The View from Behind the Wheel - By Ralph Spayd
We’re off and running for the year! We held our first event on March 6th with Coffee, Cars & Conversation. It was very well attended by both people and their cars. The event confirmed that we all have a need to get back to some level of normal in our daily lives. The LANCO Club can certainly fill that need. We have an exciting year planned to get us back out and driving. Our regular club meetings will be held at The Centerville Diner. They are very accommodating and provide us with a separate banquet room. On the first Saturday of the month we’ll continue to hold our CCC at the Burger King in Columbia through May. We’ll then switch over to Jim Mack’s Ice Cream on the Lincoln Highway in York. Jim Mack’s is a great venue with a large parking lot to accommodate the club. We’re also kicking off an Ice Cream Run on the 3rd Wednesday of each month meeting at 6:30 PM. We’ll move the event around to different locations, but the first will be on April 21st at Scoops in Mountville. We’re planning a drive in movie night on July 16th at Haar’s Drive-In in Dillsburg. Should be lots of fun and bring back some old memories (sans the fogged up windows) while actually watching the movie….wow, what have we all digressed to!
Very graciously, our own Rob Shingle has agreed to host Coffee, Cars & Conversation at his house on June 5th at the usual time. Thank you, Rob! In addition, we have a host of other events planned for the year to keep us out and about. Which is my segway to “meetup” as you’ll want to get connected to keep posted on the short notice events well be planning. It’s easy to do and will keep you in the loop. It’s just another tool to keep us connected and together. Steve D will graciously help you to get connected. Now Steve gets to edit this before submission, so if you’re reading this Steve agreed….lol!
Now for the good part, my soap box ramblings. Yesterday was the 33rd anniversary of my 39th birthday (have at it, math geeks) well my buddy likes to share quotes and philosophy with me, and he sent this:
“There comes a time in your life when you walk away from all the drama and the people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy.”
I encourage you to just come out with us and laugh and enjoy what we can create together. Remember these are only cars, it’s the drivers and passengers that matter. Never miss an event because of your car!
Stay safe and positive and remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and follow us on Meetup and Facebook. Mark your calendars for the upcoming events.
March Coffee – Cars & Conversation (CCC). By Ralph Spayd, Photos by Skip Partlow
The ice is broken….figuratively and physically after a very snowy February. We held our first Coffee – Cars and Conversation on March 6th at the Burger King in Columbia. The ice might have been broken, but it was cold. The turnout was outstanding with 20 members and a few potential members attending. A fine mix of British cars was also in attendance. Social media is a wonderful tool and worked its magic as we were joined by a few members of a local car club. Being a car guy, I enjoyed seeing and discussing their cars. They were works of mechanical art just as our British cars are works of, well, ummm, works in progress. I say that facetiously as I have one of those WIP that isn’t road worthy quite yet. But the evolution in automotive technology is just fascinating to see.
I certainly had a clear sense that our CCC served a very valuable purpose by allowing us to come together again as a club and swap stories, reconnect and just get the heck back out again. In addition, we had the opportunity to meet some new car enthusiasts and cross pollinate our interest in all things mechanical. You just can’t beat that experience AND get a cup of coffee on a cold March morning. Our next CCC is April 3rd at the Burger King in Columbia.
Some of The Crew
Mike and Brooks
Classics and MINIs
MEETUP IS HERE!
The LANCO MG Club Meetup Page is up and running. However, you need to sign up as a member on the Page in order to be notified of events, participate in discussions, etc. Go to the Page (https://www.meetup.com/lanco-mg-club/) to sign up! This is another avenue, in addition to the Club website and Facebook Page, for your Club to provide notification of events and solicit member input to the Club.
March Meeting Recap - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Steve Dellinger
The first Club meeting of 2021 was held on Sunday, March 14th at the Centerville Diner in Lancaster. The weather was sunny, cool (50s) and breezy. Eighteen members and nine British cars were in attendance. Newly elected President Ralph Spayd finally got to conduct a meeting! The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the schedule of meetings and events for the year, which will be subject to change in this COVID-19 era. Efforts to have events with other area car clubs were also discussed. The highlight of the event was the appearance of Charlie Baldwin’s long-awaited MGB-GT, which completed its first successful trip (and hopefully made it back home as well)!
Three Brits (and an Electric)
Masks and Menus
Post-War Triumph - Part II - By Cliff Maurer
In a previous article, we followed Triumph from a bicycle importer in 1886 to a bankrupt company sold to a scrap metal company in 1939 and the factory bombed out of existence by the Luftwaffe one year later. But we all know there is Phoenix here. All of what we in the US know as Triumph cars came after WWII.
Remember, Donald Healey had been part of the company before the war so what is he doing in 1945? When the Triumph Co was sold to the scrap company just before the war Healey stayed on and worked as works manager making aircraft carburetors. During the war he moved over to the Humber Company making armored cars. After the war, Healey set up his own car company. That may be another story.
What happened to Triumph? The Standard Motor Company Limited was founded in 1903 by Reginald Walter Maudslay, a great grandson of Henry Maudslay, who is sometimes called the father of the industrial revolution. It built cars successfully and switched to aircraft manufacturing during both world wars. Maudslay had died in 1934 and the company was taken over by Sir John Black. In November, 1944 Black bought what was left of Triumph Motors including the name, logo and “goodwill”. Standard set Triumph up as a subsidiary to build cars to compete with the soon to be introduced post war Jaguars. An interesting note here is that standard had been supplying engines to Jaguar. It was said that Sir John Black and William Lyons the owner of Jaguar had a “considerable argument” over the decision to compete.
The first cars built with the Triumph brand were a roadster and a saloon (sedan). Both had aluminum bodies because there was a lot of war surplus aluminum and a shortage of sheet steel. This new car development was financially secured because of a contract to build small Ferguson farm tractors. In 1948, Standard decided to hold Standard cars to one model while introducing a range of Triumphs. That lasted until 1953, when it was decided that Standard would make sedans and Triumph would produce sporty models.
The Triumph TR-X was an experimental model which was the first use of the TR in model names. It was designed as a high end luxury model with all sorts of electro-hydraulic operated accoutrements including windows, seats, top and radio antenna. It used a Standard Vanguard’s frame and engine with the Triumph Renown’s suspension. Only three prototypes were built and because of the complex electro-hydraulic systems failure rates it was decided that it was not a viable production design. Expensive and unreliable. Indeed, in a special test drive by Princess Anne the test car broke down!
Sir Jon Black wanted Triumph to produce sports cars to compete with Morgan and Jaguar, but he insisted on using existing components to build a car capable of 90 MPH and a price tag of less than 500 British Pounds. The resulting car, the TR 20TS was shown at the London Auto Show in October 1952. The public had a mixed reaction with a cramped cockpit and lack of boot space being foremost. Back to the drawing board - a new longer frame, bigger boot and an all-new suspension. In March 1953 at the Geneva Motor Show the Triumph TR2 was unveiled.
Let’s put this in perspective; the British sports car market’s high end Jaguar had the market since the end of the war. The low end was the MG with its venerable T series, basically a prewar car which had initially sold well. In addition to the TR2, Donald Healey had worked with the Austin company and the British Motor Car Co. to bring out the Austin Healey. In addition, MG, also owned by BMC, had the MGA in design phases but were held up by BMC management. The TR2 was introduced into an ever more crowded market. It had a 2 liter engine to MG’s 1.5 and a top speed of over 100 MPH. The MG could do 70 MPH off a cliff! In 2011, of the 8636 TR2’s built, over 2300 were still registered in the UK and the US alone.
In 1955, Triumph upgraded to the TR3 and produced it until 1962. This paralleled the years of production of the MGA. The model had upgrades in 1957 to what is referred to as a TR3A and again in 1961 to a TR3B. Originally rated at 95 BHP, the later models were upgraded to 100 HP with changes to the head configuration. Disc front brakes were added in 1956. Altogether the three models had approximately 65,000 units with the TR3A being the largest and longest production of 58,236 units from 1957 to 1961. Most were exported to the US. During the same time MG produced 98,470 MGA’s not including the 2,111 twin cams. In comparison, GM built 1,704,667 Chevrolets in 1955!
Moss Motoring Issue 1, 2021, a publication of Moss Motors, has an interesting article about Triumph during this time entitled “Alick Dick, Triumphs Managing Director, 1954 – 1960”. Mr. Dick was a protégé of Sir John Black. In 1953 Sir Black’s dictatorial management style caught the rancor of the board and he was ousted. Into the vacuum slides Alick Dick. At 37, he was a generation younger than the men working for him. He guided the Triumph name through 1960. I’ll leave it to the Moss Motors article to discuss the demise of Alick Dick. But we have all seen the “Golden Boy” be left out in the cold at takeover time.
We are going to stop at this point with Triumphs popularity almost at its height and in the next edition we take them to the peak and then follow them down the precipice to 1980, when it seems the entire British Auto industry collapsed.
Who’s going to win this in 2021???
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