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Trip report (long)

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Trip report (long)
« on: May 04, 1993, 01:25:34 PM »
Report on South Central VTR Regionals
Ardmore, OK      Apr 30 to May 1
(from a TR7/8 perspective :-)

Had a great time in Oklahoma this past weekend!   Here's how it started:  
our group (Hill Country Triumph Club) started from Austin TX on Friday
with 5 cars (two from our club left Thurs).  There were two Spits, two
TR6s, and one TR8 (me).  The plan was to meet the San Antonio club at a
rest area just north of Austin.  Sure enough, two more TR6s showed up
along with a van and a car-carrying flatbed truck with a TR2, TR3, and TR5
strapped on.  We were off.  Surprisingly, I was the only wedge in the
group;  it really hurt when some kid walked up (at a rest stop), looked
over all the "neat old cars", and asked what "that one" was doing in the
group ("that one" was my 8).  The 8 still looks too much like a modern car
to be a "classic" I guess.  At another rest stop, a busload of kids came
over to admire all the cars.  The Spitfires were the most popular.  The 8
never even got a glance;  remember what a head-turner the TR7 was when it
first came out?  (By the way, on a slightly related note, I read in the
Practical Classics article that Michelotti did the convertible restyling
on the TR7/8.  Good trivia question;  I never knew that.)

The trip up to Ardmore was a scream.  It was great fun blasting down the
highway with all those Triumphs.  Traffic was light so I pulled into the
left lane and Deb took everyone's picture as they drove by in the right
lane.  Hope they turn out well.  We stopped frequently for "tune ups"
(Barry's Spitfire was overheating a little).  It was also neat to be
travelling with that many Triumphs all at one time.  We were on the buddy
system too;  no one was left alone at any time.  You get a great feeling
of security driving that way!

Got to the hotel right on time and spiffied up the cars.  Seems Don
Kaufmann (78 BRG coupe) was there (he towed it),  Tom Bishop (81 Pharoah
gold) had trailered his up on Thursday, Charlotte (81 Pendelican White)
drove hers (hooray) up from Houston;  with my car we had only 4 TR8s.  The
only other wedges were 2 TR7's.  So, out of 91 total cars, 6 were wedges.  
Strange.  Wonder where they all were?  Needless to say, concours judging
(first thing Saturday morning) was a royal pain since 7's and 8's got
lumped in the same class.  Just try to be fair and equal when judging the
engine compartments of 2 carb'd TR7s, a prototype carbed TR8, and two late
FI TR8's!  That less-than-desireable job fell to me.  I'm thinking that it
might be helpful to modify the standard VTR judging form and add
suggestions for point deductions on the wedge cars (e.g., how many points
do you deduct for a poorly painted plenum chamber, something the carb'd
cars don't even have?)  YUK! I think I finally ended up just guessing at
some things;  hope I was fair.

The afternoon tour/rally was quite nice.  Alas, my car started developing
ignition trouble.  The car would kill, the tach would drop to zero and, if
I was lucky, the car would start right up.  It started getting worse so I
punted the rally and drove the car back home.  Tom and DeeAnn Bishop
(bless their hearts) drove along as escort.  We got back, I pulled out the
ignition amp, and had a look at it.  I decided to try resoldering the
leads on the power transistor just for grins.  After putting everything
back together, the car wouldn't start!   Grrrr!  I broke the Lucas prime
directive:  if something is "sort of" working, don't mess with it unless
you're home.  The car mysteriously started about 5 minutes later though
and I was much relieved.  I heard later that Charlotte's (TR8) power
steering pump ran dry on the rally too.  She filled it back up and made it
back only to discover the next day that the leak was really worse than she
thought.  I'm not sure how she ended up making it home.  Perhaps I'll call
her tonight and see.  Needless to say, we 8 owners took a lot of needling
from the other Triumphs about our "newfangled" power steering and
electronic ignitions.

The next morning was slalom and funkhana.  All classes were lumped
together with no distinction between men's and women's classes or Spits,
TR6s, TR8s.  That really annoyed me.  I think the host club was just being
cheap here.  Anyway, as you might expect, the Spitfires took 1st and 2nd;
a TR3A took 3rd.  I was *4* seconds or so off the 3rd place finisher.  How
embarassing.  One of the rules was you had to stop your front tires on a
white line painted on the pavement.  I missed it every time by usually 5
or 6 inches (at least in a TR3 you can look and SEE your front wheel :-)  
Charlotte ran her car through the slalom once as did Don.  Tom didn't dare
I guess.  Anyway, I've decided I need new struts.  I *do* like the new
sway bar bushings and the Michelins (MXV 205-60 series) did VERY well
too.  Guess I'll order a set of Spax strut inserts with my Lumenition

The trip back was pretty uneventful.  My car killed twice (in heavy
traffic) but I managed to get off the road and onto the shoulder.  Both
times the car restarted after about 2 or 3 minutes.  Whew!  Oh, one more
thing:  I drove up with the air/fuel mixture meter plugged in.  VERY
interesting how well the mix was maintained near stoichometric!  I only
got 25 mpg though.  Should've swapped in the research ECU and compared
mileage figures :-)

End of report!