In a message dated 98-10-16 11:59:20 EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> I have a question about engine conversions: why do people do it? I am
> curious as to why folks make changes to something as fundamental to a car's
> character as its engine.
I couldn't agree with you more, and nothing says character to me quite like a
honkin' OHV, pushrod, V8, with multiple carbs and dual exhausts. To some, it's
a DOHC, 32 valve, variable timing, computer controlled fuel injection, V10. To
others, it's the little 4-bangers that came in the Spitfires to begin with.
But you're right, the engine has about as much to do with a car's character as
> I am not a person who places a major priority on originality, but I would
> hesitate to make such a drastic change to my car. If I wanted a Triumph
> with more power than my Spitfire, I'd get a TR6 or GT6. Probably the TR
> since I love top-down driving, but then again, a GT would be a cool
> compliment to my Spit. Either way, I'd seek out a car that has the larger
> engine rather than wedge one into my current ride.
What if your starting point is a TR6? where do you go from there in the
Triumph family? Not the TR8, because it has only a few more ponies than the
TR6. About 137, compared to the 106 of the TR6, compared to about 300 with a
> I think a Spit-6 conversion is not a bad conversion, because for one thing,
> the cars are very similar. Secondly, it keeps it "in the family." In other
> words, it's a Triumph mill in a Triumph car. It makes sense.
It makes very good sense, and there's a lot to be said in favor of it. It just
doesn't work for me (not that I wouldn't be delighted with one if I had it,
it's just not the direction my tastes lead me. A Spit V6, though.......yeah!).
> On the other hand, a conversion like sticking a Chevy V8 in a TR6 seems
> strange to me. I respect the amount of work and effort that goes into such
> a conversion, and it is impressive to see the final product, but I wonder
> why the builder didn't start with an American car in the first place to
> build his hot rod. That way, the final product retains a certain amount of
> the character of the original car.
I can't speak for the others, but I can tell you why I didn't choose an
American car to begin with. Very simple - I didn't want to! No rhyme, no
reason, I just didn't want to. I prefer small sports cars. In my opinion, my
Ford powered TR6 will have every bit of the character it had when new, and
then some. It'll rattle just as much going over bumps, leak around the top
just as much, and in general, exhibit all of the traits we know and love - and
tolerate - about these cars, with two big exceptions - it won't leak oil as
much, and it'll go like stink! The next time you're at your local magazine
dealer, take a look at Hot Rod, Car Craft, or especially Street Rodder, and
see how much of the original character is retained in the cars featured there.
A whole lot less than will be in my TR6, I can tell you!
> Let me stress once again that I am not snobby keep-it-original kind of guy
> (my Spitfire is far from stock and it's fine with me), so don't flame me if
> you've got a killer Ford V8-powered Austin Mini. :)
No flames, we're all entitiled to our opinions. When you get right down to it,
that's the only reason we own Triumphs in the first place - personal opinion.
Don't ever try to apply objective criteria to our choices. Power? Economy?
Reliability? Ready availablity of spare parts? Cornering ability? Comfort?
Smooth ride? If you use any of these criteria, you will wind up with something
other than a Triumph. We own and enjoy Triumphs simply because we do - no
other reason. Any "reasons" we offer are only excuses, attempting to
legitimize our judgement. Traits such as charm, character, good looks,
personality, etc, are all subjective, and these traits depend more on our
personality than on any real characteristics of the cars. Legitimizing our
judgement is un-necessary.
> I thought this would make a good discussion topic. What are your thoughts,
I agree, and I have no disagreement at all with any one who holds a different
opinion than mine. The only time I am ever offended is when someone tells me
my opinion is wrong. None of our opinions are wrong, just different. Some
folks are happy to spend hours and hours, just making sure the crayon "OK" on
the engine block is exactly like it was when the factory inspector made it.
It's a lot harder to restore and maintain a 100 point, factory original, show
car, than it is to modify one as needed to keep it running. This ain't for me,
but I am delighted to go to a meet and see one thats done this way. I'm just
happy it's them and not me, and I enjoy the fruits of their labor and find it
a treat to see a car looking just as it did when it left the showroom floor.
If these folks want to trailer their car, and never drive it, more power to
them! It's their hobby, not mine, and I can't see any way that my enjoyment
is any more than theirs. Some folks prefer to drive their Miatas with the top
up, rather than down, and I say more power to them. I prefer mine down, but
that's just my opinion, not a universal truth. On the way to Hudson, WI, I
would have been very happy with the top up and an A/C unit on high, if I had
We should all be happy to enjoy our cars the way we want, and be happy for
others who have found a different way to enjoy theirs. Even be happy for those
who prefer to collect stamps, and have no interest what-so-ever in any kind of
'71 TR6---------3000mile/year driver, fully restored
'71 TR6---------undergoing full restoration and Ford 5.0 V8 insertion - see:
'74 MGBGT---3000mile/year driver, original condition - slated for a V8 soon
'68 MGBGT---organ donor for the '74