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Sunday 11th ; a little bit of tarting up . . .


^ As bought, and as you can see my replacement wheels look pretty tidy, however you might also get an indication of the (minor) cosmetic damage ..not least from being put down on concrete and leaned against a brick wall (by the seller) !

Typically their condition was a little chipped around the edges and where balancing weight clips had ripped off the clear lacquer and the odd area of surface rust . . .

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^ This and another wheel had black specks (more apparent in life than in this photo) and a couple of places needing a little cleaning up inside and around the tyre rim.  Overlaid paint where necessary was single pack ; Zinc + a couple coats of metallic paint + clear lacquer. Hopefully this should keep rust at bay at least for the lifespan of their new tyres.

The worse condition wheel was what was presumably latterly used as the spare . . .

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^ this had no lacquer on it, the rim edges were each well and truly chipped and with surface rust, and the inside (after cleaning) was again craving a little tlc. 

I've only done a quick job of washing with detergent, wire brushing the chips and rusty areas and giving a good wipe over with thinners, before rattle can painting . . . 

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^ without even rubbing it down in preparation it's only a tarting up job, but I think respectable and a close enough match to the others to use on the car as is.  Actually this wheel is in really good shape, and better than another, so I think I will use it.     

That's all for today.  I'll let the paint harden for a day or two and then have the new tyres fitted and balanced.

Just a little progress ..but in the right direction.  

Bidding you a pleasant Sunday evening,






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On 11/07/2021 at 11:29, Pete Lewis said:

tssc can do valuations from photo's   clues in courier about e mailing and bacs payments

if you were nearer i could do them    

that's right we don't go grovelling and poking around underside  its a visual appraisal of the car as a whole 

the r relevant forms can be down loaded from the main website  https://www.tssc.org.uk/tssc/about.asp

you seem to be at least A!+ in most areas  that's upto around  £ 28K


Thanks again Pete, this morning I phoned the TR Register's insurance agent, and told them of the chassis change, plus the usual strengthening mods and that I've had additional stiffening added, including along the rear rails for when I fit a towing bracket.  I explained that this work was done by M&T Classics, along with all the suspension parts being dismantled and regreased, new bolts, poly-bushes throughout, etc. Also that the gearbox has been rebuilt, the clutch replaced, along with all the rubber parts like heater & coolant hoses. Again that I'm changing from wire wheels to standard 4J x15 steel wheels, which now have new tyres, and that I'll be fitting new carpets. 

Citing your view that the car seemed A1+ in most areas, and the value proposed by the TSSC, I've raised the insurance value of my TR to that amount ..for an additional £21 inc a nominal £5 admin fee.  They'll require another set of photos which I suggested I'll send them at the end of next week.  The gentleman (insurance broker) didn't seem to flinch when I mentioned that value, indeed he pointed out that a TR4 was presently advertised on C&C for that value and that very recently a dealer was asking £5 - 6k more for a 4A.  It all seem like Monopoly figures to me. :blink:

On the other tack, yesterday I had the new tyres fitted and balanced (stick on weights on their insides only) . . .


Little by little I'm making progress..



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Wheels look good. Wise getting your insurance done. If the unthinkable happens at least you will have the money to replace with a decent one, especially after all the sorting you have done on this one. Looking forward to your pickup pictures as it gets closer. I bet not as much as you are!

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20 hours ago, Mathew said:

I bet not as much as you are!

Unfortunately I'm passed that ..probably just burnt out, and generally sick n' tired of car bits, tools & consumables cluttering and always underfoot in this small apartment.  No, I'm sorry to say that I'm not even looking forward to collecting it. That'll just add to the clutter, and I'm anxious that there will be issues (teething problems if you like) from the car having been disassembled and then put back together by someone else, but not having been thoroughly tested before I take it out on a very busy M6.  My own modus-operandi, when professionally recommissioning / rebuilding the post-war Sunbeam motorcycles, was to ride a customers rebuilt bike for 200 miles (minimum) ..just to ensure it was reliable, oil tight, systematically torqued down, and of course set-up correctly and roadworthy. Nevertheless in the circumstance, I think for the time being, it's best just to get the car back here and put a cover over it until my mindset puckers up. 

I didn't go, nor did I want to go, to our last TR Reg group's monthly meeting ..I guess because I didn't want to talk about the car.  I now also wont go to the IWE.  I've not been to a single classic car, bike, steam, flying, or any other country show or event, nor am I expecting to for a while, although coming across to Duxford is still just about a possibility. The last one I went to (2019) was a modest but friendly gathering and that suited me. 

I guess part of my present melancholy is founded in trying to build (outside) a camping trailer (in pursuit of the 'dream' of touring with the TR) ..in the time the car was away, and instead I've been exasperated by the weather.  At times, I've been very close to just burning it - to get all of that shyte out of what ought to be a home ..not a workshop / garage / shed.

I'm clearly in need of a break, but I have too much to do, and my age keeps reminding me not to dilly dally if i want to do anything else.  

'The dream' has taken on a unattractive slant because of the endless expenses (..and also escalated value of the car).  It's not what I wanted, which was simply a fun driver (..that I accepted would be an oily rag / rolling recommission).  Instead I've ended up with a glamorous woman-in-red that's out of my league.  Desirable but ever demanding can only end one way.

Sorry if this is not what you wanted to read, but it is part and parcel of the trials and tribulations, warts and insecurities et al.

If I can just back off for a while.. then in time the bills will fade into history, clutter will find their way from my sitting room and hallway back onto the car. The car's surrey-top roof, the car's wiring and gearbox cover, and interior will be miraculously happen ..and then perhaps I can try again with Katie.  In the meantime every aspect of my life is being pulled into in this relentless spiral.


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I do know how you feel, usually i end up selling everything and then end up buying it again!

Some one once said out of chaos order comes, or something like that. If you keep plugging away it will come.

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the joys of classic conundrums bite hard at times  all hobbies waft and wain 

ive a model railway not touched for over a year these things come and go a little space 

resumes the enthusiasm , youve done a major job so far and let everyone know about the ups and downs    have a strong cuppa , tidy some space to retrieve the home and take a breakfrom the worries of whats next   Im sure the car will be all you want when it returns 

and you will be rejuvenated enough to finish her off  

no more talk of bonfires   

make Duxford a target   


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we used to have a list of people willing to help when things go wrong but it turned into a nightmare for some willing 

members and the scheme was scrapped as some   thought this was to be a 24/7 operation   and help if you can is one thing taking the mickey was its ruin ....what you mean its 3am and your out of fuel  !!!!   yes  it happend


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Pete - Take heart, things will get better. Look to the future, the open roads, stopping when and where you want, look forward to and then live the dream. I did, and (1 Spitfire not withstanding) I am there. It has taken years of mistakes some very, very, expensive, but now that I am there I can see that it was worth it. No the Spit will probably never get done nor the hardtop, but in my case they are diversions that will get cleared up by others, but my life is for the living, I am content, I can only wish the same for your good self.

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Thanks, I'll be OK, I just need a break.. 

Like Mathew,  I've been here before and then sold the car ..just to get rid of the next round of hassles, only to then replace those with a different but oddly familiar scenario..  This time I'm planning of just putting things quietly aside for a little while, and not to throw the toys out of the pram. 

Previously (each time) I've been screwed by professionals in the trade, but this time I feel M&T have done a good job.  Any professional service is expensive to someone without an income (it's now just 14 months before I get a state pension) but I feel this company's pricing is very fair and were particularly accommodating with the supply of used parts, at a keen price, to help keep the total down.  

This morning my old chassis sold, and that of course helps offset the overall cost.  A chap, Russell from the Cambridge area, bought it for his '67 TR4A project, and I think plans on restoring it (or possibly having M&T restore it), so that he may then clean up, refurbish and transfer mechanicals over ..just one assembly at a time (rather than dismantling everything all at once).  I guess he'll then follow suit and sell his old chassis on to the next chap - to recoup some of his costs.

The classic car world is pretty good in recycling isn't it.!


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Hi Pete , you did mention a van to tow . Have you considered a Portafold. These are 60,s and ideal for a classic . They won’t break the bank either and no depreciation . Id love one for the Vitesse even got the towbar ready but the other half says No.


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1 hour ago, Paul H said:

Hi Pete , you did mention a van to tow . Have you considered a Portafold. These are 60,s and ideal for a classic . They won’t break the bank either and no depreciation . Id love one for the Vitesse even got the towbar ready but the other half says No.


Thanks Paul,  I particularly sought a compact camping-trailer ..so that it would tuck into the slipstream of a sports car and for its wheels not to project out of either side (which I don't like down small country lanes).  Being a grumpy old git ..I'm on my own, and the older style types I spotted, or were recommended all seemed to be made for multiple persons.  After a while I decided to make my own from recycled plywood. You can see the design I proposed < here >  and then also how far I've got with its build (unfortunately very much delayed by the weather).  

Still I chug along with it, and have now bought (yes bought ! :o) the steel shs for its chassis rails, but haven't yet fabricated that because I'm taking advantage of the dry weather to make a lid for the box.


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Pete please stick with it, I for one have totally enjoyed your story with the TR even going back as far as Chance, The chassis woes and the thought put into the reconditioning and the implementation of the work with reports has been very interesting and enjoyable to follow.

To quit now and let some one else enjoy the fruits of your labor is something I couldn't contemplate, as others have said take a little breather and come back re-energized. Yep the English weather can be Cr*p, one of the reasons I returned to Oz, & Covid has screwed us all up, lock downs and restrictions are world wide and the stress it has put us all under is immeasurable,  

Please continue on with the TR story we all enjoy your DIY restoration stories/explanations so much, I think we've all been at the end of our tether re our cars at one time or another, hey remember it's a TRIUMPH over adversity!

Re getting the car home, it's a Triumph they always manage to make it as they want to leave there mark there!

Campervan very inventive, & even better made from scrap, think of it as house mods and there always messy

Thinking of you, & Good Luck

Peter T 

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Pete, sorry to hear the car is getting you down.

As others have already said, we have probably all been there, I know I have with my Herald, particularly when I found out just how rotten it was.

At least you have a nice shiny, better than new, chassis, and no doubt a car that will drive much better as a result of it.

And maybe you deserve a exotic redhead in your life!



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58 minutes ago, Bordfunker said:

maybe you deserve a exotic redhead in your life!

Cannot honestly say 'deserve' but certainly it's the stuff of dreams, having the car to go with the redhead would be nice too !

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a while, but Mark was away on holiday for a week and to be frank things have slowed down a lot.  That was not a problem for me because I was feeling burnt out with the TR saga, and also the trailer I'm making not going to plan (leading me to build a weather shelter to work and keep things under) ..so I've not been chasing M&T.  So after the photos received on the 9th July it wasn't until the 26th that I received some more showing the replaced sill now in primer and seam sealed . . . 

  IMG_2733.thumb.jpg.9bbb78235124ad04d2a6451880eb5a55.jpg     IMG_2732.thumb.jpg.0f134cc5b496577fd0b7ab97859d8e73.jpg

^ Because of my limited budget I asked them not to top-paint the sill, I'll do that myself. 

M&T therefore set about reassembly on this side of the side  . . .


^ They've added a drain pipe (on both sides) from the fresh-air vent plenum's drain, forward to exit under the wheel arch, rather than for that drain to dribble down on top of the sill as it originally was.  I might add that they've very kindly done this as a matter of good (restoration / preservation) practice and have not charged me to do it.  It may only seem like a little detail, but there are many such little details which they've attended to in their own time ant at their own cost, which all together contribute to a better than expected service ..whereas my usual experience of garages and in particular 'restoration services' is that they like to charge-through-the-nose for every tiny thing. 

The driver's side sill is in good shape and more or less in the right place but the top flange had opened up.  M&T drilled and plug welded this up for me. . .


^ I enquired why it hadn't been re-spot-welded which would have been neater ? and the reply was that the metal surfaces to be joined have to be very clean for the spot weld to work well (I'm guessing that's because the electrical current has to pass through where metal is being pinched together, and any paint or even light surface rust prevents that).  Because access inbetween those faces was quite impossible to clean out properly the strongest way to rejoin it was to drill and plug weld the flange.  This has since been cleaned up and primered so once top coated painted (by myself and under the door's weather seal it wont be seen.

Moving on., and while access was good, before the bonnet was refitted, the headlamp, side lights, indicators and other wiring needed to be reconnected. . .


^ I'd advise Mark not to worry at all about the wiring connections.. as I plan to go through every one of them on the car - to get rid of the poorly done home blue and yellow crimped and to otherwise clean and Vaseline every connection. Again it may only seem a little thing, but for those poor connections they had to pull apart - they've replaced the crimps with brass bullets, soldered on.  And they've also provided new bullet connector sleeves ..at their own cost.  Mark said that they couldn't just put it back together as it was, it was against the grain. 



^ The car now running around the yard to check the mechanicals & systems.  Presently riding very high on (standard) suspension springs and poly-bushes, not least because as seen there's lesser weight without bonnet, weather gear and interior trim, empty fuel tank, etc.     

Then it was "simply a matter refitting the panels for best alignment (as well as those panels might fit without being reworked and repainted). . 

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^ Yet again Mark has done more than I might have expected.., insomuch as I'd previously reported the rear hood bow hinge brackets had broken off both sides.  I've not driven the car with the roof on yet and so it wasn't of major concern but a job I'd do whenever I next had my welder out.  Instead M&T have made those repairs and the hood is serviceable again.  

Thanks Mark and the Team 


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Moving on, a couple of days ago mark sent me the latest photos ..as the car now comes to completion. . .


^Not the best of photos, but aside from the primer colour of the sill, were now looking at door gaps.. which as you can see is now much better at the top rear corner (where it was 14mm tapering down to 3mm). The gap along the sill is also even.  This is pretty amazing considering nothing has been done to the door or wings, only the sill.

 IMG_2846.thumb.jpg.2d6f9f23b215e6ad57d0344f285b519a.jpg     IMG_2845.thumb.jpg.27cf8bd6bf97b17e5822e97601bc6a86.jpg

^ whilst not perfect, it's probably as good as the factory ever built the cars to and very respectable for a driver's car that was mostly restored 22+ years ago  (..most of what has recently been done cannot now be seen).  Once I spray that sill red., these door gaps will hardly be noticeable.  To achieve better still, would have involved M&T reshaping the door skin and rear wing (which Mark tells me have been replaced at some time) and possibly cutting out and moving the A and B posts too.!   and that sort of work would necessitate a respray ..and cost a whole lot more.

  IMG_2851.thumb.jpg.7e71038a5ca7cb6da6a7e3896ea078d1.jpg   IMG_2852.thumb.jpg.5d95751256913b06dee4154b91b6c53d.jpg

^ Driver's side is a little larger than Mark's ideal, but again perfectly acceptable in my opinion.


^ All back together and on the road.  Indeed the car is being used on the road this week, its tracking is to be done and then will be taken for an MOT.


^ so to the tail end of the chassis swap.    The car is yet to settle onto its suspension but is near ready for collection, which I'm hoping to do next week. 

I think you'll agree the work done by M&T has been great, not least because of my limited budget they've emphatically worked to.  Fortunately, the overall cost ..although a bitter pill to swallow, was workable (at this moment in time - thanks to a gift of inheritance from my aunt), especially since I've sold the car's original chassis and wire wheels. 

I've now got a car which has been thoroughly been attended to (chassis strengthening, suspension & pipes, body rubbers to door gaps) and so ought to good to go touring in, and which also invests in the value of the car.   

I look forward to seeing the pressed steel wheels on her, and then having a really decent driver where all the maintenance and jobs are done.!

Cheers, Pete

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Nice to see a company still around that puts quality of work and customer satisfaction above money,good for them.(and you).

I am in the same mindset you were in early July,haven`t looked at either my Herald or Vitesse for over a month,Vitesse had moved temporarily to a family members spare garage after my lockup got busted into. 

I entered a club Yorkshire tour which i have done 3 times before but pulled out 2 weeks ago,just because i couldn`t muster any enthusiasm for it.

Interesting thread and i`m sure the car will be much improved.


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Good to hear the cars nearly there and your back from a slight misfire, I really enjoy sharing the journey, keep the updates coming.

As Steve says it's good to hear there's still some classic restorers who provide that extra service for us enthusiasts.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately it seems that while Mark was on holiday ..my TR must have been shuffled into a corner and didn't get touched. Two weeks later I got the photos which showed the sill in primer and the NS panels finally fitted.  Since then it was mostly a matter of doing a 50 miles shakedown before I collected it and drove off down the M6.  He spoke of having it pre-MOT checked, just so an independent mechanic might look over the car, so I suggested we get a full MOT.  That was done on the 30th . . .

Date tested 30 July 2021 - Pass

Mileage 38,458 miles

Monitor and repair if necessary (advisories):

  • Nearside Rear Tyre worn close to legal limit/worn on edge (5.2.3 (e))
  • Offside Rear Tyre worn close to legal limit/worn on edge (5.2.3 (e))

Oddly, the fact that those tyres are 27 years old doesn't warrant an advisory.  In any case the replacement pressed steel wheels and new tyres are ready to be fitted when I collect.  Nor does the MOT mention that there's only one seat (and one seat belt), nor the fact that the bumper over-riders are in the boot so there's no number plate illumination.  Makes me think that MOT (as an independent safety check) was possibly a waste of money when those in the trade share an understanding.

However, as it turns out - the joint between the gearbox and overdrive has developed a leak (..the gearbox was rebuilt but not the overdrive unit).  That can happen when things are disturbed. As it turns out the studs were odd and one or two have stripped out.  Why it wasn't spotted during reassembly, I don't know.  Ken at Classic Transmissions had the assembly back and oversized studs were ordered.  That was a few more days delay.

With new studs and gaskets, the assembled parts still leak, but only when the overdrive is engaged.  Despite best efforts they cannot actually say where the leak is coming from, and Ken now suspects there's a hairline crack in the overdrive's casing.  There is however, an aluminium adapter plate between the two ..and it's quite common for these to warp when inappropriately tightened (according to my friend Rich who used to be an unofficial agent for Pete Cox). I asked if the flatness of mine had been checked, and apparently not.  Ken now has the gearbox / overdrive assembly back again, and I understand was to have his son drive the latter down to Overdrive Spares in Rugby, who will pressure test and generally check the unit over and, if required, rebuild it.  Mark has suggested that they will get that done this week.

The bills just keeps mounting., but everyone concerned is being very fair to me, insomuch as they appear to all be doing this at trade prices.  I cannot say fairer than that.   

In my opinion, no blame is to be apportioned on a car that was clearly a learning curve for amateur restoration 22 years ago.  All things considered, Katie's  done very well to hold together for this long, and that's probably down to Bob Bell (the prior owner) only very lightly driving the car.  Quite possibly this leak had been there all these years but was not an issue when the car was only used in fine weather to the local club meeting or shows.  For such a trip through town and then country lanes, the overdrive would hardly have been engaged.  And so what if a 1960's Triumph dripped a little oil sometimes. Most anyone who owned a 1960's Triumph motorcycle would know more about oil leaks !


I did anticipate things not happening quite as planned (..I have a lifetime of such experiences), and so I didn't make plans to go to Malvern this year.  Tbh I feel too tired to be rushing around to meet a deadline which, although hopefully a really great event.. is not the only show to go to.  I'm avoiding the stress !  I'm sure the car will be ready for collection soon, in time for pleasant autumnal drives. 


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