It is no secret that owners of Triumph sports cars are passionate. The preservation, restoration and maintenance of our cars are daily thoughts. We take sometimes elaborate steps to ensure long lasting enjoyment of the vehicle, both for display at shows and for the simple sheer pleasure of getting behind the wheel and driving. For us, membership in an organization like the New Jersey Triumph Association (NJTA) is ideal. Talking with like-minded people, going on drives with other Little British Cars, attending car shows and tech sessions—we wouldn’t miss it!
For the past several years, members of the NJTA have been invited to tech sessions by the Triumph Rescue restoration shop in Bally, Pennsylvania. The sessions are usually held in mid-March when owners are chomping at the bit to get back on the road after winter and “shake out the cobwebs” with a nice run. In all, about 80 club members generally take advantage of the opportunity to learn something new about the care and use of their cars from the professionals, with a bit of camaraderie with fellow enthusiasts.
It’s also fun and instructive to view firsthand some of the projects that the shop is working on. The shop professionals are usually on hand to answer any questions. Recently, the shop has beautifully and pridefully restored a very rare Aston Martin DB5 convertible with left hand drive. Of the 125 Aston Martin DB5s produced, only 24 were left hand drive convertibles. Needless to say there was much interest in this project from among the members, even if it’s not a Triumph.
Matt and Beth Bakes—owners and general managers of Triumph Rescue—are most cordial hosts. Matt opened the session with a hearty welcome to the guests and introduction of his staff. He has made presentations to the group on some basic maintenance tips especially for the storage of the cars for a length of time. Matt is a safety and fire conscious guy and shared that when he first opens the shop each morning, he sniffs around for any gas that might be leaking. He feels strongly that all cars should be equipped with a fire extinguisher. “Our best hope,” he quipped, “is to have an extinguisher ready in case of a fire in someone else’s car and not our-own.” Matt also touched on important topics such as fuel; including fuel stabilizers for long-term storage, fuel filters, and the use of gasoline with ethanol. This led to discussions on the effects ethanol has on our old cars, especially the rubber components.
Triumph Rescue’s upholstery specialist, Brad Danish, demonstrated how to properly fold a convertible top and followed this with a presentation about the damage mice and other rodents can inflict on cars, especially when they are stored for a long time or, worse, neglected and left to deteriorate in a garage, barn or outdoors. He showed some very cringe-worthy, graphic pictures of just how aggressive and destructive these small creatures can be if left to their own devices. You can bet the sale of traps went up at local hardware stores.
The day certainly served as a great impetus to get the juices flowing and to get those LBCs back on the road for the season, hopefully a little safer and better maintained.
Being a member of a club like the New Jersey Triumph Association opens you up to a long list of options to add to the enjoyment of your cars. Technical discussions, reviews and tips of parts recently installed, trading accumulated spare parts or whole cars…not to mention the drives, the shows, the fun and the laughter we all share! All in all it is an enjoyable time with some mighty fine people.
By Lillian Blair