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Thread: New Member Intro. and Maybe Something of Interest to You

Hey New Members! This New Member Introduction Forum is where you can post an introduction message to introduce yourself to the group here!

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    New Member Intro. and Maybe Something of Interest to You

    Hello All,
    I've lurked long enough and will now join your knowledgeable community.

    To smooth my entry and establish some "bona fides" as a Triumph nut I will provide a possible answer to an old TR4 competition question at the end of this post.

    But first too much about me and my cars.

    My name is Joel and my user name 18kperhr is a reference to my other hobby of watch collecting. An American pocket watch of the modern period (approx, 1870 to 1969) beats (ticks) 18,000 times per hour. Note the easy divisibility by 60 of this number. I will probably have to sell this collection to provide funds for the cars.

    I currently own these 3 Triumphs:

    1957 TR3 built 9 Jan. 1957
    1969 Spitfire MK III
    1980/81 TR8 w/ Petrol or Fuel injection

    The TR3 is my dream car. I've always thought the small mouth TR3s were the best looking of the TR2-3B series. That the later TR3s had disc brakes was "de icing on the brake". That this car was originally Winchester Blue with red leather trim AND overdrive was a deal clincher. The wire wheels it originally came with and doesn't have now I'm ambivalent about. Love the look, but the upkeep OY!

    The 3 is solid w/ no rust in the floors, boot or spare tire compartment. I'm concerned about the outer sills and lower front fenders. These appear solid but the evil is within. The current color of '67 Ford Metallic Brown w/ tan and mustard yellow trim would knock a maggot off a meat wagon.

    I plan to restore the 3 to show condition, show it, and then use it sparingly.

    The Spitfire is an interesting survivor. A late 1969 import it has dual SU carbs w/ the tach and speedo in front of the driver. From my research a few Spitfires came to the US like this before the change to a single Stromberg carb in 1970. This car has factory overdrive.

    I plan to restore this car as a driver.

    The TR8, like the Spitfire, is an end-of-the-line or, moreover, an end-of-the-end-of-the-line car. The last gasp of the Triumph line and I will brook no Acclaim!

    It has Fuel, or, for you Anglophiles, Petrol, Injection and all the other "refinements" of the last cars except AC.

    Say what you will about the 7 & 8s but you have to admit they were, at the very least, a stab at building a modern car. Body on frame construction has serious weaknesses in strength and rigidity. As for the "step backwards" of having a solid rear axle I agree with Spen King that a well designed solid rear axle is better than a poorly designed IRS as in the Spitfire and TR4/5(250)/6. Or, for that matter, a poorly designed solid rear axle as in the TR2/3/4. The point being that you need suspension travel to keep the tire in contact with the road.

    Also, in the modern car sense, I like a heater that heats, a defroster that defrosts, a top (hood) that offers more than an excuse to the elements, some passenger safety design, some design to relieve wind buffeting, a boot (trunk) that holds more than a promise, and enough interior space to lose the carnal embrace intimacy of earlier Triumphs.

    The 8 will be refreshed and used as a driver.

    In the far distant past I have also owned 2 other TR3s. One a 1959, the other a 1960. Of the '60 I can tell tales of ignorant "restoration" and driving derring-dumb. Of the '59 not so much as I was soon seduced by German mechanical eptitude and efficiency.

    Now for what you've been ever so patient for: For my bona-fides as a Triumph nut and forum contributor I'll relate the following:

    On page 137 of "The Works Triumphs" author Graham Robson writes, "Neither Kas (Kastner) nor I can now recall why these cars were registered CAG 408, CAG 409, and CAG 410 in Oregon."

    Here is a possible, and I think probable, explanation.

    In 1964 when the Canadian Shell 4000 was run it cost US$2.00 to register a car in Oregon for 2 years. There MAY have been a nominal charge for the plates but it would have been in line with the $2 reg. fee. NO emissions test. NO vehicle inspection. NO sales tax. NO license fee based on the car's value. NO insurance requirement ( liability insurance or a $10,000 liability bond was strongly encouraged). $2 and Thank You very much. Different times.

    Now let us turn to Mr Jack Scoville of Corvallis, Oregon.

    In 1964 Mr Scoville had just opened a Triumph dealership in Corvallis and was probably preparing the Spitfire he would race in the 1965 season.

    Now Mr Scoville was not a newcomer to racing having raced -shudder- MGs (a T(otal)D(isaster) & T(ried to)F(inish) in the early '50s and then a Porsche 356 in the late '50s and early '60s. He raced the Spitfire in the 1965 season resulting in a record of 2 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds. He also raced the Spitfire once in 1966 and once again in 1968 both races ended in DNFs.
    In 1966 he opened a Datsun (Nissan) dealership and began, in 1968, racing a Datsun 2000 culminating in winning the championship in 1969. He went on to race a Datsun 240Z along with the 2000. He seemingly hung-up his helmet in 1973. A successful 20 year career during the golden years of sports car racing. Well Done Jack!!

    See his record here:

    Now I'm not saying there is anything illegal or under-handed about this, but it would have been easy for Jack to take these 3 "fresh off the boat" cars into "inventory", license them in either his or Kastner's name, and then "sell" them down the road.

    Maybe Jack got some of that "California Air" Triumph management said Kastner used to get his horsepower figures. Maybe he got $6. Maybe he got a "Good Show, old man" and a cuppa or pint. Maybe he got squat (in a Spitfire? say it ain't so! See poorly designed IRS above). Maybe he got a warm fuzzy feeling and a favor owned him by Triumph's West Coast Competition Director.

    Or maybe I'm a quart low, over-revving and spinning my bearings. Taking Messers Robson and Kastner at their word, "neither Kas nor I can now recall" maybe it wasn't Messers Scoville and Kastner. Persons unknown (one w/ residency in OR) could have pulled this off.

    But I think I present a compelling case for why 3 TR4s were registered IN Oregon for the Shell 4000 Rally IN Canada.

    I would appreciate anyone having a direct connection to either Mr Robson or the British Motor Industries Heritage Trust to relay my findings, suppositions, and innuendos. Thank You.

    The foregoing concerning Oregon licensing practices is based on my recollections and knowledge and a telephone conversation with Ms Vinita Howard long time employee and unofficial historian of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles.

    My suppositions concerning Messers Kastner and Scoville are not meant to cast aspersions on either man. I just find the coincidences of time, place, ability, and opportunity too obvious to ignore.

    And remember-- nobody or entity was hurt or defrauded by this. Any Dockage/off-loading/Import fees would have been paid as for any other car imported into CA. The licensing in Oregon was legal and when the cars were sold in Montreal the paperwork was legal and correct and, I'll assume, any Federal/Provincial fees were paid.

    I suppose you could say the intent was to circumvent Canada's licensing and import fees. But if I picked at those kind of nits I'd shampoo with Kwell !!

    I hope you have found the foregoing entertaining and enlightening. I welcome your Qs and comments.

    I look forward to an informative and fun relationship over the coming years. All the best to you and yours.


  2. #2
    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: New Member Intro. and Maybe Something of Interest to You


    Tom M.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip:
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Moderator Editor_Reid's Avatar
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    Re: New Member Intro. and Maybe Something of Interest to You

    Welcome to the BCF Joel! You've come to the right place.

    I wonder if you've joined the PTOA (the Portland Triumph Owners Association)? Great group of people, lots of "activities" and even the monthly meetings (at Stark Street Pizza in southeast Portland) are fun. We just got back from an overnight trip with some of them to the Balch Hotel in Dufur.

    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine

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    Great Pumpkin
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    Re: New Member Intro. and Maybe Something of Interest to You

    Indeed, welcome Joel! Now that you've introduced yourself - in fine fashion I might add, be sure to visit our wonderful and very active Triumph forum here.


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