Monthly Archives: August 2013
I never dreamed that falling in love with my husband, Mike, would mean falling in love with vintage cars.
We were freshmen in college when I met “Bubbles,” the resident TR, in my now in-law’s garage. Bubbles was a light blue 1959 TR3A that immediately caught my eye. As I wandered through the garage that spring day, I also spied an Austin Healey 100-4, an Allard L-type, and an Allard K2. I quickly learned that cars had always been a part of Mike’s life. In fact, there were cars that had been family members longer than Mike!
While we were dating, Mike and I attended Vintage Rallies on crisp New England fall days in the Healey, watched numerous VSCCA races at Limerock, and attended hill climbs. I slowly became adept at identifying old cars. Fast forward through a college graduation, a wedding ceremony, and a first home. In 2002, Mike and I were able to purchase our first vintage car, an Allard K3. It was a special car that was owned by a family friend and in which Mike rode on several occasions as a child. We were smitten with the car, its racing history, quirky handling, and copious amounts of torque. There was only one problem; I couldn’t reach the pedals.
One year later, I’d had enough serving only as “passenger extraordinaire,” and told Mike that he couldn’t be the only one having all the fun! That began our search for the perfectly sized British roadster. After a few months of Hemmings catalogs and testing out seats in a variety MGs and Triumphs, I found a car I thought might be the one – a 1969 TR6. I had finally found a car that I could comfortably see over the hood, reach the pedals, and handle the steering. There was one catch however – the eccentric, but fanatical owner. We spent several weeks driving the 60+ miles to visit the car, to make sure it was right for us, and to prove that we would, indeed, provide a good home for her.
Little did we know the tricks our newly purchased TR6 would play on us. When we got home, we learned that she was pouring oil out of a valve cover, which was held on with bailing wire and unending optimism. The second trip out of the driveway (20-feet from our garage) the ignition switch decided to catch fire. These two events began Mike’s campaign to make the car safe and reliable enough for me to drive back and forth to my work. Our car’s tricks created her nickname, “Trixie,” spelled Tr6ie, for all of the tricks she has played on us over the past few years.
Tr6ie has had new tires and wheels, a high-compression cylinder head with petrol ignition spec cam, an alloy valve cover, pertronix ignition, rebuilt carbs, new brakes all around including master cylinder, new suspension bushings, new shocks and a rear tubular shock conversion kit, and all of the Lucas smoke has been forced back into her electronics. She now starts every time, is a blast to drive, and ironically, has never let me down. And thanks to Mike, that’s my Tr6ie!!