Enjoy the blog today with Cheap Trick, Live at Budokan

Headed to Stillwater, OK this weekend, loading up my oldest, and dragging a uhaul trailer back to dallas, stuffing her apartment belongings in the garage, making less room for the school car. Dallas almost floated away this week, more rain than we have seen in a while. Fun local event last weekend, our bi weekly D6 gathering #d6tr6 – got to brush off my door and window crank skills putting one on for Lloyd. Still tracking a lost pet. This weather makes it hard, but the consensus is she is surviving somewhere. A great recital last night for my youngest – in 5 of the dances, and she likes knowing she is better at this age than her older sister. And weathering the pandemic as well as we can – Texas is sensible, and for the most part, hinged.

Whats new
Whats new? My oil cap will be new. After replacing my fuel line, adding clamps cause this fuel line doesn’t fit as snug as the previous old school stuff. Caused me to pull a carb and check the needle valve and float. Um, no. they are working fine – the bowl is full, that line spitting fuel is because you’re a dummy and need to clamp the line. But the new thing is this – I am popping the hood more regularly than normal, which I hate, but in doing so, I pop it yesterday, and my oil cap was gone. Sureal. I am looking for spitting fuel, and good thing I wasn’t that focused on spitting fuel. I’m out for a lunch appointment, standing there in the drizzle, thinking….I know I put that back on. In fact, I haven’t taken it off. Lately. Oil on the hood, the battery, and various other areas of spray. Plenty of oil in the pan. FLAPS don’t carry it. In the trunk, I pull a red shop rag, a zip tie, and cover, secure, and limp home. Cap….check that….2 caps…on order. Along with a few more bits from TRF. Otherwise, car is a bullet, but feeling a little flat around 5K. Recent new plugs, cap, old rotor, and untouched timing and carb adjustments. I’ll fiddle with that later. With a new cap, off to an oil change, and then continue with all this annoying maintenance. All this when I get back from Stillwater.

Tech tip. Snaps
Resto mod
Throwback 1980 Indy 500

Tip. Snaps
I hate to swim in this pool, cause I really don’t think this is techy, but it is one of those hot buttons for me. Been around this mark since production. In my humble opinion, the replacement black snaps, suck. So, rather than get in some routine of replacing them regularly, I live with busted snaps. One or 2 is ok, but when you get to a handful, your full tonneau looks like it might blow off. And, I am not a fan of rivets these days. I may be buying the wrong rivet. I was good with this gun in college, and I think I was buying steel rivets, which shaped easier, and finished snug. Today, I’ll get 2 right out of 5 – the other three, dangling, spinning.

At our D6 meeting last weekend, Lloyd shows his great new snaps, and tool, all in chrome, and I say – Why can’t we find black ones like that? Trust me. I’ve been to fabric stores, hobby stores….all the local brick and mortar stuff….and just get beat down with these hobby solutions, none of them in black, and none of them industrial enough to look like they will hold up. Until this week. I get on my laptop, go to amazon.com, and google “black snaps”. About 3 down is a marine grade kit, complete with tools. 18 dollars. That is on my shop table now. And I have a few installed. Imagine black bases. Imagine some with screws. I have some machine screw male bases that I never installed. I’ll find a way to duplicate that – the ones that came with this kit are sheet metal screws. Not using those. But we can get behind all the panel areas, although awkward, and with some needle nose, or something thin, we can hold the nut and turn that screw. I’m thinking cap head hex nut, dipped in semi flat black to keep the bolt from rusting. A little silicone or some sealant inside it. And the female? Designed for a hammer, but I used a vice. Planning on going around full, boot, hard top back panel, and even soft top with this kit. So, to sum up. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TGG7KPZ...roduct_details Then get extra sleep.

Stock appearing
Resto mod, not stock appearing. Resto mod. Sounds like a creature from one of those CGI movies. Resto Mod to the rescue. Finally, a moniker that fits. Sorry purists, this section won’t be anything for you. Picture me drinking tequila, and waving you away from my table, sombrero, and bandeleros

I spend my first wave of stewardship scrambling to get a tired stunt car back to original. I get some of that right, except for my dash, which I go off script with this amazing roll of black walnut veneer. And I go overboard on this 72 car, adding the front dam, union jacks on the rear, and a 76 front grille and emblem from a wrecked car, instead of waiting to find the cloison? Version. But it looks more like a TR6 after I get done with it than before I got it.

And when we adopt the school car, she is very original. Original owner, Ken, did a good job at keeping it that way. The starbucks shuttle. About all she was then. I put her on the highway some, but not much. And at some point, I took a turn down this dark alley of resto mod. Intoxicating. I could blame all this on 6pack. I won’t. There are plenty of purist there. But like anyone with this mark, looking for a little more from this 2.5L, I found myself digging into threads about those bits. And they seem harmless at first. Halogen headlights? Well, of course – I don’t want to hit someone at night. Bigger alternator? I mean, sure - I have halogen headlights now. Duh. And before you know it, your car has at least a dozen mods on it.

I meet some great tr6 folk at an event in Waco in 2014? It was before the Trials in Oxford, so my first time to meet Poolboy, RatRidgeRoadster, DavidK(RIP), and others. Whole section of bandeleros, complete with V8 conversions. The EFI stuff has me mesmerized. My car, streetworthy, was just coming off the jacks, and still had some minor issues. At this point, I’m still on original rims, Pirelli tires, original brakes, suspension, steering, etc. I am already electric fan, 9 pound bastuck flywheel, hi torque starter, Volvo OD guts, and maybe a few others.

Resto mod is not a dirty word – hot ticket right now on the auctions, and as we try to blend in on the roads these days, we need some of this just to be safe, frankly. And so we are clear, if my car is at an event, its cause I drove it there. No offense.

May 25th, 1980
Im a Junior in high school. I have a choice for Memorial Weekend. Take my girlfriend to Prom, or go to the Indy500. I haven’t spoken to Celia Moye since.

My dad took off with buddies in 1975 to Indy, came back with pics and a program. He also came back with an Indy 500 album, sponsored by Van Camp Beans – I have this album and cover somewhere in my stack. I’ve listened to that album so many times, I can still hear Sid Collins voice like it was yesterday. The month of May, while still important to me, was isolation – nothing else around me mattered. ABC coverage of qualifying and the race would freeze me. That 1975 program, cover with the race flags on the front, I read from cover to cover. I had a decent understanding of motor variations, and even chassis and suspension technology, including sway bars.

In 1980, a road trip to Indianapolis, and Carmel where we stayed with friends, was long. Couldn’t get there fast enough. Did the track tour on Saturday, in the rain in that bus. Walked the museum, fascinated by little things, like Rutherford’s orange McLaren, with a flat bottom steering wheel. Seeing the marmon wasp in person, looking like it jumped off the cover of that LP. Dinner downtown, and I make what felt like a big mistake when my dad asked me who to bet on – Unser, of course. As embedded as this event was, how could I not know Jim Hall kicked him to the curb, and brought in Lonestar JR to wheel that yellow sub that year.

And race day. A symphony. If you don’t know, Speedway, Indiana, is a city around the track, and people sell space in their yard to park. This yard belongs to a friend of the friend we are staying with. He’s blocks away, and we load up in his El camino back, and ride right to the door. He picks us up there too. And has a buffet for us when the race was over. Beautiful sunny day. Our seats are around row 5 in the lineup, outside main stands. 300,000 people in this facility. Everywhere you looked. This skinny front stretch looks so wide on TV. Cars sitting there, crews around them, and my favorite memory before this race is Tom Sneva walking by, a fan yells, “where are you going to be in 50 laps, Sneva? He holds his index finger up, looking back at this fan with his aviator sunglasses. Crowd cheers. Sneva was on the back row because of engine swap, or something. And by 50 laps, Sneva was leading this race in a dinosaur McLaren, akin to that Rutherford 74 mount. Updated with a Cosworth. From last to first in 50 laps. The Gas Man.

This race was a Jim Hall yellow submarine show. Johnny Rutherford, in that car, ran up front all day, and eventually running away from everyone. I sat in the stands, soaking up all of it, listening to Foyt cuss on the loud speaker about boost rules, watching some restarts, amazed at the no speed limit pit lane, very bumpy, cars getting air as they tried to slow down. And getting an understanding of how an engine can rev to that much. I remember Rick Mears leaving his pits, and going thru what felt like 5 octaves before he shifted gears. And nothing compares to the start….after those cars warm up at 100 or so. To see an indy car come by you at 200, for the first time, brands you.

No, this isn’t much about my mark. At this point, I’m driving the butt ride 2 years legally, fiddling with all those restorations. But, that weekend is one of the most memorable times of my life. It served to help me take others to this event, learn what the value of a bronze badge was, and to know what it sounds like to lap this track with just one car on the track, hearing the bottom of the car slap the bricks at the start finish line. I hope everyone that loves cars, has some experience like this in their life.

That’s enough for today
You and your Triumph TR6 are lovely diplomats. You help people around you with this car without even knowing it. You bring happiness to the 1976 Eldorado owner who wants to swap cars for the weekend. You are a steward, responsible for it, and to it. Please start the car with it out of gear and foot off the clutch to save your thrust washers. Pop your hood and have a good look around the engine bay. Smile when you drive, and whenever possible, take a kid driving.

L.O Guvna

I am the steward of CF50460UO, born September 1975 with paint code 19 and black interior. Nicknamed “the school car”, is now over 100K in miles, with the original paint. I am the 3rd steward. Car came with hard top and overdrive. Current upgrades include Konig Rewind 16” rims, Falken 205s, 4Runner calipers, poolboy carbs, electric fan, pertronix ignitor ignition, TR5 cam, pacesetter header, 70amp Lucas direct fit alternator, Silverstar Halogen headlights, WBC blueprinted oil pump, Bastuck 9 pound flywheel, Goodparts suspension on all 4 corners, Goodparts sway bar, Goodparts trailing arm brackets, Volvo OD gears, 7/8 rear wheel cylinders, JVC audio with 4 speakers, high torque starter, solid state Rheostat, pending LED dash gauges. And much more to come….