Life’s a TRip, Episode Eight





By Ojijaak


Yeah, yeah, I know…When are we leaving? The truth is, I don’t know. Nokomis and I are living in a hotel near Tipp City, and we have visited Polly a few times, but the westbound departure is still uncertain. Traveling with some of you people is like having kids in the backseat again; when do we leave? And when are we gonna get there? Chill out and just enjoy the anticipation.

We have spent some of our time reasonably well. Over the weekend, we discovered a decent brewpub and a respectable “Irish” pub. The brewpub was a little bizarre in that it seemed a daycare center in part, had board games for entertainment, no menu of its own, and no table service. The craft beers, though, were good, and the bartender was knowledgeable. The “Irish” pub was predictable in that it served Guinness and Harp on tap, but the menu was extensive and rather imaginative. Dayton has its charms.

You don’t have to be rolling on the road to meet interesting people, either. Staying in the same hotel day after day brings a new cast every day. I have had interesting conversations with Tommy, a 4th Infantry Vietnam vet, a trucker driving toward his home in Virginia who used to own British cars, and a tradesman who makes repairs to public housing facilities. The hotel also has some residents who have been displaced by the tornadoes that swept through the area recently. I have seen some of the damage done by the storms, and it is nothing if not catastrophic. So far, the highlight of my time here has been a visit to British Car Day in Fairfield, an annual event sponsored by British Car Club of Greater Cincinnati.

Back when there were wolves in Wales, I drove one of my (too) many MG Bs to British Car Day. I noted that the number of participants was much smaller this year. Perhaps, as some have told me, the ungodly hot and humid weather causes people to stay away; maybe there are just fewer old farts like me who enjoy fewer quirky surviving cars. Maybe both.

Mark Macy took his wife, Tonda’s, perfect early TR4 to the show. Not surprisingly, he brought home a lot of hardware with it:  Best in Class and Popular Choice. Look at the pictures. It is a beautiful example of the TR4 as it would have left Coventry decades ago. It is exceptional, having scored a perfect 100 points at last year’s TRA concours show. That is the only perfect score for a TR4 in the history of TRA, and evidence of the quality of a Macy-built Triumph.

For my part, I admire those who restore their own cars. As I have said, I never possessed the necessary skills to build a complete car. With respect, neither do those who restore their own cars. I became proficient at valve and carburetor work, some of the interior trim work, and the routine maintenance. Paint and bodywork were beyond my skill-set or even my ego. Mark showed me some examples of poorly-done repairs that I would not have attempted even back in the day, and they were reason enough to have Macy’s restore Polly.

There was one less-than-expert repair that had been made to Polly on her previous restoration. Overall, the work was described as having been well done, but, in this case, a skin or patch had been welded over some rusty bits. This was done, for whatever reason, in a shop with a good reputation!

I do not suggest that Macy’s Garage is the right choice for every TR owner. It is not. Some want a project to occupy their (winter?) time. Others just want to finish with a driver quality car to enjoy in season. That’s fine. Do the work that you know how to do well; leave the rest to shops equipped to do what you cannot. Enjoy the car, but if you want to see what a properly-sorted Triumph should be, even if just for reference when making a purchase, find a Macy TR.

Lastly for this episode, there is a Signal Red 1962 TR4 that might want to come live with Polly and me next year. If the remnants of Barry permit, I may have the opportunity to have a look at it this week. The pictures of it are encouraging. Its reputation is good. This could happen. Her name would be Chris if she comes to my house. We’ll see…


The episodic rant:

This is a travel tip. If you find yourself in a hotel that offers a “free” breakfast (most do nowadays), and the franchise owner/general manager is named, for example, Patel, skip the biscuits and gravy. Remember that pork is not part of the cultural cuisine. Google “Delhi belly” if you need more information. You have been warned.


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