I’m sure to upset a few people, but the restoration has taken a very different turn. While browsing the ‘net,I came across a website http://www.britishv8.org/ which extoles the virtues of V-8 power in British sportcars. (Some guy named Shelby may have also had the same idea a few years ago). I was hooked. I had two friends back in the ’60’s who had also toyed with the idea, one a TR-3 with a small block Chevy(Steve Bonica), a crude conversion, but when it ran, it ran! The other friend, Neff, had a cherry Austin Healy 3000, he completed the neatest conversion with a Hi-peformance 289 Ford (271HP) and 4-speed trans. The car was good enough to be a show car, but Neff drove it daily. Sadly, I heard years later that he wrecked it on a rain or snow slick turn. Well, back to the present. In the garage, next to the TR, sits a Ford 302 V-8 (5.0 litre) and 5-speed trans. The going is S-L-O-W, but the thought of a TR-3 5.0 chills me during the hot summers, and warms my (not to cold) winters. I’ve promised my sons that it will be done soon, here’s hoping.
We own a 1959 TR3, (for the first 36 years that I’ve owned it, we were led to believe it was a 1960, the year of first registration in the states, apparently a common practice back then).
The car was used during many happy years of my youth (’65 to 72’) then stored for a few years. It was then used by my younger brother, who made some “interesting” changes to the TR, used it for a few years, and put it back in storage.
I was always my intention to put the TR back on the road, but marriage, children, work, and sailing all caused the TR restoration on the back burner (To paraphrase Jimmy Buffett[singer], in He Went to Paris ‘And thirty-six more years slipped away.”
I retired, moved to Florida from NJ, and as soon as our new house was built, we brought the TR”Home” where for the past year my 15 year old son and I have been taking her down to build back up. Not a frame-off, but fairly extensive (rewiring-engine rebuild-brakes-suspension and bodywork).