The weather hasn't been great for the last three summers, which doesn't encourage me to take the old cars out. The TR3 lives in the garage next to the house and my other two Triumphs are kept in a rented barn on a nearby farm.
I moved the Herald to the farm from a rented lock-up in a bid to save some cash, but the barn isn't as clean as the lock up and has a resident population on pigeons. It was nice having space to work on the car and the use of the farm workshop, so I made progress, fitting a reconditioned radiator and painting various components.
The paint on the Toledo is very faded and almost porous, which means I really don't like taking it out in the rain! I kept it off the road for a couple of years, but once it was eligible for Historic Status and therefore no road tax, I MOTed it and is has been road-legal for a couple of years.
A few months ago, I thought that I should either repaint the Toledo, or change it for a car with decent paint that I can drive in all weather. I have been longing for another front wheel drive, so searched the internet for Triumph 1300s for sale. There were quite a few available, varying from complete wrecks to immaculate cars. Eventually, I decided on a car to bid on and managed to get it for its reserve price.
"Betsy" has had two previous owners. Her first owner kept her until 2008 when he stopped driving. She was then bought by Dave, who did some work to get her running again and had her painted a couple of years ago to use for his son's wedding. I was assured that there was no rust on the car when it was re-painted and that the car would drive anywhere. However, the day before I was due to pick her up, I received a phone call from the seller telling me that there was a new oil leak from the timing cover seal, so the car wouldn't be available for a few days. A few days later I received another call telling me that the leak was actually from the timing chain cover, so I would have to wait for that to be repaired.
By that time, we were about to go on our summer holiday, so I wasn't able to pick up the car until a month after I had bought it! When I arrived at the station I discovered that the seller was Dave, but the car had been listed by his friend, also called Dave! This explained my confusion with some of the answers I had received about the car!
The car generally seems very straight and solid, but Dave, the seller, told me that there were a couple of areas of rust before the car was painted.
The journey home didn't go quite as expected. 62 miles into the 250 mile journey the car spluttered to a stop. I suspected a fuel issue but elected to call the breakdown company. They arrived an hour later and said that if it was dirt in the fuel line they couldn't guarantee they could resolve the problem, so elected to recover the car on the back of their truck. At least this saved some petrol and wear and tear!
The following day I blew back down the fuel line and managed to get the fuel flowing again. So first job on the to-do list will be to take the tank out and give it a clean. I have found quite a few other tasks to add to the list, which I will talk about in a future post.