• Summer 1969

    Summer 1969


    I returned from RVN in mid June of 1969; dazed of course, cold; Missoula has much cooler summers then “there,” no car; I had Dad sell my 1957 Ford Convertible, no girl friend; having received the Dear John the previous year. I decided before returning I needed to buy a Triumph TR4. I had driven one before enlisting, a very different experience from the 50's shoe boxes I was familiar. It was owned by a enterprising young guy in his mid 20's who showed up at the dirt used car lot where I was working to turn back speedometers. He offered to sell it to me for $550., but since I knew I would soon be leaving town, I declined. While I was stationed in New Jersey a friend had a fairly rough TR3, what fun to drive around Asbury Park and the Jersey shore. While in RVN I had read and reread a tattered soft bound book kind of like World Sports Cars. So, a TR4 it was.


    In the days before Craigslist, BAT, ebay, Autotrader, car shopping was limited to the local newspaper ads. A 1963 with the Surrey option showed up so I bought it. Presentable enough, needed tyres, a little smokey but not bad. It had 330 miles on the odometer which was broken, I assume it went over the top. Later research indicated it had belonged to a Smokejumper. The manual came with it, back then manuals were very informative, they included most everything you needed to know about maintenance. So I adjusted the valves, installed some new points and adjusted and synced the carbs, ready to go; bought a set of X stops. Since I had no clear idea what I was going to do or even if I was going to stay in Missoula, I lived with parents for a while. This of course complicated things a bit and since it was summer I kept some blankets in the boot, my new friends were not very impressed with my resourcefulness.


    Before things got serious, job, school, whatever as I had no idea, I decided to drive to the Oregon coast. The family had lived near Portland in the late 50's, liked it. Loaded the TR with Dad borrowed pup tent and sleeping bag, motor oil, beer, clothes, food, and a few basic tools; headed out. Thinking back, things were different, less traffic, fewer people, small towns on the Oregon coast were funky. No Strip inhabited Walmarts, franchise food manufacturers, far fewer RV's; all in all, better. I could camp where I wanted, maybe a campground or just pull off the road somewhere and set up camp. Next to a creek was best, natural beer cooler.


    I stopped in Portland to visit some family friends, Dad had attended Iowa State with John and well Jane was kind of special. When we were kids brother Scott and I were playing with our microscope, Jane decided we needed to look at some blood, she asked for a slide, found a pin and stuck herself in the finger. The morning I was leaving for Missoula, I started the TR, backed up and noticed a stream of green liquid in the driveway. I removed the coolant pump put it in a bag and caught the bus to the British Leyland dealership on West Burnside.


    Customer service sent me to the parts department to buy a rebuild kit and take it to a mechanic in the shop. Like I said, things were different then. I was visiting with the mechanic as he disassembled the pump and pressed in the new bearing and seals. I was wearing my jungle jacket as many of us did. The garment was very comfortable, I have always been amazed the Army designed something so practical and usable. The mechanic finished reassembling the pump, handed it to me and said “no charge.”




    ex spec5 Mark Richlen
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. DrEntropy's Avatar
      DrEntropy -
      Nice bit of insight, Mark. Thanks for it. Had me thinking back to my own return to "The World".
    1. TRopic6's Avatar
      TRopic6 -
      Yes, thanks for sharing the story; you sure earned that happy ending.
    1. TR4nut's Avatar
      TR4nut -
      Mark-

      Just saw this, excellent read! Please, I need chapter 2!
  • Recent Articles

  • Recent Forum Posts

    HealeyPassion

    Re: FYI - AH BJ8 super car for sale

    Dougie, yes the La Carrera Panamerica would be a great venue for that car! Jim has participated in many Open Road type events (I've run a few too.. very

    HealeyPassion Today, 10:36 AM Go to last post
    Jerry

    Re: Painting a Frame and Substructure

    I am painting the frame and substructure but I am going to get a professional to paint the outer body panels. Without a paint booth I find the critical

    Jerry Today, 10:07 AM Go to last post
    DavidApp

    Re: Hello from Chicago

    Hello Brittsonly

    Welcome to the forum

    You have a great collection of LBCs. Are they all drivers or are there some projects cars?

    DavidApp Today, 09:04 AM Go to last post
    Bayless

    Re: Finally,a Law That Makes Sense

    We did have inspections 30 or so years ago. I think the feds mandated it at the time.

    Bayless Today, 08:37 AM Go to last post
    barnman

    Re: Oil cooler

    very neat solution, will try to build a housing myself!

    barnman Today, 08:34 AM Go to last post
  • Recent Blog Posts

    Madflyer

    Madflyer

    As a new member and long time TR owner of a few TR's. I fine the same topics come up time and time again. Here are three I like best; What tire is best and where do I get them and what do they cost....

    Madflyer 07-06-2020 10:27 AM
    Factoryman2000

    Adding AC to BN7 Healey

    Hi,recently visited a well regarded restoration shop and saw the install of AC system on an MGB. The installer had ordered a dual Compressor pulley, and the original v belt now drove waterpump, Fan...

    Factoryman2000 07-05-2020 04:17 PM
    commonground

    New member from california. Bring back the herald

    I am pursuing the creation of a sixties Triumph Herald. Nearly unknown in the USA.. I had one here in the late 60s. Loved the car handling and packaging. Hated very poor British parts quality and...

    commonground 07-05-2020 02:11 PM
    Madflyer

    Madflyer

    Good morning all as a new member yesterday I found BCF quite good and as a long time TR owner, I still learn more each day and yesterday a great day for sure. I added my inputs to a number of post...

    Madflyer 07-05-2020 12:13 PM
    Ale

    Just bought 1975 Triumph TR6 that has sat for last 25 years

    Hello I am a new member, I was directed to the form by a friend. I have recently purchased a TR6 that hasn’t moved or started it the last 25 years. Everything under the hood held up nicely and...

    Ale 07-03-2020 07:35 PM
  • Twitter