I bought this car in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1981 when I was 17. It was full of Bondo after 10 New England winters, but it had fresh BRG paint over the rot, I didn’t have much money, and it was love at first sight. I also owned a 1974 parts car that had been destroyed in a fire, which accounts for the mishmash of parts.
I sold it in 1988 while I was in flight training with the US Navy. I came across it for sale via the Internet in 2000, on its last legs. I think the polite phrase is “beyond economical restoration.” I bought it back sight unseen without any real idea what I was going to do with it, drove it home, and stared at it for 4 1/2 years. In the Spring of 2005, I took a deep breath, sold my lovely 2nd-owner TR250, and dove in.
The bodywork was well beyond my ability, so kudos to the crew at Manassas Quality Autobody for being willing to undertake this task. I am also greatly indebted to Jeff and the crew at Motorhead LTD in Fairfax, without whose skills and advice I would not have dared begin. Finally, my greatest supporter, my wife Kate, who began dating me in 1982 when I was a badly groomed adolescent with a smokey green sports car.
6-Pack club members: See us on page 21 of the Winter 2001 issue, “Family Album” (Vol. XIX, #1) http://www.6-pack.org/
The shape of things to come:
-Chassis has been strengthened and powdercoated.
– 16″ Panasports with 215/60/16 Michelin XGTH4 tires mounted. 26.3″ diameter is 1/2″ shorter than original Michelin X 185-15.
-Body has received final paint.
-Transmission rebuilt with J-type Overdrive
-January 2008: Engine is back home, after 1 year, 1 month, 3 weeks, and 4 days at the machinist’s. It now sports 2632cc, forged pistons, forged rods, 9.5:1 compression, Richard Good’s GP-2 camshaft, 1.65:1 roller rockers, aluminum flywheel, header, etc.
-July 2009: Fuel lines, exhaust, and transmission hydraulics are in. Underhood work is done. Just a few more items and I’m on the road.
-March 2010: Seats and steering wheel are in, waiting for the rain to stop and I’ll be adding gas and crossing my fingers. Very tense time. Has it really been 5 years since I started disassembly?
-3/5/2010 It’s alive! Started the engine today and ran it at 2000-2500 RPM for 20 minutes to bed in the cam and lifters. Small oil leak from the oil pressure gauge fitting at the engine side. I guess I left it finger-tight.
-4/7/2010 Mile number one. CC55483L moved under its own power and did a tour of the Virginia countryside. There’s some sorting to be done, but the car has begun its second life.
-2015: I just realized that this site is back up! I’ve been enjoying the car for about 3700 miles now. This winter’s projects include an aluminum radiator with integrated electric fan. I have swapped the tires out with 2015/60/16’s. The 215’s were too wide and tall.
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” Antoine de Saint Exupery
On a group drive with the Capital Triumph Register in rural Virginia. The tow trucks were not in our party.