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Nigel A
July 16, 2010, 7:56pm Report to Moderator

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Hi Folks

Dazzer told me about this forum, so here I am.

I've been rallying since the early seventies but can't seem to give it up.  After a brief (20 years) break in the world of offroad racing I've returned to my first love, but this time in the historic events.  I'm currently contesting this years' HRCR Historic Stage Rally Challenge in a 1963 Triumph TR4.   Here's a link to some photos of the car taken on our last event, the Rally of the Midlands three weeks ago:

I did do the Ilkley Revival last year, and the Tour of Cheshire regularity rally earlier this year, but I really can't do without the sheer adrenaline buzz of special stages so it was always going to be those.  However I enjoyed the road events and would like to do more, so as the TR is an out-and-out noisy, harsh stage rally machine I'm thinking of buying a Mk1 Triumph 2000 for road rallies (encouraged and advised by Darren of course!), or maybe a Vitesse. We will see if a suitable car materialises.

In the meantime we will be out again on the Neath Valley Historic Stages on 14 August; by then I hope to have a newly-built TR Enterprises competition engine and gearbox installed, replacing the rather tired old donk which has been on borrowed time for too long.

I only bought the TR4 a year ago so am new to the marque, but am thoroughly enjoying driving it.  It had been prepared for road rallies but I have brought it up to full stage rally spec and am now using this year to develop it into a hopefully competitive category 1 rally car.  The Neath Valley will be our first event on forestry tracks - all events have been tarmac so far - so another learning curve there then!  

Will keep you posted.



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July 16, 2010, 8:51pm Report to Moderator

Martin Randle.
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WOO-HOO -go for it Nigel and keep us updated

Martin Randle Pendle and Pennine Area Organiser, CT Northern Representative
1969 Triumph 2000 Mk2 saloon
1977 Triumph TR7 16V rally car
1982 Triumph TR7 DHC
1987 Rover SD1 3500EFI VDP
1992 Mini Mayfair (Mrs R's)
1992 Rover 214i
1995 Rover 214 SEi

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July 17, 2010, 9:50am Report to Moderator

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Best of luck!  

1976 TR7 FHC road rally car on a trotters budget
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Nigel A
July 19, 2010, 10:34am Report to Moderator

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Thanks, guys!

The new engine is being a little tardy arriving - not TRE's fault, the usual parts suppliers problem -  I may be faced with doing the Neath Valley with the old unit, which is well down on power.  It doesn't burn any oil, more just leaks it out of the joints.  I take the sumpguard off after every event and tip the oil back into the engine....just joking!

The new unit will need fitting, running in and then dyno'ing before any serious thrashing occurs, so I don't want to rush the job.  A rebuilt non-o/d strengthened close ratio box will be going in at the same time and I would like to get some road miles on the car after it's all set up before any competition.  I was hoping it would be ready by now and was going to do the North Yorks Classic road rally to settle it in.  However I may do it anyway on the old engine as a late entry if I can find an experienced regularity navigator.

The new engine, I'm told, will rev to 6500 and be putting out somewhere in the region of 180 bhp on 45DCOE Webers: not bad for an old 4-pot pushrod Ferguson tractor engine and should put a lot of 'moderns' to shame!  (I just need to remember I'm still on sixties brakes and suspension).  Even the old engine was driving the TR hard enough to match an MG ZR on speed down the long straights of  MIRA last time out!  He caught us on a 2-lapper merge but hadn't enough speed to complete the overtake so we ended up braking to let him past before the next 90 right!  It was my first time on proper pacenotes but by the second day I was getting the hang of them OK.

I'm also in the middle of sorting the brakes; historic rules say I must keep the original discs and calipers but can use bias-adjustable dual circuit pedal boxes. There's so much to fiddle with - master cylinder sizes, rear wheel cylinder bore, bias adjustment etc, but it's getting there.  Another reason to get some road miles in.  No servo, so it's big boots time!  What with no power steering and a quick rack (homologated) it's a real culture shock after getting soft on modern cars!  But believe me, you get some real 'feel' and feedback when you are pushing it hard.

It's surprising just how much rally stuff is on the FIA papers for the TR4, and you can still buy the parts new today.   Standard-Triumph did rally the model quite seriously back in the early sixties, when the four blue works 'VC' cars were doing Alpine Rallies and the like.  Three of these cars are still running, Neil Revington's '6VC' did the tough Three Legs of Mann rally earlier this year.  Museums. pah!  

More to do this week, I'll let you know how I get on with the brakes.


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July 19, 2010, 12:56pm Report to Moderator

Still around!
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Fascinating stuff, lets have more pics.

One of our more prominent members James Shackford works at TR Enterprises, top lad-has a nicely sorted mk1 pi.

Club Triumph Round Britain Reliability Run (Part of the organising team, what a team)!
RBRR is the best car event in the UK, not probably, it is!

1970 GT6 Mk.2: Royal Blue 6 RBRRs (98, 00,02,04,06 & 10), 2 10CRs (03 & 07). 2 HCRs 1 LCC, lots of Autosolos and numerous track days. Bought in 1983, crikey where did the time go! Now running the Roy Lacey cooling system!

1969 2.5Pi Mk.1: Slate Grey 3 10CRs (05,09 & 15), 3 RBRRs (08, 12 & 16), 3 HCRs, 2 LCCs. A few alloy panels, does need the pi kit fitting. Bought April '04. Needs paint! Just fitted some new 7J Minilites-not copies!

1967 Spitfire mk2: Wedgewood Blue. Bought November 2010. Almost seems civilised. Car has done a RBRR (Dave Picton 2010). Blimey, could be on the road soon!
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July 19, 2010, 4:39pm Report to Moderator

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Good to see the old car being used!

Also check the gallery in the requested proofs section. Some nice pics of the works 2.5PI in action!

1969 2.5 PI (Soon going to be a 2.5PIE, EFI conversion under construction)
1971 GT6 mk3 (still going strong)
2007 Volvo V70 2.5T (After many years, again owner of a Swedish Turbo Brick)
2001 Audi A2 (replacement of the old Mini Cooper, and the total opposite. Will never ever rust but not exciting to drive)

Survivor of 10CR05, LCC06, RBRR06, 10CR07, LCC09, 10CR11' 10CR13 RBRR14 and many many Dutch nightrallies. http://dutchtriumph.blogspot.com/

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July 19, 2010, 5:50pm Report to Moderator

Theo Boonen
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Good stuff, indeed what has a car to do in a museum  

Enjoy the car as much as you can  

1976 TR7 FHC (bought for its wheels in 2013, currently undergoing some TLC ...)
1980 TR7 DHC (a.k.a. Kermette, my first car bought in 1988 )
1981 TR7 FHC (Sprint engined, a.k.a. 't Kreng, bought as a parts donor in 1994, the rest is history as they say)

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Nigel A
July 27, 2010, 12:36pm Report to Moderator

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Well, I'll give it a try....see how this goes: (photo credit: http://www.edpphoto.com).  'Get It Sideways' stages rally, April 2010 -  well, it's not too difficult on broken old airfield concrete when the car's on forest tyres.....!


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July 27, 2010, 4:17pm Report to Moderator

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I like that sump guard!  Good show on using the car in a spirited manner.

Triumph Stag, Man. OD, RHD, Datsun 280ZX halfshafts and Subaru Legacy/Forrester R160 differential, Revolution 15" alloys. Fully rebuilt 2014.  
Triumph 2500TC, LHD, Autobox, PAS, Sunroof, Cosmic alloys.
CT Holland member.
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Nigel A
August 2, 2010, 5:35pm Report to Moderator

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Time for another quick update!

The brakes are getting better as I have found a good balance on the adjustment and they are getting bedded in now.  A damn good thrashing on the TR Register's autest at the recent Malvern International Weekend showed them who's boss; the fact of the matter is that it's down to those big boots!  It stops OK if you just press the pedal hard enough!  Here's a pic of the testing process....

I mentioned previously trying a road rally; I found a guy who's a very experienced regularity rally navigator and he agreed to enter the North Yorkshire Classic rally with me yesterday.  He really knew what he was doing so I just drove to his directions and made sure I didn't make any mistakes on the tests.  We came away with 5th overall, and Darren (Dazzer) took home a first in class award in his Triumph 2000. Another TR4 was second overall.  Good days' sport for the Triumphs!  Still dithering between a 2000 or a Vitesse if I do any more road rallies, though!  Either way, the TR4 stays and stage rallies are my first love.

The new engine will be ready this week but it's too late to install and test before the next rally in just under two weeks so the old plodder will have to keep going one more time.  Let you know how we get on.


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Nigel A
August 16, 2010, 11:53am Report to Moderator

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628 WKE ran faultlessly all last Saturday to finish the Neath Valley Historic Stages Rally.  Our first forestry stage rally, based in South wales,  using well-known stages from Wales Rally GB.  The old engine struggled for power and the gearing is still way out but we got there, and the new proper competition engine and box have arrived from TR Enterprises ready for fitting.  Hopefully the car will be a lot more competitive soon and we can actually start beating someone!  Will post a report later this week when there should be more pics, meanwhile here's a shot in the service area before the start, while still clean!


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Nigel A
November 4, 2010, 9:42am Report to Moderator

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An update on the TR4 rally project.

The new engine is still being run in; I've been away on the Pharoahs Rally in Egypt so both the TR4 and the Mk1 2000 have been ignored for a while.  The final two rounds of the HRCR Challenge were just before and just after my trip so I had to give them a miss.  Having heard of the weather conditions on the Trackrod and seen the conditions on the stages on the telly report perhaps it was just as well the poor old TR wasn't there!

Anyway, we finished fourth overall and first in class in the championship  (OK, not a big entry and first out of a class of one!); but we only did three of the eight rounds and this was the 'experimental year!  The TR has been 100% reliable on all the events I've done so far.   I've enjoyed it, and have some plans for big improvements over the winter ready for a more serious 'go' next year.

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November 9, 2010, 3:17pm Report to Moderator

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Well done Nigel.

If thats what you can achieve this year with the technical probs and a limited entry... next year... Theyd better watch out!



1965 2000 MK1 Rally project, HRCR rally championship, Hexham, 12 car night rallies, trials, autotests etc, etc.

1958 DKW 3-6 Coupe. Two stroke German rally contender, screaming demon! Where modern Audi originated from.

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Nigel A
January 25, 2011, 5:25pm Report to Moderator

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Update for 2011!

Well, we didn't get to any more events in 2010, and the work I was going to do over Christmas got snookered by the bitter cold weather - I'm not as keen to go out working on cars in the cold like when I was a lot younger!

The TR is all set up and dyno'd, and runs smooth and quick on its TR Enterprises rally engine and gearbox.  Steve Hall and his team really know how to build a cracking motor, it sounds glorious on full chat.  The axle is off to TRE for an LSD rebuild to comp spec plus a much lower CWP ratio - 4.55:1 from 4.1:1.  This is the lowest available homologated ratio, and should give me much better acceleration, the new engine has about an extra thousand rpm to cope with it now.  Chucking out the overdrive has saved lots of weight too.  I shall get the other work done in the next few weeks ready for our first rally in it's new, hopefully much more competitive guise, which is going to be the EROMC's Oak Leaf Stages on February 27th.  I am registering for the HRCR Stage Rally Challenge again but intend to concentrate on tarmac events this year; the first round is the Rally Sunseeker Historique in Bournemouth on the 26th but it's gravel, a long way from Cheshire, and 450 entry fee - 650 after Feb 4th!!  I think the Oak Leaves which is at Swynnerton not far from here will be a more sensible choice for a tryout!  There is no Historic class so we are up against the moderns, but we'll do our best!  http://www.eromc.co.uk/oakleaf.htm

So the first HRCR round for us will be the Get it Sideways rally at Down Ampney again.  Also Epynt and Caerwent, but the inclusion of the Belgian Tour of Flanders this year may be a bit too much for the budget.

Despite my attempts with the Triumph 2000, I've not got any further with it than my last post on 'Rallying a 2000', so have entered the HRCR Tour of Cheshire on March 5th in the TR4.  I would like to do a few road rallies this year and so far the TR still has a good chance of being eligible - last year's stickers will be coming off soon and the new 2011 stuff needn't go on until after the Cheshire.  I have a good navvy and - sorry - but the TR will be much more competitive (fun!) than the 2000.  Sorry, Charles, Dazzer, but I need all the help I can get!  See you there.  http://www.tourofcheshire.co.uk

As for the rest of the year, I have some serious plans for the Jim Clark Rally in Berwickshire at the end of May.  It's the only closed public road pacenote stage rally in mainland UK, so will give me a taste of the Manx/Ireland without going over the water.  Everyone I speak to who's done it is full of praise and I know a good co-driver who lives in the area, done it before and is keen to have a go in the TR4 (poor fool!) so I've got to give it a go.  The Manx has moved to much later this year so the prospect of  bad weather and darkness are putting me off.  Getting a bit wimpy in my old age.....I like rallying in warm sunshine nowadays!

No definate plans otherwise, I will be looking at individual rallies as the year goes on.  I'm waiting for the Northern Historic Stage Championship list for 2011; the Tyneside Stages on Otterburn is a possibility.  In all my years in rallying I've never done either Epynt or Otterburn Ranges, so I'd better redress the situation before I retire!

Hope to see some of you out on events this year, then!  Will let you know how we get on.

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Nigel A
June 9, 2011, 11:27am Report to Moderator

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It's been quite a while since I reported on progress with the TR4, so just in case the odd person may be interested here's an update on what's been happening so far this year.

We did the Oak Leaves stages and had a good day, despite there being no Historic class the old TR put up a good performance against all the modern cars although naturally we couldn't compete on level terms: let's just say they didn't beat us as easily as they may have expected to!  We could hold some off on the straights but they had the measure of us under braking every time and as for WRC cars we just concentrated on getting out of the way!  The rear axle had been rebuilt and set up with a new Tran-X LSD and 4.55 CWP by James at TR Enterprises so the gearing suits the new engine and gearbox well and the car is great fun to drive.  However, an issue with the new engine forced me to change the Tour of Cheshire entry the next week to the 2000 saloon, which I have mentioned elswhere.

Then, at the beginning of April, out of the blue I came down with a very nasty gastric bug and pneumonia which laid me out for two weeks and took even longer to recover from.  The Doc says I've still got a bit of pneumonia and am still being pumped with antibiotics, but you can't let all that stop you rallying for too long so in May I did the HRCR Championship Leukaemia road rally in South Wales in the TR4.  We had a fairly good day, finishing in the mid twenties.  In between we also took the Mk1 2000 on some HRCR Scenic Tours, which kept Linda happy - in fact we had her brother and his wife in with us too for four-up days out, which the 2000 takes in it's stride and are an enjoyable opposite from the serious business of stage rallies in the TR4.

Unfortunately, I missed the Get It Sideways rally thanks to being ill, and chose to do the Jim Clark Rally which clashed with another round of the HRCR Stage Rally Challenge.  I didn't want to enter the next round at Caerwent until we had survived the JCR in one piece, and now the entry is full anyway!  So my 'Challenge' hasn't even started this year and looks as if it may stall altogether.  Best laid plans, etc....

The trip to the Scottish Borders for the Jim Clark Rally was a fantastic weekend of motorsport.  Entered for the Historic rally, we did three stages on Friday evening, starting with a race round the streets of Duns town itself (packed with spectators and a real carnival atmosphere), then a full Saturday flat out on the country lanes of Berwickshire.  All of it on pacenotes on closed public roads!  The only rally in the UK  where it's possible to do this apart from going over the water to the Isle of Man or Ireland.  It took my new codriver and I until Saturday morning to 'click' together, but from then on we started to get faster and faster, clocking well over 100mph on many occasions down bumpy country roads, which is well scary in an early 60's sports car with 50's suspension!  Taking blind bends at 70 -80mph on the wrong side of the road without lifting, trusting the notes and knowing nothing is coming the other way takes a bit of a leap of faith in this country.  Luckily we dodged the occasional rain shower and had dry roads all day.  The TR4 ran nearly faultlessly all through, except for my eagle-eyed service crew spotting and changing a cracked disi cap on Saturday afternoon after the TR developed a slight misfire on idle.  Hard luck to our TR compatriot Steve Hall (TR Enterprises) in the TR7 V8, a rear wheel came off when the studs sheared only a few miles from the end of the last stage.  Steve was standing by the stricken car, waving us on; he'd just got the car up amongst the Escorts in third place too.  

We finished the rally 2nd in the pre-1968 class and picked up a rather nice trophy; the only disappointment was again the poor entries we are seeing in Category 1 on stages nowadays, and despite our throwing the little TR around as hard as we could, we still cannot hope to keep the more modern Cat 2 & 3 Historics in sight.  However we did score one victory over the usual hoards of Escorts: the support from marshals, spectators and even the scrutineer ("I prefer to scrutineer the historics: proper rally cars!") absolutely made the weekend for us.  The car was complimented on and photographed constantly, they all loved to see it out competing, and on the final stage there were people clapping and cheering us on to the finish on every junction.  Marvellous..... learning the rally on Friday night's stages and getting caught by faster Cat 3 cars was a bit demoralising and I went to bed dreaming of selling the TR4 and going Cat 3 - the Kadett GT/E or Ascona would tempt me - but by the end of the rally I'd decided to stick with the old Triumph for a bit longer!

Incidentally, Raider, I got talking to the navvy of the Cat 3 Talbot Sunbeam, Martin Knapp, who's building up a Triumph 2000 for rallying, and he told me he rallies a 16v Sprint engined TR7 on the stages too.  You probably know him.

We will be back next year!  Saving up to do a few really big rallies rather than more smaller ones now seems a good idea to me, I'm even considering going for an entry in the National Historic event at this year's Wales Rally GB...

In the meantime, here's some nice shots of each of the historics on the Jim Clark: http://www.pro-rally.co.uk/gallery/2011/2011_jim_clark_historic_rally_photos/index.html

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