Back For Another - Pt2

Thanks to Neil

For those who haven't read Part 1 of Neil's storey here's a quite appraisal.... Neil owned a TR7 FHC back in the mid 80's, over the 2 years of ownership experienced nothing but hassle. Sixteen years later (in 2002) the lure of a DHC TR7 proved too great an attraction [Neil didn't actually say that but I'm sure that's really why he came back for more!!] and a Red DHC was purchased. After a traumatic start to the relationship the 80/81 convertible wedge was back on the road and looking mighty fine.....

Now then where do I re-begin? Ah yes, it was MOT time around October (2002), a week to go. I wanted the car on road, even if it was winter. So the car had nearly everything new, mechanically anyway, so what could go wrong? I gave it another polish (An army saying - bulls**t baffles brains) and checked the car over, such as lights, emissions, brakes and a final check for any rust - no nothing. I was confident the car would pass. I drove the car to Bath for it MOT. Ahhh! it failed on lights, brakes and emissions. I drove off not in the best of moods. I didn't even go back to work knowing that heartless jibes awaited me - they're only jealous anyway! So it was rebooked for the following week and I was determined to make it pass.

I stripped the carburettors and re-set them and I even bought a Gas Analyser to check the emission levels - one task out of the way. As for the lights, yes you guessed it one of the light motors was a bit sticky. Out it came for a dam good clean up. In it went and again and again and again. Eventually, it went in to my satisfaction and now works, a milli-second after the other light - but at least it works! As for the back brakes, I put my hand up, it was my fault, after I put the new brake shoes in I never connected them up properly - what a wally!

So the car is now ready - MOT man do your worst! Anyway, I drove the car to Bath for its re-check. As I pulled in the test centre the MoT man just smirked. I in turn smirked back, he then sneared [I'm getting images of "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" - Ed]. Anyway the offending failures were subsequently checked and Of course it passed! I was now free to drive the UK's roads, top down - but it's winter I hear you say - okay top down a bit then.

I was now the very proud owner of a gleaming bright red DHC TR7 with a MOT and lots of new shiny bits. To celebrate, I drove the car to work and much gasping took place from colleagues. "Yes" I said, "laugh on now", it had become a much-admired car and a topic of conversation over many a coffee.

So that was October. Since that time, me being a man with a very low boredom threshold, I decided to improve the car by giving the engine a jolly good de-coking. I bought a new head and rocker gasket for the occasion and subsequently removed the head - Ha! That's a tale in itself - all I will say is bl***y head bolts - know what I mean?. To cut a very long story short the head came off and was surprisingly in good condition very little carbonisation. As the car only had, at the time, 98k on the clock, I thought perhaps this might have been its first de-coke - maybe it was who knows, there's nothing in it service history to suggest otherwise. After flicking through the pages of a well-known supplier of parts, I decided that a new timing chain and tensioner was in order, due to the low cost. It was time to put the engine back together, not before however, I check the big ends. Off came the sump and well all I can say was that I didn't need to spend any more money. Time to tackle the head. On went the gasket, on went the head - anyone who has done this job will know about and understand the annoying problem off lining up the inlet manifold to block coolant union, and its small rubber sealant ring - enough said! The head eventually went back on and the carburettors back connected up. What a transformation, the car actually drove like a sports car albeit a TR7.

Since that time I've been happily driving the car to work daily and since the summer has manifested itself I've had the hood down most days. I still get the odd remark, like "I used to have one of those" and we would give each other a knowing smile. Other remarks I still get is "you don't see many of those now a days", to which I reply - "thank god!"

I'm coming to the end of my tale, "hooray", I hear you say. I'm about to turn 40 in October and any reader who has reached that age will know what this means. It means a new bright red sports car is needed to subdue those impending feelings. A young minded man at 40 cannot be seen in a classic car, as people will think he has a flat cap and smokes a pipe - Um that comes later apparently. So to that end, I NEED a bright red Porsche 944! [choke, chole, splutter, "heretic" - Ed] To make that happen my wife tells me my TR7 has to go first, so to that end does anyone want to continue the tale ?


We're keen to add more TR Tales to the site so if you have any stories you'd like to share please send in the story. The tales can be of restoration experiences, or even just some notes of your favourite place to breakdown!