Here's Stan's story: "The first British car I owned was a Morris Minor. My father bought it (used) for $50 and we rebuilt the tranny and motor. I drove it for a year while in college and decided British cars were more fun to drive. So I traded it in for a 1962 Sunbeam Alpine, which got about 40 mpg. The convertible was hidden behind a metal compartment, when down. It was agile in the corners, and the two Weber cars gave it enough zip for me.
I joined a local foreign car club and on weekends we went to various events and races. I sold it when I got married. Although my wife thought we should keep the Sunbeam, I traded it for a family car, a 4-door sedan with a 6 cylinder, automatic trans that she could drive.
Thirty-eight years later, I mentioned I'd be interested in another sports car. Our children were grown, and had their own families. My wife was enthusiastic, so we looked around for another Alpine. They were hard to find. My son saw an ad for a '75 Triumph TR6 available in Quakertown. He's a professional mechanic, and accompanied me to look at it.
It was in a barn and had a lot of missing parts, plus parts in boxes or coffee cans. The interior and roof were serviceable, but not great. My son inspected it. He informed me the frame and body were not only rust-free, but in spectacular condition. The suspension was stiff, as it should be.
A short drive indicated it needed a major tune-up, and had some mechanical problems. We could fix them. The price was negotiated and I bought it, and after taking care of the paper work, drove it home ... with the roof down. The six-cylinder engine had a bit more power than my old Alpine. It was fun to drive. But we did have work ahead of us to bring it back to a presentable condition.
It only had two good wheel rings. The chrome pieces for under the doors were in the trunk, the attachment buttons long gone. It had one chrome headlight bezel, one loose side mirror, no visors or rear view mirror. The bumpers weren't for a 1975, and the grill and associated chrome were rusted and busted.
A couple weeks later I was at the Carlisle car show with the foreign car contingent. While a friend sat with the car, I headed over to the parts market and in a couple of hours had found and purchased most of what I needed. Moss Motors and Victoria British had catalogs available through vendors. I could order anything I couldn't find at Carlisle. Someone there told me about European Auto Salvage, a couple miles outside of Hellertown. Now I knew there were resources: access to parts.
It took a couple of weeks to replace chrome, reinstall existing chrome, and repair items like the driver's side window that had to be cranked and pulled up or down to work. European Auto Salvage had the correct bumpers. I took the car to Nazareth to replace the worn black interior and roof with cooler "sand" colored material that wouldn't be scalding hot in the summer. It also went well with the car's red paint.
The TR6 was looking good, and driving great until it developed a whine. The tranny seals had been leaking, and on an out of state drive, had become noisy. I hadn't thought about seals. It turns out when buying a car that has been parked a couple of years, seals can dry out and crack. They need to be monitored for leakage, and replaced if needed.
The new tranny brought silence for a month. Then the whine returned. It turns out that the rear axle also has seal that must be checked as well. I ended up replacing the rear axle., and it is quiet again.
There are other things to work on in the future. That is a part of what keeps the old car interesting. There are two components that I enjoy: driving it and working on problems."