Terry’s long distance cruiser
When I finally gave up serious classic rallying in 2010 and sold my two Sunbeam Rapiers, Helen and I decided that, after many years of me disappearing every other weekend to do events, we would finally start to do some motoring together. So we looked for something that could be a comfortable weekend car to do scenic tours in. Never having been one to follow the crowd I steered away from the ubiquitous MGB and in January 2011 acquired the TR having looked at quite a few, many of which were rubbish.
I was attracted to ours because it had recently been rebuilt, and because it had a tin top which I thought would be better for long distance motoring. However, the car wasn’t without its problems. Whoever had rebuilt it had managed to build the rear suspension incorrectly so the rear wheels were at funny angles. So, first job, rebuild the rear end with poly bushes all round and a telescopic damper kit.
I am by no means a purest with respect to the authenticity of classic cars, So I have changed a number of things to make the car better for long distance events. First was the seats, the standard ones nearly crippled us the first time we spent a full weekend in the car, so nice high-back leather MX5 seats were installed. All the lights have have been upgraded with LED for side, tail, indicators and dash lights and decent modern headlights have been fitted. Also a pair of spots and a efficient reversing light have been installed. Under the bonnet the ignition has been changed to Accuspark and a spare coil is mounted near to the main one for a quick change if necessary. A spare fan belt is also stored in the engine bay. The windscreen washers are now electric. Finally a Monit trip, a 12 volt socket for a Satnav and an interior light have all been installed on the dash.
The car is now a comfortable long distance tourer and we have done lots of weekend events in the UK as well as a few events in Belgium and four eight day events in the French alps.