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When it all changed
This won’t be a normal blog. No segments. Just some long wax on the threat to this mark, and the threat to any mark. The collision.
I tossed around sharing a song. Worried that I would share one song that brought back some bad memories for a lost family member. I would never do that intentionally. I’ll take a risk, and share a Marty Robbins song. Feleena. No connection, just a good country song, speaking to that pull we get that we can’t ignore, and the danger that comes with it.

The attached pic is from Wednesday night. Coming home from Bowling. One of my best nights, rolling a 557 series, which equates to a 186 average. Officially, I’m at 164, but recently, have been bowling around 175. Our team, Breaking Bad, is in 11th place, or near that, and moving up. We did well, sweeping the team we competed with. So, a good night, fun night. Everyone in great spirits. I rarely drive the school car to league night, but the weather was awesome. We had no plans after, sometimes we do. I was headed home, and took a route that I don’t normally take. The collision was my fault. I ran a red light, into a newish VW Passat. The front of the school car hit his right rear door area, into the wheel well. Very little visible damage. Polite young driver. Police did a great job at handling the situation, and I am now dealing with Hagerty for the repair. Like most would do, I reached out to the local community for shops that would and could handle a frame and tub car. I got what I needed, then remembered friend Rick who runs RiteCo in Rockwall, and has always taken care of our cars. Old school guy, and the older brother of Terry, who I have mentioned many times regarding machine work. He’s full now, but will take the car in late February.

So, with that out of the way, lets talk crashes. It won’t happen to me, because I am a good driver. I hate seeing others and their damage, and I have real feelings toward their damage and pain. But there is that separation between those that have wrecked, and those that haven’t. We don’t talk about it, but it’s there. The stigma. The scarlet letter.

For those that don’t know, the school car is literally, a daily driver. When I bought it, it was a garage baby. Lived there until Saturday morning Starbuck runs. After my upgrades and finding a great mechanic, and 6pack, this car morphed into something I literally would get in for any trip, even home depot for some 2x4s, sticking out the passenger window. The more its driven, the more risk is involved. Like a motorcycle, this car is hard to see, especially with the white color sometimes. Low to the ground, narrow, and just not in SUV mirror range. There is extra awareness with this car. We all know that. And for me, none of that has ever slowed me down.

This is my second collision in a TR6. I wrote about the 72 buttride and its demise in the blog a few months back. 1985, 4th of July eve. Rear ended by a drunk in a truck. At 2am. Regardless of who’s fault it was, seeing your car mangled is gross. The emotions from surreal to the real happen naturally. The school car sits on the street, parked against the curb since Wednesday, waiting for the Hagerty adjuster. Once I get that paperwork, we will limp it around back, down the alley and into the garage until we get it ready for a tow to Rick’s shop. Until then, some time to heal, mentally, prepare the car for this repair, and discuss the repairs that will most likely need to be made.

I posted twice on facebook – with the pic above, and comments about the crash, many kind words from friends and fellow stewards. I also posted a note about this blog this week, and in that, many shared their wrecks. There is this odd atmosphere of, is this car just a wreck magnet? Combined with, dang, now I don’t want to drive my car. That was never the intent of the post, but I will say this. And I want everyone to have that internal conversation. I will drive this car again. The school car will be fine, and it will be straight, and it will look better than it did before this crash. The young man who I hit, will have his car repaired, and taken care of by Hagerty. He will drive again. Those that had wrecks in their cars, drove again, and many of the cars are back on the road.

This is a setback. It is also a reflection for me on how I ran that red light. This down time gives me time to reflect on my driving style and ability, frankly. We have more distractions every day. While I wasn’t fiddling with anything in my car that night, something told me to drive, and I took off for the wrong reason. Mistakes like that need to be corrected, and what else can be wrong in my style? I’m not angry at myself, and I am thankful no one was injured, but in anything I do, if I make a mistake, I reflect and analyze, and find the problem, find the solution, and adhere to it. Well, that’s how I aim, anyway. I’ll say this. I won’t drive thru that intersection for a long time.

I’ll end this week with a story about my great grandfather, Papa Hall. My father’s mother’s father. He was in his late 80s when he passed away. Broken hip put him in a home, and I remember the funeral. I remember my grandmother crying. But this story has some very funny stuff in it. First, he was an amazing athlete. Even in his later years, he could stand, bend over backwards, and pick a dollar bill up with his teeth. Even when I knew him as a child, he was fit, strong, and very aware. He loved professional wrestling, and was one of the men, apparently, that would throw a chair in the ring. His breakfast - egg, a biscuit broken into pieces around a puddle of molases. And drove until he was 80. I remember that day, him standing in our driveway, handing the keys to my dad. A week before, he was driving home, drove off the road, and into a corn field. The farmer came out, yelling that PaPa would pay for the corn. So he did. Then, he opened his trunk, and started putting the corn in it. The man asked what he was doing? Well, I paid for it, so I’m taking it home.

There will be a day when I hand my keys to someone. Probably one of my daughters. This wreck was a setback, and painful. But that future day, is something I really don’t look forward to. I’ve been driving on the roads since 13, tractors since 8 or so, and mini bikes since 6. I love driving, as many of you do. I will be a better steward, that is my commitment to the school car, and I will be a better example to each of you. I am thankful to all of you, and none of us are alone in this TR6 journey. I wish you peace and happiness, and I hope you never get a scratch on your car. And if you do, we will all be here to help. Don’t let any of this slow you down, or park that car. Get in it, bump that starter, and go somewhere. Anywhere.

Thank you for caring for your Triumph TR6, and a special thank you to those considering it. Owning this car can seem scary and you have an amazing network around to help you. Your TR6 helps people around you without even knowing it. You bring happiness to people near and far. Please start your car with it out of gear and foot off the clutch to save your thrust washers. Please pop your hood and have a good look around the engine bay. Please put fresh gas in your car each week, even if just 1 gallon. Please be safe and alert when you drive. 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. Poolboy carbs, 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 with goodparts cv joints and hubs, fresh head with roller rockers, new interior, and new paint. At some point, a fresh motor with lightened crank, cam bearings, improved compression and roller rocker valve train. Oh, and AC.