[TR] Triumphs Digest, Vol 7, Issue 198

terryrs at comcast.net terryrs at comcast.net
Tue Jul 22 16:17:11 MDT 2014

This "modernization" debate has raged (not really literally I'm sure, because we all love why we're here) many times in the dozen or more years I've been on the List.  

The way I feel about it is, I refuse to belt my pants above my belly button.  I refused once to tell a girlfriend to put her bra and blouse back on when we were driving back from a swimming hole with the top down.  That was partly because she didn't wear a bra.  I refused to get married (uhm...to someone else) in one of those pastel tuxedos with the ruffled shirts and plastic shoes.  And I refused to be subdued when my daughter complained about the unsightliness when I trailered home a '59 TR3A with rusted out floors and 3 inches of racoon dung in the engine bay because it had been sitting in a shed behind someone's house for 27 years.  It cost me $500 to buy it and endless patience and love since.  Trust me.  It was not a steal.

Today at the hardware store, I returned to my car (a daily driver now) where a man parked next to me gave me a broad smile and a thumbs up.  I grinned back, stuck in the key, and punched the start button.  The little beast banged to life and roared on the first cough.  The man above me in the SUV stared and yelled, "Wow!"

I didn't tell him that it was because I'd installed an electric fuel pump and a Pertronix electronic ignition. 

But like all of us, I'm conflicted.  Most of these cars have outlived their first owners.  That's how I got mine.  So I guess the answer for me is this:  If I want it bad enough, I'll buy the heavily modified car and spend time to replace the mods if that's my choice.  After all, it took three years groveling in the dirt in my garageless driveway outside to completely strip my antique "find" down to the frame and replace and restore everything from the ground up.  A modded-out car has been shown more love than I started with...so could only be easier.

It's all good, Mates.  

And Miatas?  They're the next generations MGB's.  The BMW Z series is their Jaguar.  I'm not sure what the next Triumph is.  

Comfort is for pussy cats anyway.

Terry Smith, '59 TR3A
New Hampshire

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