TR7s add fizz to Tatton Park show

| 6 Jun 2011

The TR Drivers’ Club celebrated the Triumph TR7 and TR8 with a fantastic display of 30-plus cars at the Classic & Performance Car Spectacular in Tatton Park on 4-5 June. Pride of place on Saturday went to two of the three Coca Cola Levi’s cars, commissioned as competition prizes in 1978.

TR7 fanatic Chris Turner’s example was on only its second outing after it had been restored: “Normally, you expect to have a few problems but it drives beautifully. I know the chap who won the car and he’s going to drive it again.” It was flanked by the TR Register’s ‘Coke’ car and Paul Lewis’ immaculate 46,000-mile factory TR8 convertible.

The idea for the Northern International TR7 and TR8 Weekend came about when TRDC stalwart Jim Johnson mentioned to show organiser Stuart Holmes that they used to get dozens of them at the Cheshire event. Holmes, who bought his Java Green hardtop at the show two years ago, said: “We hope that we’ve raised the profile of the TR7 because it’s a forgotten classic.”

This year’s massive Standard-Triumph contingent also included big groups from the 2000 2500 2.5 Register, the Manchester Triumph Sports Six Club (which won Best Club Stand on the Saturday) and the Standard Motor Club.

There were lots of rare tin-tops to be found around the 80-plus club stands and huge individual entries area, the pick of which was Gary Beevers’ 1966 Mercedes-Benz 600.

He’d always wanted one and bought the rare right-hand-drive example as “a bit of a scrapper” three years ago, then bare-metalled the car, resprayed it and sorted its mechanicals. “People keep telling me that I must be brave – it hadn’t run for 20 years – but it’s so well made that everything you strip down and overhaul works perfectly afterwards,” he explained. “I was expecting lots to be missing when I saw it, but I was assured that it was complete. It was originally champagne with green leather upholstery, but it was resprayed inside and out in the ’80s – and they didn’t even take the trim and seats out to do it!”

A couple of early-’70s machines also drew lots of attention. John and Dave Young rescued their ’72 Mk3 Uren Savage GTSS from a scrapyard in Snowdonia in 2002. “It was full of water because of the glass sunroof, the engine was just about turning and the gearbox was worn out, but we had it back on the road in under 12 months as a rolling restoration,” said John. “It has always been in the north-west and was ordered by the wife of a director of Quicks of Chester, the Ford main dealer. I was lucky enough to meet Jeff Uren before he died and he gave me the certificate for the car and all of the info for the first owner. Just two Mk3s are on the road of no more than six that survive.”

Sajad Hussain’s outstanding ’75 Datsun 180B had lived a more sheltered existence than the Savage, but is now almost as scarce – only seven are on the road. “It was a one-owner car that had been Waxoyled every year by the first owner and never used in the winter, so there wasn’t an ounce of rest,” he said. “It had been off the road since ’96 but breezed through the MoT. I’m a Capri man, really – I’ve had 37! – but I couldn’t resist this when I saw it.”

Fellow Ford man Mark Bamford brought his beautiful ’54 Packard Patrician, which is unique in the UK. “I was looking for a show-condition MkII Zodiac and this came up,” he explained. “It was in a disused iron foundry that was crumbling around it. As soon as I pulled back the sheet I thought ‘I’ll have that’. The car was owned by the Wrigley chewing gum family, which might explain the dark pink brocade upholstery.”

They start young in the Dodd family: David and Wendy brought their ’58 Court Grey Cambridge ‘Amy the Austin’, transport of choice of their kids Dana and Jensen. “Dana has already won a prize for the car,” said Wendy, “and would love to take it over when she’s old enough to drive in three years’ time, but she isn’t sure if she’ll get on with the column change.”

An excellent centrepiece highlighting Italian machinery brought together the Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Stratos Enthusiast clubs – plus a gorgeous ’67 Iso Grifo interloper that was Saturday’s Car of Sow in 2010.

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