In the relative cool of the early morning, I slipped out to the garage to give the TR-6 a going over—oil, water, tire pressure. The run up Mt. Charleston for brunch was just a couple hours away. I took a few quiet moments to just sit in the very familiar driver’s seat (it fits me like an old Cole Haan loafer) and reflect on where this car has taken us over the years. The sounds of the engine, the stainless exhaust, and the smells of oil, gasoline, wool carpets, vinyl seats,--it all came back to me as I sat there in the garage thinking over the last 22 years of Triumph stewardship. I’m told we don’t really own these cars so much as we are their caretakers.
I’ve lost track of how many BAC events we’ve entered—Pilar and I, but it is a big number-and the TR-6 has never left us stranded. Remember the Mad Dogs and Englishmen Rally of 2000? Runs to Kingman, Oatman, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City and Laughlin, Death Valley, Valley of Fire. And how many times did we load up and head for the San Diego All British Car Show just outside of Temecula? We have trophies from the event that date back to 1999. We put a lot of trust in our car to get us home from Temecula--pounding across the desert on the 15 late on Sunday night, top down and stars above. Listening intently to the rhythm of the engine and the exhaust note and glancing at the instruments hoping not to detect any mechanical faltering or electrical problems that would put us on the side of the road—and on the cell phone looking for help.
So, take my advice. Next time you have a few minutes, pull out a folding chair, and just sit and admire your Brit car. Then finish off your session by sitting in the driver’s seat for a few minutes. Try to identify the individual smells wafting around inside the cabin. Listen carefully as your car talks to you—and reminds you of all the great times you’ve had with it. Then try to put some of those stories on paper—or in your computer. Send them off to Sandy and Margaret. Share them with your Club mates. I guarantee you the bond with your car and with your Club mates will become even stronger. And more, well, spiritual.