Diary – April 2017

April 1, 2017

A few years ago, I decided it was time to reconnect with the TVR community.  In the late early 80’s, I was driving down River Road in Maryland when I notice another TVR next to me.  It was the founder of the TVR Car Club of Northern Virginia, Marq Ruben.  I pulled over and we chatted for a while and he told me about the TVR Car Club which I promptly joined.  My memory is not the best, but I know my original “club number” was in double- digits.  At that time, we did some road trips with other club members with my favorite trip being one to Lime Rock Connecticut where we drove the track with about 10 TVRs.  That weekend was a vintage car race weekend and Paul Newman was racing a vintage Ferrari.  I would have liked to say that I met Mr. Newman, but the closest I got to him was maybe close enough to pick him out with a 400mm camera lens.

Like many, I got caught up with my career and I stopped participating in the club.  Almost 35 year later, I reached out to the mid-Atlantic chapter of the TVR Car Club of North America. Shortly after I re-joined, a subset of the mid-Atlantic club started meeting on the first Saturday of the month at the Juke Box Diner in Sterling, Virginia.  I feel very fortunate to have re-joined and connected with this eclectic and fine group of folks.

Fast forward a few years and many, many “South of the Border Skillets” with scrambled eggs, we are having our April 2017 meeting at the Juke Box Diner.  Always a great time seeing this incredible group of guys, but this one was special when a new member shows up with a TVR Tasmin 280i.  We had a good showing this month and all of my favorite buds were there.  The vice-president of the club, Hayden missed the March meeting, but he had a great excuse, his wife gave birth to their first child, a little girl.

After having breakfast, we gathered outside to admire this TVR Tasmin 280i.  This one was retrofitted with a 3.8 liter Pontiac engine.  A really nice job!

Tasmin280i

April 8, 2017

The guys at Marshall Restoration have been busy with completing another project one that is nicknamed “Spooky” by its owner Nick.  “Spooky” is a Ford Maverick that is completing a restoration down to the original yellow and “Grabber” stripes.  As I’m doing with my project, the owner is putting more power under the hood.  In this case, it is an entirely new Ford 5.0 liter with fuel injection putting out 423 horsepower.  You might recall this engine from the Mad Engineering page where it was on the dynamometer a few months back.

SpookysEngineBay

Well back to my project, the 1978 TVR Taimar.  I’ve come to realize the original estimate was probably a little too light on hours for the body.  From the factory, the TVR molds are not the best and with all of the paint stripped, you can see the level of effort that it will take to get the body show quality.  I finally said the dreaded words “show quality.”

The term “show quality” actually has different meanings based on the context.  For many modern shows, “show quality” cars are finished with nearly glass-like finish and are absolutely stunning to witness.  In the world of fine restorations taking the finish beyond its original appearance can get you deductions.

What is my goal?  Well, I decided from the beginning this project that I was not going for a perfect authentic restoration, but I was struggling with the concept of going too far with the restoration and taking it beyond period authenticity.  So, what does that mean for the choices I am making?  I intend to build a power plant with essentially the components that you could get in 1978, so I would not be adding electronic fuel injection and I would stick with a standard normally aspirated carburetors.  Not the single two barrel weber that was standard, but a triple weber carburetor setup that could be obtained for the British “hot rodder” of the time.  Before you give me credits for being a purist, I decided to break my “period authentic” approach in one area.  I decided that standard points and condensers are a little too period authentic for me and I’m opting for an electronic ignition system.

What about the exterior of the car?  I decided I wanted to make a few significant changes to the exterior of the car, too.  Nothing too radical, just paint and minor cosmetic changes which means chrome bumpers instead of the rubber bumpers that were on my car.  Paint color has been a difficult decision for me.  The interior color is oatmeal and I’ve decided to stick with the original interior color scheme.  So, the question became what paint color would compliment the interior color.  The blue exterior with the cream interior of the TVR on the homepage is a good example of a color combination the that works well together.  I love the blue on that car, but something else is pulling me in a different direction.  One of my other objectives from the beginning was to honor as many of the important people in my life, so I decided on green which was my mother’s favorite color.