The Lobby
Enjoy the blog this week with Lyle Lovette, Rollin By.
Busier than expected. We are getting to a point where we can reflect on this pandemic, and its crushing impact to life. Businesses struggling because of lack of employees. People at door, staring in. Shocked that those they cut loose a year ago, don’t want to come back. My bees are good – I think I mentioned them. Finally making the excess honey that we will harvest in August. The househunting continues, we will be at a baby shower this weekend for my best friends first daughter. Age slips up on ya, huh. The dog rescue continues – Holly continues being spotted here and there.

whats new
I started this punch list for VTR. And I was shocked I was getting to some of those bits already. So unlike me – not procrastinating. Even mechanic service is hard to get to – waiting list for most shops that I know or hear about. You don’t drop cars off anymore. My alignment crusade is getting some traction. Spent 5 seconds with a new Hunter machine shop to find out my caster is off and his rig won’t fit my tires. After calling a variety of shops, I finally find one that does lowered and corvette stuff, with equipment that doesn’t hang on the tires. I’ll be in that shop next Wednesday – cause, as I said above, you don’t just drop your car off anymore. I haven’t put my new thermostat in – kinda enjoying the car free flow. I realize with it out, my fan comes on early. This balance of on/off with an efan is an experience the full time fan crowd doesn’t think about. Tune is good, overdrive is awesome, ride is fine, except for this dog tracking.

The Wax
In the continuing series of what is right on this mark, here are some uplifting thoughts on ignition. I’ll mix light expertise with learned best practices and stuff I’ve done. You can stay original, with points, and tired vacuum and timing. Or, you can tear some things out, remove some stuff, plug up some stuff, and open the shades again.
For me, as a recommendation during a tune up, Brittish Auto, in Fort Worth, has the school car back in….99 or so…and Jeff Sloan says, “Chris, you should consider pertronix to replace the points – many are doing it and it works great.” Sure, ok. So, I add that to my list of items, and take the car home. Car starts better. Runs better. I notice little things – smoother. That was 22 years ago, and that tiny gadget in my distributor is still going. May be the single best upgrades I’ve ever done. Thanks again, Jeff.

Coils, wires, caps and rotors. There are upgrades to what we have used from original. I have a lucas sport coil. Nothing crazy. I have silicone wires from Napa. I remember replacing them when, at dusk with my hood up and car running, my old wires literally were throwing spark out of the wire like Frankenstein. Out they go, and in go this new fangled stuff. Distributors today – while tired, can be plugged off vacuum – mine is – or rebuilt and recurved in the Northeast. And if you have never watched the Patton YouTube videos on EFI conversion, go watch that one on him gutting a TR6 distributor. Fascinating.
Plugs. I run Champion 404s. I know its RNY….something, but the box says 404. So, 404. I love all sorts of plugs, raced on NGK, and others. Here is my simple opinion on plugs. If your car is hauling ass, and you want to improve on it? Fiddle with plugs. If your car is running like chit, leave the plugs alone. Your problem isn’t the plug. Its something else. Find that issue.
At this point, we have better ignition management than during production, and we have better spark and performance in the cylinder. You can cuss lucas, but be sure to temper all that with – but, my ignition is good.

Next week. Oil and oil management. I’ll chat tolerances, better oils today, spin on filters, driving management, wear, blue printing, machining balancing, etc.- and blueprint oil pumps. And I’ll tell you why you don’t need an oil cooler.

Tech boot cover under snaps
Grand Tour Detroit
Throwback. Other cars

tech - tuck it up
Rare to see a TR6 with its boot cover tucked up and snapped like it should. Many snap around the top, and leave the rectangle just hanging down almost touching the carpet on the rear deck. No reason to tuck it, frankly, if you don’t have speakers. But it was that reason that I tucked mine, with the snaps on the back panel. And with it tucked, the car looked cleaner, whether my speakers were working or not.

Today, with restorations and new interiors, many panels probably don’t have that snap where the factory put it. On that back panel, next to the wheel well cover, halfway up, should be a black snap screwed in with that Philips screw. I moved mine to the top, swapping with the bezel. The cover snap won’t reach up there, but with some stretchy fabric and added male and female straps, I made an extender, that really snugs it up. The look, as I said, is much cleaner. Your car, your cover – just sharing as I think many may not know this feature, and why their covers have this snap hanging off the end of it. Or like Lloyd, with a BobbyD cover, wondering why Bob didn’t add it. Who cares – he can now himself. And you can too if you don’t have an original cover.

Motorcity Jeremy, James and Richard
I was glued to Top Gear. The whole format. The mini ski jump probably hooked me the most, and from then on, I cleared the table and my tivo recordings to make room for this crew. And then, they left. Crickets, and when they came back with their own show, I should have journeyed over to it. Nope. Never saw one episode, even through they were glaring at me on my Amazon Firestick.
I don’t know what caused me to click on them recently, but I did. And I didn’t go to season 1. I surfed around the seasons, chose season 3, and episode 1. I read the title, and thought – sure, Detroit should be good. And it was. These windbags come on to a new live audience, soak up the adoration, sit at a table and wax on stuff, and then cut away to their trip to Detroit in modern day muscle cars. Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro. And while all were impressive, the Camaro left the biggest mark.

James May gets it, and from the tuner Hennessey, it is called the Exorcist. 1,000 horsepower, top speed 217. This fun segment has them drag racing in downtown Detroit, doing donuts in a opera house, and living in a home they bought to live there while they filmed this segment. To see Detroit today – which we don’t do even with media coverage of anything, is shocking. The contrast of American engineering against the backdrop of the Motor City is a vivid memory now.

We are at an interesting time in automotive engineering. They are doing it because they can, but why? Demand, I assume, or to have people talk about it. Face it – if you have the 100K to buy this, should you? And more importantly, should you drive it? I don’t think the sellers will ask if you can drive it – as in, are you skilled enough not to kill yourself? Everyday people, with funds, should not be behind the wheel of this, or the senna mclaren, the veyron, or pick something that will run past 200. My opinion, certainly. All lovely cars, but art to me. We chase 3-5 horsepower in our 2.5 6 cylinders with poor oiling, tired cast iron, and other bits. As the world continues to curve up in hp gain, we flat line, looking for ways to improve hp at the rear wheel. And that’s fine with me,frankly.

Throwback. Those other TR6s
The phases of stewardship. Kinda the same, right? Once you have one, they are everywhere. Even with this mark, during production, might blend into the fabric unless you have one, and then you are on this odd alert similar to skills a military scout would have. Like Squirrel to a dog. After I walk around this sitting car in the driveway, fiddle with little things like seat adjustments, and mirrors, getting acquainted with it. The smell of a TR6 interior with the top up after a few days. The trip odometer reset under the dash. The vent knobs that close and open the vents. And then, driving around, you see another one somewhere, at least each week.

I have this mental list of the 6s that left impressions on me as a teenager – those cars pushed me to add the air dam, for example. They influenced me to remove each tire and rim, trim rings, lay each on a table, take masking tape around the edge of the tire and rim, and reshoot them with krylon silver. I’m pretty sure I removed my wipers and painted my factory silver rigs flat black. Little things.
I’ve chatted Chuck Norris before – simply the strongest impression. This guy with middle parted blonde hair and mustache, driving this purring burgundy 76 car, with tan interior and that strip package. The car would freeze me when he drove by. But there was also the junkyard yellow 76 car, that I bought parts from, like my new front grille. I should have bought more parts, looking back. High school friend Bill had an older sister, and her boyfriend had a 74 car. Bill comes back one Saturday night to our local hangout, eyes wide, excited, and telling us that he and this guy just went 145 in his car – with overdrive. That was probably when I thought I wanted or needed overdrive. Lovely dark blue car.

And then there was the bully. Raking leaves in my front yard with 2 other football players. This light green one comes by, one of my friends points it out, I say something like, it’s a 71, and we start raking again. Then he pulls up and stops. And asks us what did we say. So I tell him – we were just admiring your car. He sits there, with his girlfriend in the other seat. Then says something like, Ok, but that’s not what I heard. He left, but even to this day, I’m not sure what that guy was going to do with 3 football players. He had our attention, though.

And when I get to Texas, we find this auto parts store, run by this tiny guy who didn’t talk much, but he had a brown 76…is that sienna? With tan interior, overdrive and hard top. It was always parked outside the auto parts store. Dad and I would ask him questions, hoping he would open up about his car and give us some hope – like going to see a tarot card reader who never spoke. Every time I see a Sienna 6, I think of that guy, and its because of him, that color is still one of my favorites. Brown was simply, to me, the 70s. It ain’t one of the sexy colors, but it fits our mark.

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 Interstate Battery guy delivering batteries. 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. Please put fresh gas in your car each week. Smile when you drive, and whenever possible, take a kid driving.

See you on down the road,

L.O Guvna

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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 was delivered with original hard top and factory overdrive. Current upgrades include Volvo overdrive gearing, Konig Rewind 16x7 rims, Falken 205s, 4Runner calipers and 7/8 rear wheel cylinders. Carbs by poolboy carbs, with a FlexAlite 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, Uprated Armstrong lever shocks with cycle fork oil, JVC audio with 4 speakers, high torque starter, solid state Rheostat, pending LED dash gauges. My wish list: r200B diff, a quantum mechanics Supra gearbox, new interior, and new paint at some point, a fresh motor down the road with lightened crank, cam bearings, improved compression and roller rocker valve train. Oh, and AC.