Brooks's Cars

My Triumphs

 1980 Triumph TR7 Sprint Convertible










 When I sold my XR3i, it never entered my head to change it for a newer car with a lower mileage. I just wanted a change. I saw an MG Maestro 1600 for sale with low mileage and a digital dash, which appealed to me. But then I saw a TR7 convertible for sale with a Dolomite sprint engine. I remember seeing a TR7 as a kid and thinking they were a good looking car and a neighbour of mine had a Dolomite Sprint and I remember how fast it was.

The TR7 was advertised in the local paper and I bought it for £2,600 (in 1989). I overpaid for it, I shouldn't have give him £2,000.

It was dark when I picked up the TR7. I put the roof down straight away. I pulled into a service station and filled it up. I was made up with it, looking back at it through the petrol station window; I thought I had the best looking car in the world! You couldn't argue that it was definitely different and had more presence than the Escort. It was a real sports car and not a family car with a hot engine which had become the style in the 80's. The TR7 certainly attracted looks, which I liked. I was then suddenly plunged back into the real world when, after filling it up, I realised I couldn't get the pop-up lights to 'pop up' and thoughts of 'Oh my God what have I bought' went through my head (This would happen regularly when I bought a car.). I did figure out how to make the headlight work but, worse was to come, in the shape of 'the joys of twin-carbs and manual chokes'.

I had a lot of trouble with the car starting and cutting out after about 200 yards and then NOT re-starting. It took two trips to a local garage before I solved that little problem.

Once the car had settled in and had stopped costing me money, I began reading Classic Car magazines and I realised that you could spend money on a car even if it wasn't broken. I started with a stainless steel exhaust and a new hood. I got the engine tuned up to 147 bhp, it sounded great. The heater in the car never really worked properly even after replacing it.

I remember many trips to the seaside with the car. Traffic jams don't seem half as bad in a convertible. I joined the TR Register which was interesting. I met people with a similar liking for the cars and I could always share any problems with the car and get an enthusiastic response of suggestions.

I was on the motorway with the car one holiday and it began to lose power. The only thing I could do was to pull over, let the car cool down and then try re-starting it which solved the problem. It only happened on very long journeys but it was still annoying. We had a long snowy winter and the TRs heater wasn't up to it, so I thought I'd buy a second car...

The TR7 was beginning to rust and, including buying it, I had spent over £4000 over the two years. The car wasn't worth £2000 and I knew spending more money on it wasn't going to make the car any better. It was time to sell. I put the Triumph up for £2,600ono. I got offered a swap for a Jaguar XJ6 but I didn't like its paintwork. I finally took £1,800 for it (I should have got £2,000).

The TR7: A much underrated car. It's a big two seater, plenty of room in the cab and in the boot. The 5 speed gearbox makes it a good car on the motorway and, if you like the shape, it's a real head-turner.


 1970 Triumph Herald 13/60 Convertible


Well I said I'd never have another convertible but there you go. After 2003's long hot summer, I decided I'd have another one. As I have a family now, I was looking for a 4 seater. I fancied a Saab 900 but I decided I'd buy a pre 1972 convertible which would be tax exempt and cheap to insure.

I thought I'd buy a Triumph Stag, its V8 sounds tremendous. I saw one for sale which was very nice but at nearly £5000 I got cold feet as it was more money than I wanted to spend. I found this Triumph Herald 13/60 for £1,500. It was one of the last ones made and it had the 1298cc/61bhp engine and the face-lifted front. The car came with a very comprehensive history file which showed that it was once an A1 condition car (worth £5000) with a new interior and a new hood. A stainless steel sports exhaust had been fitted and engine could run on unleaded.

During my ownership I;

Fix windscreen wipersOct-03£6.00
New BatteryNov-03£31.71
New Gearbox, Clutch and Track Rod EndsNov-03£521.00
Up voltage output of DynamoNov-03 
Replace Oil Pressure SwitchJan-04£6.40
Repair Heater VentsJan-04 
Fit 3 point rear seatbeltsFeb-04£50.00
Repair HoodApr-04£30.00
Replace RH OutriggerApr-04£14.50
Replace Speedo CableJul-04£8.50
Fit new Accelerator springAug-04£4.70
Fit new Trunion Bolts & Bushes (Rear)Aug-04£9.00
Refit BadgesAug-04 
Refit CarpetsAug-04 
Refit ExhaustAug-04 
Repair HornAug-04 
Weld ChassisAug-04
Fit new Coolant HosesNov-04 £21.00
Fit new Trunion Bolts & Bushes (Front)Nov-04£29.62
Fit new BumpersJan-05£110.00
Fit U/JsJan-05£17.00
Fit K&N Air FilterFeb-05£10.00
Rebuild CarbFeb-05£8.00
Repair Front Bumper & Bonnet HingeJun-06