14 July 2003

The Restoration of TRisha TR

All blue with Mohair - she's done!

January 2004, just a couple of days into the New Year, new Tax Disc (Grrrr) and a train down to Potters Bar. It can only mean one thing. Yes, something that got underway on Monday 14 July 2003 has now been completed... TRisha TR the 1976 Speke built Triumph TR7 FHC, having been chopped, hacked, welded, plated, and sprayed has been restored.

The work took longer, cost more, and caused much frustration to most of those involved in the work. But at the end of it all the car looks stunning - much thanks must go to Dale, Andy and Bruce at Moordale Motors who probably all felt like pushing the car into a canal at various points! I have owned TRisha since 1990 and aTRisha on the day of collections she just about played cupid when I first met my, now, wife back in 1991 the money spent has been worth it. Sure it's not cost effective and I'll never get that cash back... well not unless something miraculous happens to the TR7 market! Up until the restoration TRisha had been used on a daily basis - how no one fell through the passenger floor during that time is a mystery! The rot was quite shocking - and the engine could have fallen out! The reason I mention Daily Runner is that I had intended to use her for the 70 mile round trip to work fairly regularly; but not now!

After the troubles with the rear deck and ill-fitting rear panel though only other pain in the butt was the sunroof. Again once the logistics and timing of moving the car 30odd miles to the sunroof people (RS Coachbuilts) had been arranged there wasn't too much hassled... other than fitting of the front and rear windows. The windscreen should not have been a problem, for some reason though the fitter used by RS made a complete hash of it. Moordale had to call in their fitter to remove the screen and re-fit properly.

The rear window was a problem. During the restoration we had decided to modify the fitment of the deck against the rear wings. On the FHC the rear deck sits lower than the wing - park the car with nose slightly The rot on the seam of rear deck to wingdown hill and you are inviting water pool against the wing; it doesn't take a MENSA applicant to work out who you are inviting to take up residence! The picture to the left shows the original fitment - the deck is lower than the wing, and that's a big hole! Raising the deck meant there was less room to work the window glass and rubber seal in, but there are ways around it! The following image shows the smootherImproved smoother lines following the restoration lines created by making this adjustment - before deciding to do this on your restoration weigh up just how much work is involved! It was feasible on TRisha as both rear wings were being replaced and the deck itself was beyond help!

Internally the vinyl roof lining has been replaced by grey 'Jaguar' felt, coupled with the retrimmed leather seat this particular Triumph TR7 has a quality that was missing in the early cars from Liverpool. Personally I do think upgrading the interior is worthwhile - afterall the seats have been much improved, so why not do away with the 70's automotive styling of vinyl roof lining? New door cards are on their way too, a coin is to be flipped as to whether these get the leather treatment too! Continuing on the interior the vinyl covering the parcel shelf had 'blown' this is a common problem, peering into many FHC's will show the bubbles blighting this particular part of the trim. Recovering is not the easiet task in the world as you will almost certainly see the joins, and sticking a similar vinyl coating could prove frustrating. What did we do then? Use auto carpet of course! Now I have a little extra hoovering to do when I clean the car - all things considered I think this was the best option, and though the joins are visible they are perhaps less obvious.

One thing is for sure - she attracts a lot of looks! Before I got the 'oh my! Has that thing got an MOT?' sort of look from people as I razzed around leaving a trail of rust. Now people look and go 'lubba lubba ooommmph' as they see such a startling car. It is a lot harder to park her now though - previously I could squeeze her into the smallest gap possible. Now I look for something slightly wider than the 'person with brat' spaces which infest our supermarket car parks. Both the Co-Pilot and I are very much looking forward to better weather so we can pose around a sling the blue mohair sunroof back. One thing is for sure TRisha TR is a very unique FHC - say what you like about the DHC but I am a coupe person and prefer the tin lid variety, and I wouldn't swap this tin-lid, 2 litre for any other TR7/TR8.

There's a lot of people that deserve recognition for there work and assitance, undoubtedly I shall have forgotten a couple of people and maybe one or two purposefully not mentioned!

Cheers - TRisha Pilot.