January 2004, just a couple of days into the New Year, new Tax Disc
(Grrrr) and a train down to Potters Bar. It can only mean one thing.
Yes, something that got underway on Monday 14 July 2003 has now been
completed... TRisha TR the 1976 Speke built Triumph TR7 FHC, having
been chopped, hacked, welded, plated, and sprayed has been restored.
The work took longer, cost more, and caused much frustration to most
of those involved in the work. But at the end of it all the car looks
stunning - much thanks must go to Dale, Andy and Bruce at Moordale Motors
who probably all felt like pushing the car into a canal at various points!
I have owned TRisha since 1990 and as
she just about played cupid when I first met my, now, wife back in 1991
the money spent has been worth it. Sure it's not cost effective and
I'll never get that cash back... well not unless something miraculous
happens to the TR7 market! Up until the restoration TRisha had been
used on a daily basis - how no one fell through the passenger floor
during that time is a mystery! The rot was quite shocking - and the
engine could have fallen out! The reason I mention Daily Runner is that
I had intended to use her for the 70 mile round trip to work fairly
regularly; but not now!
After the troubles with the rear deck and ill-fitting rear panel though
only other pain in the butt was the sunroof. Again once the logistics
and timing of moving the car 30odd miles to the sunroof people (RS Coachbuilts)
had been arranged there wasn't too much hassled... other than fitting
of the front and rear windows. The windscreen should not have been a
problem, for some reason though the fitter used by RS made a complete
hash of it. Moordale had to call in their fitter to remove the screen
and re-fit properly.
The rear window was a problem. During the restoration we had decided
to modify the fitment of the deck against the rear wings. On the FHC
the rear deck sits lower than the wing - park the car with nose slightly
hill and you are inviting water pool against the wing; it doesn't take
a MENSA applicant to work out who you are inviting to take up residence!
The picture to the left shows the original fitment - the deck is lower
than the wing, and that's a big hole! Raising the deck meant there was
less room to work the window glass and rubber seal in, but there are
ways around it! The following image shows the smoother
lines created by making this adjustment - before deciding to do this
on your restoration weigh up just how much work is involved! It was
feasible on TRisha as both rear wings were being replaced and the deck
itself was beyond help!
Internally the vinyl roof lining has been replaced by grey 'Jaguar'
felt, coupled with the retrimmed leather seat this particular Triumph
TR7 has a quality that was missing in the early cars from Liverpool.
Personally I do think upgrading the interior is worthwhile - afterall
the seats have been much improved, so why not do away with the 70's
automotive styling of vinyl roof lining? New door cards are on their
way too, a coin is to be flipped as to whether these get the leather
treatment too! Continuing on the interior the vinyl covering the parcel
shelf had 'blown' this is a common problem, peering into many FHC's
will show the bubbles blighting this particular part of the trim. Recovering
is not the easiet task in the world as you will almost certainly see
the joins, and sticking a similar vinyl coating could prove frustrating.
What did we do then? Use auto carpet of course! Now I have a little
extra hoovering to do when I clean the car - all things considered I
think this was the best option, and though the joins are visible they
are perhaps less obvious.
One thing is for sure - she attracts a lot of looks! Before I got the
'oh my! Has that thing got an MOT?' sort of look from people as I razzed
around leaving a trail of rust. Now people look and go 'lubba lubba
ooommmph' as they see such a startling car. It is a lot harder to park
her now though - previously I could squeeze her into the smallest gap
possible. Now I look for something slightly wider than the 'person with
brat' spaces which infest our supermarket car parks. Both the Co-Pilot
and I are very much looking forward to better weather so we can pose
around a sling the
blue mohair sunroof back. One thing is for sure TRisha TR is a very
unique FHC - say what you like about the DHC but I am a coupe person
and prefer the tin lid variety, and I wouldn't swap this tin-lid, 2
litre for any other TR7/TR8.
There's a lot of people that deserve recognition for there work and
assitance, undoubtedly I shall have forgotten a couple of people and
maybe one or two purposefully not mentioned!
Cheers - TRisha Pilot.