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    RUN BY Greg MacLeman
    OWNED SINCE June 2017

    / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph -2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000 / #1972

    As a result of sharing my life with a woman whose primary interest doesn’t revolve around wasting money on old cars, my classics live a precarious existence. Their perceived pecuniary value and usefulness to the family are in a constant state of evaluation, each unexpected cost having the potential to weigh down the scheme just enough to pull its head beneath the water – and potentially mine along with it. So the news that the Triumph’s engine problems were serious came as a bit of a blow.

    My first instinct was to follow the example of pal Matt George and get a full engine rebuild from the ground up, but the more I looked into it, the more the costs seemed to spiral out of control – the antithesis of what has been, to this point, a budget restoration. With half an eye on my bank balance and the other on an anniversary tour to Chantilly in June, I decided to scale back the works and make as much progress as I could with the help of art editor Port (and a big hammer). In a display of diplomacy that ought to have him sent to sort out the Middle East, Clements managed to negotiate access to the office basement car park to give us the time and space to pull apart the engine. It took little more than an hour to strip off the ancillaries, carburettors, exhaust manifold and water pump then separate the head from the block, and in no time we’d wrapped it up and sent it by courier to deepest Derbyshire.

    Peter Burgess is a legend in MG circles, and his work on Triumph’s straight-six is just as well regarded, so there was never a doubt in my mind that he was the man for the job. Burgess will refresh and uprate the cylinder head to ‘fast road’ spec, including beefier valves with stiffer springs, reworked combustion chambers and a full port and polish, as well as a light skim to raise the compression ratio. In addition to solving the burnt-out valve that first highlighted the engine problems, the work should also unleash the potential of the ‘big six’ and mean it will be ready if I one day decide to go the whole hog and build up the bottom end, too. With the head off, we gained an insight into the state of the block, which seems to be in excellent condition: the bores were smooth and clean, with no discernible lip that could suggest excess wear. It looked good enough to back up the ‘documentation’ (a note scribbled on the back of a used envelope) that suggested it’s done about 10,000 miles on a reconditioned engine.

    Of course, there’s only so much improvement that head work will have in isolation, and with the block in such good shape it’s given me the encouragement to add a few other modifications. Our next step was to go fishing for cam followers with a magnetic wand before removing the radiator, electric fan, pulley and timing cover, then taking out the camshaft, which eased through the grille after the removal of both fuel pump and distributor drive.

    It’s now been sent to Piper Cams to be reprofiled to ‘yellow’ specification, a favourite among Triumph specialists that greatly improves torque and usable power.

    ‘The work should unleash the potential of the “big six” and mean it will be ready if I one day go the whole hog’
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    CAR: Triumph-2500TC / Triumph / Triumph-2500
    RUN BY Greg MacLeman
    OWNED SINCE June 2017

    / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000 / #1972

    Grand plans to battle through the winter and visit Paris for the biannual Traverseé came to naught, but thinking about the trip did prompt me to consider some rust protection for my cars. The Triumph was of most concern, given the age of the underseal – and the rather concerning MoT advisories referencing its excessive thickness that seem to get progressively more grumpy each year.

    I’m usually keen to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in, but I draw the line when it comes to lying down on the concrete and spraying bitumen into my eyes. So I took a trip back home to Spalding to see top specialist Rustbuster – by coincidence located just five minutes from where I grew up.

    It’s safe to say I wasn’t the most popular man in the Fens when Chris Allen and his team took a look at the car’s underside, which wasn’t undersealed at all – rather, it was caked in around 30 years’ worth of old engine oil and the muck that had stuck to it. The inches-thick layer of stinking black chewing gum must have been a nightmare to scrape off. I can’t confirm that, because I ran off when the going got tough – but I came back with beers to say sorry.

    Despite the grim task, the chaps had all of the muck removed in a matter of hours, getting down to bare paint across the underside of the car before steam-cleaning the chassis and applying a liberal dose of Chlor-X – a solution used to eliminate residual salt. From there, a layer of Corrolan penetrator was brushed onto the exposed metal, followed by a spray coat of Corrolan Pure – essentially an all-natural alternative to chemical underseals that is derived from lanolin. Holes were then drilled into sealed box-sections and subframes before a final fog of cavity wax was sprayed into every nook and cranny using a probe.

    The overall impression is a bit unusual, being light brown instead of black, but Chris tells me a black version is in development.

    The process was always going to be a bit unnerving – who knows what’s lurking beneath the underseal on their car? – but I was pleasantly surprised that the team only uncovered one small hole, which was at the bottom of the passenger-side wheelarch. Bad news on the face of it, but great that the rest of the car is as solid as I thought – and any further issues will be much easier to spot. Slightly more concerning was the return of the misfire that I thought I’d cured after my last running report. Nothing seemed to bring cylinder one back to life, so I borrowed Port’s compression tester before the journey north.

    Predictably, the problem cylinder was only holding 25psi. I broke up the trip home with a stop at Triumph specialist TRGB, where Jason Wright cracked out a leak-down tester and endoscope, revealing a burnt-out exhaust valve. Incredibly, you could see the chunk of missing valve by peering through the spark-plug hole.

    The car limped back to London, getting ever hotter with each passing mile. I just hope that it’s up to the return journey for a hastily planned engine rebuild!


    ‘The team only uncovered one small hole; bad news on the face of it, but great that the rest of the car is solid’

    Clockwise from main: Triumph stripped and prepped; paint eventually resurfaced; cylinder issue diagnosed, the car was taken to TRGB. Main: Rustbuster’s work is meticulous. Right: single hole was found in the passenger wheelarch – a positive result.
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    RUN BY Greg MacLeman
    OWNED SINCE June 2017

    / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph 2500TC / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000 / #1972

    Drive-My’s hardened campaigners mostly keep their cars on the road in winter, so we decided to drive to an old haunt to celebrate the closing of 2018’s final issue. I was under strict orders to be home in time for the journey north for Christmas, so the Triumph predictably struggled during the run around the M25 from Croydon to Chobham. It felt down on power and stuttered, before becoming apparent it was running on five as I arrived at The Four Horseshoes. Port was already there, so we popped the bonnet and did a bit of investigating. Cylinder one was the culprit, so we swapped on a new set of HT leads and borrowed a spare spark plug from the Landie, all to no effect. The dizzy cap was in a terrible state, but, frustratingly, my brand-new spare was faulty and the car wouldn’t even fire. It failed to start with the old cap on, too, until Port eventually managed to get the points to hold the correct gap. With the sun setting and time running out I decided to limp home and deal with the issue in the New Year. I hadn’t pulled out of the car park before smoke started to rise from behind the steering wheel. Bonnet up, we quickly traced the problem to the jammed wiper motor, which was roasting.

    Unplugging it seemed to solve the problem, and I made it back to Croydon. Thankfully, it didn’t rain. I arrived home after the holidays to care packages from Rimmer Bros and The Green Spark Plug Company, and it took just 10 minutes of fettling before the car was running sweetly and on all cylinders. The distributor cap was the problem, but I also replaced the mismatched and damaged plugs. I was then able to turn my attention to the Triumph’s tatty interior, starting with the original steering wheel – it had tears in the leather and the spokes were tarnished and corroded. I decided to upgrade to a Moto-Lita, because it was one of the firm’s wheels that gave me my earliest motoring memory while sitting in the front seat of my dad’s MG.

    The MkIV is a perfect replacement, beautifully made with a black anodised finish and chunky leather-clad rim. As well as cutting down on glare, the all-black scheme fits perfectly with the menacing feel of the rest of the car, and the beefier rim has made hauling the Triumph around at low speeds a bit easier – or at least it seems that way. It’s amazing the difference one top-quality component can make, drawing the eye and improving the look of the whole cabin. Now to tackle the hole where the stereo used to live.


    Δ Moto-Lita;

    Bonnet popped, a new HT lead, plug (borrowed from Port’s spares) and distributor cap failed to fix the misfiring Triumph.

    Mobile repairs via trusty factory manual.
    Six became five – and the M25 a slow slog.
    Distributor cap long proved problematic.

    A Moto-Lita MkIV has updated the interior and (hopefully) made life at low speed easier.
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    The Le Mans Classic is a favourite on the DRIVE-MY calendar, and that is mainly down to the road-trip aspect of the journey there. The Reader Run has become a team-bonding exercise in getting our old nails to La Sarthe and back, hopefully without having to throw in the towel and hitch a ride on a recovery truck. The process of preparing our respective classics always begins nice and early – literally days before the off – and in typical fashion it included Port carrying out an emergency water-pump overhaul, MacLeman install a cooling fan, reinstating the overdrive wiring and fixing the wiper motor, while Clements checked the oil and set his engine tinware to ‘summer’.

    Making it to the docks at Portsmouth is always the first success and, with the UK still basking in a heatwave, it was a relief to get on board the Brittany Ferries boat for St Malo – particularly for Port, who had a last-minute reprieve from a £140 surcharge because his #Land-Rover-SII was deemed too tall. After entrecôte avec frites all round and a few cooling beers, we were suitably refreshed for the overnight sailing – a chance for our extended group to get to know each other.

    The DRIVE-MY crew – Clements, Port and MacLeman – was joined by BMW Z4-driving former #DRIVE-MY designer Paul Breckenridge and Le Mans virgin Sam Read (both on hand to help Clements celebrate a significant birthday), while MacLeman’s travelling buddy was fellow professional beard-grower and millennial Paul Bond. After years of pestering, Port gave in and brought eldest son Alfie – the end of GCSE exams finally giving no reason to refuse. After a fitful sleep and the usual rude awakening by tortuous lute music, our quartet rolled off the ferry early on Friday morning. For a while it was business as usual, following a familiar route from previous excursions including a stop for breakfast at Combourg. But here we met up with fellow DRIVE-MY cohorts Mick Walsh and Julian Balme, who had burbled down enthusiastically in Balme’s Lincoln Cosmopolitan, ‘Wooly Bully’, adding to an already eclectic mix of classics parked up in the surrounding roads. This included Reader Run regular Scott Fisher’s stunning #Porsche-912 – previous winner of the DRIVE-MY car park concours at the Hotel de France. Echoing 2010, Port set the 55mph pace up front in his #1959-Landie while the #Suzuki-Cervo , #Triumph-2500 and #BMW-Z4 shadowed his every move – owners doing well at concealing their frustrations at his cruising speed.

    As temperatures soared we ploughed on, avoiding autoroutes, and were rewarded with some fantastic countryside – freshly harvested fields and abandoned stone farmhouses beckoning a new life away from the constant onslaught of Brexit negotiations and a government in turmoil. Hitting the roads around Le Mans meant two priorities: a visit to the supermarché to stock up on food and drink, then heading to pitch tents at the Porsche Curves. Naturally, our shopping was made up of the three Le Mans staples: meat, snacks and booze – the latter mainly consisting of French lager, but also the finest vin rouge that three Euros could buy. (We’d tried the one-Euro alternative two years earlier, and decided to push the boat out on medical advice, and also because it was Clements’ birthday.) Rolling into the Travel Destinations campsite reminded us just what a great location it is – despite being a road-train ride away from the paddock. As the GT40s roared past the banking within stumbling distance, tents were pitched and thoughts turned to chilling beers and burning meat. Crucially, we had all made it without significant mechanical issues – albeit with Balme reporting brake troubles – just a little hot and bothered thanks to the Europe-wide heat-wave.

    There then ensued three days of the usual mix of breathtaking cars, spectacular on-track action and paddocks to die for – a combination that never fails to result in a magical atmosphere. With temperatures hitting 35º-plus during the day, it was important to maintain fluid intake – but fortunately the local cider proved very useful in ensuring that stamina was maintained, as well as a finely honed sense of humour at all times…

    The ‘good old days’ of sitting on a busy banking at Maison Blanche are now a distant memory, but the Porsche Curves campsite offers a relatively quiet experience (at least in terms of numbers).With most of us now being past 40 (Clements only just, a milestone marked by late-night cake), the short roll down the hill to the toilets and showers is pleasingly convenient and doesn’t interrupt viewing of the right- and left-handers for long. The relative peace also provided the perfect opportunity to raise a glass to absent friends. Although he was never keen on camping, the Le Mans Classic was one of our late chief sub editor David Evans’ favourite events, so in his honour we each drained a dram and saved him a space on the banking, before some made the pilgrimage to his favourite spot at Arnage corner the following morning.

    Wooly Bully left on Sunday and, with heavy hearts (plus a few heavy heads), the rest of the team packed up to head home on Monday. But not before Port had dived under MacLeman’s Triumph in a bid to reduce the vibration of exhaust on propshaft and gearbox crossmember – Greg using a convenient grass bank as a makeshift ramp.

    The convoy headed north without any other problems. Driving into Le Buisson, however, Clements suddenly stopped up front – almost giving the Triumph behind a new Suzuki-shaped bonnet ornament. We’d all seen it: an open yard packed full of French classics in varying stages of decay. Seconds later we were rummaging through the Négoce Matériel collection at the invitation of owner André Papillon, who was working under a Renault 8 – swaying gently on the outstretched arms of a forklift. The noticeboard in his office revealed that he knew what he was doing, however, with an impressive display of past rebuilds.

    Back on the road, we headed cross-country and opted to pause for lunch in Bagnoles-de-l’Orne. Steak tartare, galettes and omelettes filled the table, but we soon found ourselves tight on time if we were to complete our supposedly relaxed trek back to Ouistreham.

    “I’ll lead,” announced Port, who then promptly ground to a halt. The cause was clear straight away – muck in the idle circuit of the carburettor – but cleaning the jet and aperture didn’t improve matters. There was little else for it but to raise the idle to prevent stalling and carry on, with as much speed as he could muster. Although the Landie was running fairly unpleasantly, the quartet pulled into the port with minutes to spare – the Series II then doing a decent job of fumigating fellow passengers as it waited in line.

    Murphy’s law meant that the rush was followed by a delay, thanks to a computer failure – a blessing in disguise because, after 45 minutes of queuing and a hand over the carb to create a vacuum, the blockage in the Land-Rover cleared itself and the Series II rumbled onto the ferry with no more than a bit of smoke from the rich running.

    Yet more steak and chips were consumed with a sigh of relief that we’d made it, tinged with sadness that it was all over for another two years, and a few hours later we were welcomed into Portsmouth by a stunning sunset and the sight of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

    Pulling into our respective driveways at around midnight, we each reflected by text on the mileage covered (just over 400) and fuel consumption. ‘I’ve used about £48-worth,’ boasted Clements, before expressing his disbelief at the Land-Rover’s £147 bill.

    Yet the Le Mans Classic is worth all of that and much more. It’s an event where friendships are cultivated, belly-laughs are enjoyed and memories made, all in the company of some of the world’s finest classic cars. (And ours.) Martin Port
    THANKS TO Travel Destinations: 08448 730203;

    ‘Steak and chips were consumed with a sigh of relief, tinged with sadness that it was over for another two years’

    A gathering of old scrap… poses alongside André Papillon’s collection of classics waiting to be rebuilt or raided for parts.

    Clockwise from top left: first goal achieved, having arrived at Portsmouth ferry terminal; breakfast stop at Combourg; magical sunset bathes La Sarthe; happy campers toast their arrival at superb Travel Destinations campsite with welcome cold beers.

    Clockwise, from above: selection of Djets fronts amazing Matra display on Bugatti Circuit; Balme’s ‘Wooly Bully’ pauses while passengers enjoy a break on eventful run to Le Mans; Whizz at speed (well, at 55mph); Peugeot 504 and period caravan equipe.

    ‘Port set the 55mph pace while Suzuki, Triumph and #BMW shadowed, owners trying to conceal their frustrations’
    Clockwise, from right: Port tries to solve Triumph’s ‘prop on exhaust’ issues; troubles of his own with SII; Renault-8 – no health-and- safety concerns here; team #DRIVE-MY seeks new fleet additions; patinated Impala, just one gem to be found outside the paddock. From far left: Citroën IDs and #Citroen-DS s have seen better days, but still provide parts; Sam Read prepares to pilot the Suzuki for the final leg home; stunning sunset over Portsmouth.
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    CAR #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph 2500TC / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / Triumph / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000 / #1972

    RUN BY Greg MacLeman
    OWNED SINCE June 2017

    Having been without it for months on end while the car was away at the bodyshop, it’s nice to finally be able to drive the Triumph – even if the experience is far from where I want it to be owing to the sloppy drivetrain.

    It’s also nice to be able to work on the car – something I’d been missing almost as much. The road to a tuned Big Saloon is well-travelled, and one of the first modifications many make is the exhaust. I followed suit and forked out for a full stainless-steel sports system from Chris Witor. As well as it improving the car’s aesthetics, I’d hoped the fruitier soundtrack would drown out some of the 2500’s more concerning noises, but I had to wait to find out. I devoted a Saturday to the task of removing the old system and fitting the new, and all went smoothly until I got to the centre section, which fouled on the gearbox crossmember. Spirits were raised by my wife Laura, who lent a helping hand, but even taking a breather for a soup supper on the back seat and returning with fresh eyes didn’t make a difference, and we eventually gave up.

    Various Facebook groups have been a big help while working on the car, and this occasion was no different: after I uploaded a photograph, Steve Radley and David Harvey pointed out that the crossmember was on the wrong way round, with the indentation for the exhaust on the opposite side – and that the car was fitted with an earlier A- rather than J-type gearbox. Another day was spent jacking up the ’box and turning around the crossmember, plus fitting a set of SuperPro polyurethane bushes, before attaching the rest of the exhaust. Though by now properly hung, it still clanged against the crossmember so the following weekend I changed the soggy engine mounts for new reproductions. This proved a battle, but eliminated the worst of the rattling. On my way back from driving Julian Grimwade’s 1934 Norris Special for last month’s issue, I called in at ’box and diff specialist Hardy Engineering in Leatherhead, where Bill Hardy gave me a tour of the facility. He also took a look at the spare diff that came with the car and found it to be in excellent shape, with original machining marks clearly visible. All it needed was new oil seals and to be cleaned and re-shimmed, so I left it with him and hope to have it back in for the Reader Run to Le Mans in July.

    Determined to make the most of the sun, Laura and I took the 2500 to The White Bear at Fickleshole. All went well until we lost overdrive on the way home, followed by indicators and horn, all accompanied by a burning smell. “Do you think it’s coming from outside?” asked Laura. “Yes…” I lied. The unhappy marriage of J-type loom and A-type ’box is the arguido, but what I know about auto electrics could fit on the back of a napkin and I’ve made no more progress than popping five fuses and scratching my head.

    The day before Drive It Day, I popped to Botley Hill Farmhouse, which holds a meet on the third Saturday of every month. It was great to see some local classics, and the car seemed to get plenty of attention. Mine, however, was grabbed by a ’1952 Jaguar XK120 that had spent its early years in Nairobi, and sounded incredible as it peeled out of the event – drivetrain clonks conspicuous by their absence.

    THANKS TO SuperPro: 01823 690281;

    Triumph saloon lines up alongside Vitesse and MG Midget at Botley Hill Farmhouse in Surrey, with Rover P5B Coupé behind. Engine mounts allowed excess movement. Rear bench the perfect place for a picnic. Old bushes substituted by SuperPro items. New sports system replaces pea-shooter. Spare differential was checked by Hardy Engineering and should only require light fettling.
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    CAR: #Triumph 2500TC / #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / Triumph / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000 / #1972

    Run by Greg MacLeman
    Total mileage 25,213
    Owned since June 2017
    Miles since April
    report 62
    Latest costs £5760


    The last time that I saw the TC it looked, if anything, worse than when I bought it. Its organgey panels had been rubbed down to a blush pink, pockmarked with small patches of filler, and the whole scene was dusted with the residue of an afternoon’s sanding. The chrome trim was missing, as were the front and rear screens, plus the bonnet and bootlid were nowhere to be found. It was with some trepidation that I left the workshop, knowing that the next time that I saw the Triumph it would be transformed.

    Nervousness gave way to excitement as the date for the big reveal approached, and the night before was spent tossing and turning, trying to imagine what the finished car would look like. The veil was dropped at the London Classic Car Show, where the 2500 took a starring role as part of Barnet & Southgate College’s display. My first glimpse came as I rounded a corner and spotted the nose edging out from behind another stand and, as the whole car came into view, my jaw hit the floor. I’m rarely speechless, but I was on this occasion.

    The Pimento was supplied by Autopaints Brighton, and it looks the perfect shade – a deep, lustrous red with a hint of orange that leaps out in a way scarcely imaginable from a colour chart. The quality of the paint was top-notch, too, and laid down beautifully according to Ian Sutherland, who achieved the outstanding finish. The depth and sheen of the buffed bodywork was mesmerising – more like one of Mary Berry’s mirror-glazed cakes than a 44-year-old saloon. That impression was further enhanced by the eager apprentices who spent the weekend polishing it with products donated by Slim’s Detailing, the college’s next-door neighbour.

    I was struck by the attention to detail, and the many small elements that had contributed to the overall knockout effect. The grille and mesh, for instance, had both been sprayed black, and the wheelarches had been freshly undersealed.

    Perhaps controversially – I just couldn’t resist putting my own stamp on the car – I’ve had the rear panel sprayed in satin black, aping that of the Dolomite and TR6. I reckon that it improves the look, especially with the black wheels and new raised-letter numberplates, and Sutherland agreed.

    After the show the car returned to the college, where Tyrone How from Mobile Glass Replacement refitted the windscreen for just £75, against another quote of £300. With the windows back in, it was time for the 2500TC to come home. Even the snowy conditions, salted roads and the fear of overheating couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.

    There’s work still to be done, of course, notably fitting the door and boot seals and fresh door pins, but something tells me that devoting time and money to the project will be much easier now that the Triumph looks a million bucks.


    1 Kevin Haggarthy, Ian Sutherland, plus all the other staff and students at Barnet & Southgate College: 020 8443 3821
    2 Autopaints Brighton: 01273 328698; www.
    3 Mobile Glass Replacement: 020 8502 4100;

    Staff and students show off immaculate polished Triumph prior to handover and drive back to Croydon. Note funky Revolution five-spokes now on car.

    YFH attracted lots of attention – plus three offers of purchase – at the London Classic Car Show.

    Fresh black-and-silver Framptons plates. Key is to attach trim before fitting ’screen. Satin-black rear panel like TR6 and Dolly.
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    CAR: #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / #Triumph / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000

    Run by Greg MacLeman
    Total mileage 25,151
    Owned since June 2017
    Miles since September
    2017 report c100
    Latest costs £1084.80


    I’m enjoying the revived enthusiasm brought on by a new project, with plans to improve the Triumph coming thick and fast. The most pressing concern was the state of the cracked and weathered tyres, which had a date stamp of 2001. The wheels, too, needed attention. At 13in, the Minilites are a tad small, so I dug deep and bought a set of Revolution 15x6in five-spokes.

    They’ll fill the arches much better, and I love the fact that they’re a bit different. They’ve been shod with ContiPremiumContact 5s, which should improve the handling. I’m also hoping that the new rims and tyres will reduce the vibration that replacing the propshaft didn’t cure. The jury is out for the moment, because I’ve yet to have them fitted.

    I’ve held off because the car will be going back to Barnet & Southgate College for some attention. I recently paid the shop a second visit for another chat with paint experts Ian and Sean before deciding to take the plunge and have the car resprayed in its original Pimento. So I’ve been frantically buying various clips and bits of trim prior to the stripdown – I’m surprised my credit card hasn’t melted. I must give a special mention to Baines, a rubber-extrusion specialist that came up trumps with various items, including fresh door and boot seals.

    Before dropping off the car at the college again, I wanted to remove the back bumper, but soon discovered why it had been left in place: the captive nuts were rusted and inaccessible. Figuring that there was no task too small for an angle grinder, I attacked each bolt in turn and eventually got the bumper off.

    I’d promised to take my brother up to Lincolnshire to collect our 1963 Osprey dinghy, but an inspection of the towbar’s power hook-up revealed serious corrosion. So I cut the lead and removed the rest of the bracket. Whether it and the bumpers go back on is up for debate: do I stick with the factory style, or opt for the more aggressive ‘World Cup Rally’ look? Answers on a postcard.

    THANKS TO Baines: 01892 543311; / Continental: / Revolution Wheels:

    Three colours red, plus a couple more, as YFH arrives for a consultation at Barnet & Southgate. Back bumper came off… after a struggle. Cool Revolutions will replace #Minilite-rims .
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  • Post is under moderation
    CAR: #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph-2500 / #Triumph / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000

    Run by Greg MacLeman
    Owned since June 2017
    Total mileage 25,151
    Miles since September
    report 275
    Latest costs £167.98


    I’m happy to report that the Triumph’s new propshaft is holding up well, making driving the car – particularly in traffic – a much more enjoyable experience. There’s still a nasty clonk, though, which I suspect is due to worn splines on the driveshafts. At around £300 for uprated #GKN units, I’m afraid it’s a problem that I’ll have to drive around for now.

    More cost-effective maintenance isn’t a problem, so I’ve wasted no time in giving the car a full service, including a new paper oil filter and five litres of Elf’s HTX Collection oil. Cheaper lubricant would have done the job, but I felt like treating the car after seeing the state of the old oil, which looked as if it had been in the engine for a number of years. It was my first time changing a paper filter and it wasn’t half as messy or fiddly as I’d been led to believe, so I’ve decided to keep it rather than modifying the block to receive the spin-on type.

    Next, I dismantled and cleaned the airbox, discovering some fairly manky looking filters along with a load of leaf matter and other debris. Rather than replace the filters with standard paper items, I opted for uprated K&N pancakes. As well as helping the engine to breathe and releasing a few extra ponies, the filters are fully serviceable and should last the life of the car. I also made the decision with half an eye on future upgrades, in particular a sports exhaust. The straight-six is just too quiet in standard guise.

    With maintenance completed, I set out on one of the first long trips in my ownership, planning to meet James Elliott and ‘The Beast’ before convoying down to Goodwood for this year’s Revival. I made it to the rendezvous without incident, having a quick chat in the layby before pulling out into traffic and heading south. Elliott had asked me how fast I could go, so I nonchalantly said “as fast as you like”. His Mk1 disappeared in a puff of black smoke and that was pretty much the last I saw of it. I gave chase for a few minutes before noticing the temperature needle creeping steadily towards the red, forcing me off the A3 and into the car park of Hurtmore Golf Club.

    In a typical display of MacLeman preparedness, I found myself with no tools bar a Phillips screwdriver and an old pair of jeans. I used the jeans to pop the radiator cap – in hindsight perhaps a touch too soon – sending a scalding 5ft fountain of coolant into the air, and me into the bushes. As the sweet-smelling steam eventually cleared, I had a poke around and realised that the alternator bracket had sheared, causing the fan to stop working and the car to overheat. The solution was simple, but with no spanners or sockets I faced the ignominy of another breakdown callout. It was quickly bodged by the AA man, and I managed to make it to Goodwood in time to see the glorious Aston, Jaguar and Ferrari GTs duking it out in the Kinrara Trophy.

    A few weekends later I got over to north London for Barnet & Southgate College’s paint and bodywork open day, where I made some new old-car friends and took a look at the impressive facilities. Resident paint guru Sean was on hand to assess the Triumph, and we’ve entered tentative discussions about sorting out the faded and oxidised finish once and for all.

    THANKS TO #K&N :; / 01925 636950

    Purley Dialysis Unit makes an intriguing backdrop for this study of MacLeman’s Triumph – no jokes about fluid leaks here please…

    Treating the TC to a sumpful of Elf HTX. Bodge cured sheared alternator bracket. At Goodwood, eventually, after A3 trauma. K&Ns look sharper than original filters. On show at #Barnet-&-Southgate open day.
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    CAR: #Triumph-2500TC / #Triumph / #Triumph-2500 / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2-Saloon / #Triumph-2500-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000-Mk-2 / #Triumph-2000
    Run by Greg MacLeman
    Owned since June 2017
    Total mileage 25,151
    Miles since September
    report c285
    Latest costs £75


    Project Pimento is now in full swing, and before I’d even taken the car back to London work began on addressing one o f its more pressing issues, namely a hole in the driver’sside floorpan. The first task was to spend an hour digging and scraping at the thick layer of bitumen protecting the floor, which seemed to have been covered with sheets of newspaper before being spraypainted red. Once cleaned, it became clear that the hole wasn’t as bad as I’d thought, and fortunately the rust hadn’t reached the sills.

    The footwells were then much smarter, but the main purpose of getting rid of the underseal was to prevent the whole thing going up in smoke as the hole was welded.

    Luckily, I have a mate who was more than happy to tackle the job in exchange for a bit of beer money, so my next task involved sitting in the 2500 armed with a bucket of water and an old rag on ‘fire watch’. As sparks and lumps of molten steel began spraying up through the floor, I was glad that I’d decided to sit on the passenger’s side!

    After the hole had been welded from both sides, seam-sealed and sprayed with primer, attention then turned to the other problems: a noisy gearbox and horrific drivetrain clunk. Draining the oil from the ’box was a breeze with the car on the lift, but I was concerned by what oozed out: it reminded me of molten mercury. The magnetic sump plug was also bristling with metallic fragments. There wasn’t much I could do at that stage beyond filling it up with fresh oil, which I’ll change again in another 1000 miles, and hoping for the best.

    The Triumph came with a replacement differential, but on closer inspection the one on the car looked to be serviceable, with about as much backlash as you would expect (and similar to the spare).

    Most of the play seemed to be in the propshaft UJs, so, after the nervy drive to London, I popped over to Propshaft Services in Feltham. If you’re ever in doubt about a specialist’s experience, just look at the walls of its workshop. If the Playboy calendar is from before you were born, you’re probably in safe hands. Kev, Jack and Zach definitely know their stuff, and quickly replaced both UJs and one flange, which seemed to have been slightly chewed up. Despite the new parts, it was still as bent as a banana, so, to remedy the problem, Zach cut away the end weld with a lathe before Kev used his years of experience to hammer it straight and re-weld it in position. A brilliant job, and probably better than when it left Canley.

    No MacLeman running report would be complete without an appearance from Martin Port, who generously donated a morning to me to help fit the new propshaft.

    The difference was astounding and, while it still makes a selection of unusual noises, the worst clonks have been completely cured. I’m going to choose my words carefully to conclude this update. Last month’s quip about breaking down on the M25 tempted fate, because it happened again, though fortunately the culprit was just a loose wire. So maybe I should buy a new loom if I win the lottery?

    THANKS TO Prop Services: 08443 348655; / / The kind soul who stopped to help push the car onto the hard shoulder

    MacLeman brandishes his impressive prop while Port fetches spanners (again).

    It’s not pretty, but offside floor now solid. Automated welder completes prop refurb. New UJs fitted in seconds by Jack from PS. Gearbox plug covered in metal whiskers. Triumph finally made it to Port Towers after an AA rescue en route for a loose starter wire.
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