Have to tell my story. It started in first grade, (1959) when Dad
bought this only new car, TS57756L. The local dealer was on the road home
and he stopped every evening for almost a year to "negotiate" the price.
(He always sore he paid $1,900 new.). I moved to a new school in the middle
of first grade and was very much the "fat boy, new kid." at least until the
first time Dad brought the '3 to school. Nobody else Dad was cool enough in
1959 to be driving a sports car (at least not in Southern Illinois.) Every
time he picked me up he would run around the block with every other kid on
the playground. Some days it would take him a half hour (he was NOT a
patient man!) but he always found time. Most kids did not know my name, but
they sure knew the guys whose dad drove the red sports car.
Well, with two older teenage sisters, and numerous assorted teenage
boyfriends, it wasn't long for the world. By 1966 it was abandoned in the
back garage and looked real rough. One day Dad made the big mistake of
telling me (then age 14) that if I could make it run I could have it! So at
age 14 I became my own DPO.
That TR3 served me well through about 1973. Surviving my very limited
mechanical skills, budget and the ravages of the late sixties / early
seventies, including a 2,000 mile round trip to Watkins Glen in 1970 and
almost weekly 500 milers round trip to college. The biggest save of all was
when he would not let me trade it in on a 1968 Camaro. "That car will be
worth something someday." Finally, in 1973 it went back into the garage.
Fast forward to 1995. Three very significant things happen then.
First, by chance, I landed at Frascia field in Urbana, Illinois one Sunday
morning to find the Central Illinois British Car Show in progress. Walking
around looking at all the beautiful restorations sparked a very old flame.
Also, someone (Mark Josyln, I think, thanks Mark) handed me a flyer for the
VTR Convention that summer in Rockford. Next my father passed away and we
had to clean up the old homestead for sale. Guess what, a certain TR3 was
still in the back of the garage. By this time the older sisters had teenage
sons of their own and no way were they going to turn any of them loose with
THAT car. Engine frozen and raccoons nesting in the seats, but it was all
there. Finally, I went to my 25 high school reunion that summer. At least
a dozen old school chums remembered (an told grand lies) about gallivanting
around in the TR3. The die had been cast.
Well, 3 years later we are getting very close to completion and I now
have 14, 12 and 10 year old sons. May the circle be unbroken.
I must say that this list has been the greatest resource. I found this
group in the fall of '95 and have to say the project would never have gotten
this far without the help and support I have received here. Although I have
not met the overwhelming majority of listers, I can honestly say that I have
made some very good friends and feel a true kinship here. In years past, we
would spend Saturday night at the local beer joint swapping stories and
talking. This list is that and much more, without the risk of a DUI.
The Model 10 came along on a fluke and I hope, next year, to start it as
a serious restoration project (the TR3 is a personal hot rod, the car I
wanted in '68 but had neither the money nor the patience to build.). The
only big problem with this hobby is that it just continues escalate. Now I
want one of each!
Thanks for listening.
1959 TR3A TS57756L
1958 Model 10 Sedan TBE9239LDLB