Desert Centre – Triumph Registar of America

Speros "Jim" Andres 66 TR4A IRS

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When I bought this car in 1983, I had never kept up a car.  I’d changed oil and filters – but my understanding of the internal combustion engine was “limited”.

The day I sat down in the drivers seat of this 1966 Triumph TR4A IRS with the original overdrive transmission I was hooked.  I turned my head to the then owner and proclaimed – “how much do you want for it?” – “Love at first seat” – I drove it home.

Over the last 24 years, I have become intimately familiar with most of the inner and outer workings of this car.  I’ve changed water pumps, starters and transmissions.  I’ve taught myself to rebuild and tune Zenith Stromberg Carburetors.  I’ve converted the car to alternator power, added an electric fan – you name it – I’ve probably “busted knuckles” over it.

Obviously, this was self preservationist thinking as mechanics in Louisiana – where the car and I are from – laughed and kidded at the off mention of repair work for pay.  I kept it running and enjoyed every minute behind the wheel.

Until I got to Arizona.

In Spring of 2000,  I moved to Arizona on a search for opportunity.  I found it and was certain of it by September of that same year.  My wife, Martha, and daughter, Alexis, moved here.  We found and purchased a house – and contracted a mover to bring our belongings, including the TR, to Arizona.

By the time the car arrived, it had been sitting for almost a year.  It was relegated into our third garage stall for a year.  I worked on it, got it running, took Martha for a test ride, and lost first gear at the corner of Bush Highway and Usery Road.  When we got home, limping without 1st or Reverse, I put it back in the garage and walked away.

By the Spring of 2004, I ran an add to sell it.

A fellow by the name of Jim Bauder came by to look and made an offer.  As I listened to his offer, I was overcome by my affection for the TR – refused the offer – and got about getting her back on the road.

By Fall of 2005, I’d had the car in better shape than ever while under my ownership.  Upgraded front suspension with shocks and polyurithane bushings, new bearings and u joints everywhere, new brake pistons and friction surfaces, rebuilt everything rebuildable in the running gear, spin on oil filter, new wheels and tires, new clutch, Petronics in the Distributor, 12v Cooling Fan, alternator upgrade and got all the lights and electrics – including the horn – working.

Everything was cool until January of 2006 when the motor lost oil seal rings in the two rear cylinders.

In March 2006 the engine was removed for rebuild.  About a month later, I started taking her apart.  So far, The chassis has been sandblasted, painted and rebiult.  The body has been sandblasted and primed.  I (with the help of a few “Close” frends) have replaced both floors, inside and outside rockers, rear valances and rear.  Right now I’m (we’re) fabricating pieces to replace pieces that are rusted through.

0 Responses to Speros "Jim" Andres 66 TR4A IRS

  • Mike Long says:

    Spero,

    What a great story of perserverance and tenacity both in the restoration of your beloved car and in life in general!!

    Very moving story,

    thanks,

    Mike….

  • Tom Kendall says:

    Speros,

    Your name sounds very familiar. Do you by any chance know Wade Musil of Lone Woofs Clubhouse in Tucson?
    Wade is a rodder and restorer in Tucson.
    My story of my 62 TR4 is similar to yours for a body off restoration except that mine is required due to a Ford Excursion plowing into the rear. I know and appreciate the work and dedication an owner restoration requires. Hope to see yours at Triumphest 2007 also.

    Tom

  • Betty Simpson says:

    Hi Speros,

    I had an Austin Healy in the 60’s, and Charlie had a Jaguar XKE in the 70’s. We both wish we’d kept them—you were the smart one! Miss you in AZ. Things just aren’t the same w/out you.

    Betty

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6:00 pm Monthly DCTRA Meeting @ Denny’s Restaurant
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Normal Meeting Schedule 6:00 pm for dinner 7:00 pm for the Business Meeting The January Meeting is held at a different location as a Sunday morning bunch for the election of Officers.