I think part of the problem lies in the fact that these sorts of cars are
often fair-weather fun weekend cars. With that they don't have the miles
but time is against them. Things rot, dry out, get flat spots, seize when
sitting too long or too often. How many times have you heard 'but I change
the oil every 5000 miles! when that takes years to accomplish and sits
outside in the hot/cold/wet weather. Brake fluid gets full of moisture and
swells seals or otherwise deteriorates the lot. Gas goes stale. Antifreeze
becomes rusty muck. Basically a lack of exercise now and then helps these
cars in a big way. Also helps the driver be in tune with what is or is not
normal. Your puppy analogy is perfect.
Peter S - owner of 5 different cars, all driven at least a couple times a
month at minimum
----- Original Message -----
From: Terry L. Thompson <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 1999 9:36 PM
Subject: Re: Spit Longevity
> Since everyone's putting in their two cents worth...
> I know I've had my problems with my spitfire, shafted by exorbitantly
> priced mechanics...($75 to put a valve cover gasket on?) You live and
> learn. And certain things are going to happen to your car no matter what
> car it is that you drive.
> Most people refer to the LBC marques as "unreliable", "moody",
> "tempermental", "attitudinal".
> (I had an '86 thunderbird, in which I changed the oil every 3,000 miles
> (even though the owner's manual suggested 6k), and it threw a rod at
> 146,000 miles. And was a constant source of headache and money siphoning
> (sp). Did Triumph design the Ford Thunderbird? JK)
> Few of us have owned these cars from the new car dealership. Too
> questionable or cold to drive in winter, the DPO probably let the thing
> for 6 months out of the year in a car-port or garage (if the car was
> lucky). Pushing the oil changes in that engine sometimes to double the
> recommended oil change...."Flush a cooling system? What's that? "
> I don't think our cars are inherently bad (as in cheap parts or clumbsy
> fitting - Speaking of cheap parts what's the deal with all the molded
> plastic pieces in cars now?). I think they're just getting to "that age"
> combined with the fact that the PO's saw the car at the dealership (like a
> puppy at a pound) and without any forethought of the amount of attention
> that they require, bought it, and assumed it would run like a bullet-proof
> Cadillac. (Valve Adjustments? Change the Thermostat? Huh?) And instead of
> taking responsibility for the care of the cars, it's easier for an owner
> look for short-comings in the car. "How was I supposed to know that the
> brakes took so far to stop when I was doing 75 mph over that hill? It's
> obviously poor engineering!"
> I don't know about the rest of you, but I've never driven a car that
> a turn so well (atleast as well my friend's '88 Corvette).
> Yes, we curse them at times. we bleed and sweat and cry over them. But we
> also enjoy them. We put a little bit of ourselves into them every time we
> touch tools to Triumph. And everytime you prop open that hood, pointing
> to a neighbor or friend about the vain attempt to get that part swapped
> or adjusted. With a glimmer in your eye and a chuckle in your voice, you
> retell the story of busted knuckles and unremittant four letters words. I
> know you have. I've seen you people like you at the car shows. Don't try
> deny it!
> When all is said and done. We love them, for all their tempermental,
> unreliable, moody, quirky, lovable, human-like characteristics. And why
> not? They say owners tend to look like their pets. They're probably
> tempermental and moody and all those other things, because they're taking
> after us. I wish I had a dime for everytime someone said "That car is SO
> Besides, chicks dig 'em.
> Terry L. Thompson
> '76 Spitfire 1500
> P.S. I second that accolade to Motorhead for keeping my DPO
> neglected/abused Spitfire on the road. Sometimes I shudder at the bill,
> there is no doubt that the job has been done correctly. And I've never had
> to bring the car back in for the same problem twice.
> My thanks go out weekly to those guys (Jeff, Rob, Gail, Dave as well as
> Larry and his crew).