You remember when I bought this book four years ago? Me, either, but I remember I bought of books about the little British automobile at the time. I thought it might be a good little picture book to flip through while watching sports.
Well, I was sort of wrong.
This is not a mere picture book with lots of loving plates depicting the automobile. This is a very detailed history of the automobile and its evolution over the decades of its history written by a high-level employee of Triumph. The book pretty much enumerates the stock parts on every Triumph built based upon serial number. It will tell you that the Triumphs up to his serial number had this engine, and then to this number they had that suspension, and all the way up from the original TRs to the TR7. To be frank, I’m not a gearhead, so most of the information just rolled over me.
I say the author was a high-level employee because he has a low view of the labor that built the automobile. No, strike that: he had a low view of the organized labor that stopped the production of his beloved TRs at various plants at various points. He calls them suicidal and bloody minded at one point. Also, he has no truck with the United States government and its safety and emissions controls that start shackling the automobile’s performance in the 1960s. This guy is a Tea Partier, between the Tea Parties and drinking tea.
So what did I take away from this book? Well, I have a favorite TR body (the TR6, which was built in the 1960s and looks a little like the American pony cars of the era), and I have some insight into the importance of rally cars and those races to automobile dealers and manufacturers in Britain in the early 20th century. Also, I have a pile of research, so sometime, somewhere, a character in a book might drive a TR.
So it’s a worthwhile read if you’re into British cars or if you’re just out-of-control in your reading habits.