TR Drivers Club National Weekend 2004

Billing Aquadrome 10/11 July

With the appeal on the homepage prior to the event I travelled the short distance to Billing wondering how many TR7/8s we would see on the convoy run this year. The clouds, as predicted, were grey and laden with rain - not the most enticing climate for the occassional users to venture out in.

I managed to persuade the bloke at the entrance to the Aquadrome to sell me a w/end pass (£13 for the w/end or £10 for a day)

"Are you camping over?"
"Well I can't sell you the weekend ticket if your not stopping over"
"Can't you pretend that I've got a tent in the back?"

And thus I was in for £13 to cover Sunday's visit... a good job really as the co-pilot was travelling down later and I'd offered to pay her admittance fees! With rain likely I did the sensible thing and parked up next to the beer tent! Several of the usual suspects were in attendance including Gordon to experience his first TR Club meet and join the convoy run (Hoorah there's one recruit!) in his neat Green FHC. Having just about got out of the car John & Susie arrived in their black FHC (like TRisha their vehicle is of Speke vintage... surely the finest examples ;-D). I think the conversation started with "I've got some photo's of your car" "I've got yours on video" (I suspected that John video'd bits falling off TRisha at last years event).

And thus there was a 10minute love-in of "Fixed Heads rock don't they?" to which we heard not one dissenting voice! Next to the bar - to learn from Kevin that some thieving little scutters (The Aquadrome is a large camp site in case you didn't know) had nicked a keg of Carlsberg overnight. The Club makes v.little money from the event, much of the revenue covers the organisation costs and a lost keg doesn't help the finances.

Shortly Not a Grinnall TR7v8before the convoy run the co-pilot arrived in what we called an 'extreme Grinnall' - otherwise know as a Mitsubishi FTO (Co-Pilot note: 'I hate Grinnalls, it's sacrilege, so find that comment deeply offensive!')... so somewhat less reliant on the breakdown services than the average Triumph driver. Hats off to Roel for finding yet another good route around Northampton - plotting a run of over 30miles this time around. One of the funniest sights (you had to be there really) was watching a young lad look on in disbelief as all of these old wedge shaped vehicles passed him by... his head was spinning as car after car went passed - it looked as if he was watching a fast and furious game of tennis. I was pleased that he had alighted his bike, otherwise we collectively could be facing a lawsuit for damages if he'd fallen off! So how many cars? In all there were 16, of which there were 14 TR7/8's, with 5 of these being FHC's. The run was mildly spoiled by the rain but only mildly - thankfully that had ceased prior to us pulling up in the picnic areaSome of the cars who went out on the convoy run.

For those camping over Saturday is, aside from copious amounts of alcohol night, the quiz night what I'd like to know though was did the Scalectrix racing skills get better or worse as the drink took hold?

Usually the Sunday is the busier of the two days but this year the Club was up against the British Grand Prix which was taking place at Silverstone, just across Northampton. There were, as expected, more cars than Saturday but (and equally expected) the attendance was down on previous years - hopefully this is purely due to the lowsy weather forecast (that didn't materialise as it stayed dry throughout) and the Grand Prix, plus there were several female-only charity runs dotted around the country! As I travelled down each day that gave me the chance to wash & wax the car Sunday morning - ensuring a shiney TRisha was present with minimal dirt. That said I must extend a special thanks to the Pikey scum who are obviously offended by a car that sees soap and water more often than they do!! Unfortunately there's two 'itinerant' sites in close proximity to our town, as I headed out of town on the way to Northampton on Sunday morning I was behind a low bed van - typical pikey transport. Shortly before one of these parks two dead head, work dodging, soap evading, tax avoiding scum bags decided to hurl the remains of their McDonald's breakfasts at me. Nice. And just to cause further annoyance they decided to slam their anchors on and stop in the road before slowly turning into their refuse site. Oh and they didn't indicate so I guess they aspire to BMW ownership.

So Sunday? Attendance was down but the standard of car was very high in general. Malcolm was in attendance having arrived early Saturday evening and joining with Chris Turner amongst others to finish 2nd in the quiz. Shortly after the National Weekend Malcolm treated his DHC to a shower - something he discovered the morning following the night on which he left his car open to the elements!!

This year MG-Rover displayed two cars to the event - the new MG-TF and (I think) the MG ZR. If everyone filled in their cards the company should be back next year with a full range of vehicles and maybe a test area for the cars - I, for one, would like to see the MG XPower SV... though with 12 months to go I guess I may see one or two of them before the next National!

Had I actually sorted out my door cards and sun-visors I may have entered the concours... this is a definite consideration for next year. The winner of the 'modified' group certainly wouldn't have got my vote - though the car is condition befitting a concours the rear foglight arrangement is not something I'd do (Gordon & Karl - your cars have a much better solution than Phil's winner!). I would have taken a photo but I was either laughing too much or the camera has an artificial intelligence chip and refused to take a pic! Anyway it looked a bit like this setup (photo from a few years ago). Possibly the best DHC in the concours was a FHC! Yes that's right a FHC... the car had started life as a tinlid but at some point had been attacked by an angle grinder (or hacksaw) to change it to a convertible. I've seen some that have undergone this treatment with varying results - this one is definitely out of the top drawer. In my opinion the extra lines caused by the ring wings rising toward the B-pillars gives the car a more aggressive, muscley, styling - everyone has their own tastes but I think it looked better than the standard lines of the DHC (I await the virtual tomato's that you are now hurling toward me!!). The pic shows the the extra detailing - go on out and compare it to your DHC!

The star of the day though was Neil Sawyers rally car -complete with a Works rally stop and towed around by a Triumph estate. Superb. It proved a real draw and was a deserved winner of 'best at show'.

Next year I hope Bernie Ecclestone looks at the TR Drivers Club arrangements and selects an alternative date for his sideshow - we'll also be hoping for a big turnout, afterall 2005 marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of the TR7!

There's a whole heap of pictures from the weekend for you to gaze at - if you attended you could see your car! Don't take umbridge if the comments associated with your car aren't to your liking!!

Once again many thanks to the TR Drivers Club for putting on the event and if you're a member of the Club remember to turn up next year for 30 years of TR7's!