Thursday, 26 February 2009

My Current TR3A

My current TR3A left the factory on 22nd December 1959 and was shipped to the USA. Its first owner was a young lady living in Memphis Tennessee. She ran the car as her daily transport for 15 years and it was parked outside in all that time. Eventually, she gave the car to her brother-in-law, who sorted out some electrical issues and taped the top up before driving it to Oklahoma.

There it lived for another 15 years, while slowly being worked on. He re-trimmed the car and painted it in its current two-tone colour scheme. The car was in use in all this time.

In 1991, after 15 years, he decided to sell the car because he was building a house and the TR just sat in the garage, not receiving enough use and at risk of having building materials dropped on it.

I bought the car to use while I was restoring my other TR3A. When it arrived in the UK, I discovered that it was not in as good condition as I had thought. The paint was crazed, there was some old accident damage to the rear of the car, the engine was not running well and numerous rubber items needed to be replaced. This was unfortunate as I had already entered the car into a rally!

Three months of hard work had the car on the road with a fresh MOT and we made it to the rally. We even managed to finish the rally, although by then the TR was only running on three cylinders and the dynamo had stopped working.

Over the next few months I had the rear bodywork repaired, fitted a new cylinder head and rebuilt the engine and generally overhauled the car. This was not all without its problems. Two memorable ones were losing a manifold nut while replacing the cylinder head. It turned out to be inside cylinder no 4 and was the catalyst for the engine rebuild. The other was driving the car home after having the bodywork sorted, only to spin the car on a corner and smash up the front end.

That was all within the first year of ownership. The subsequent 16 years have been a lot less painful and we have completed many trouble-free miles and various rallies together.

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