’s Chief Development Engineer, Tony Lee, who sadly died in September last year. The famous TR7 prototype photos with Tony at Bwlch y Groes in Wales were the inspiration for this event and although these are the only known photos of Triumph development vehicles at the location it was a test route used regularly by management and senior staff. Known at the Canley factory as “Ride & Drive” it was a fairly thorough test with up to 300 miles along varied roads that culminated at the scenic Bwlch y Groes location. The TR Drivers Club organizers sought to reproduce the “Ride & Drive” route and invited owners of all Triumph models to take part. The host hotel […]