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 wipers||Oct-03||£6.00|
|New Gearbox, Clutch and Track Rod Ends||Nov-03||£521.00|
|Up voltage output of Dynamo||Nov-03|
|Replace Oil Pressure Switch||Jan-04||£6.40|
|Repair Heater Vents||Jan-04|
|Fit 3 point rear seatbelts||Feb-04||£50.00|
|Replace RH Outrigger||Apr-04||£14.50|
|Replace Speedo Cable||Jul-04||£8.50|
|Fit new Accelerator spring||Aug-04||£4.70|
|Fit new Trunion Bolts & Bushes (Rear)||Aug-04||£9.00|
|Fit new Coolant Hoses||Nov-04||£21.00|
|Fit new Trunion Bolts & Bushes (Front)||Nov-04||£29.62|
|Fit new Bumpers||Jan-05||£110.00|
|Fit K&N Air Filter||Feb-05||£10.00|
|Repair Front Bumper & Bonnet Hinge||Jun-06|