News Articles for 2018


Stcc Webmaster Report For 2017-2018    Return to TOP

Mon 12 November 2018
Click link to access report: STCC Webmaster Report for 2017-2018


Shannons Sydney Classic 12 August 2018    Return to TOP

Mon 08 October 2018
Story and Photos: Elwyn Jordan

Sydney Motorsport Park; or as we still like to refer to it, Eastern Creek. That is the venue for what is, each year, the biggest display of classic cars in the southern hemisphere! This year the entry-list approached the 2,000 mark.

There is a huge variety of makes on display at this great event. In just the cars from my local club we had Alfa, Mercedes, Austin, Plymouth, Jaguar, Vauxhall, Corvette, VW and Holden. The one thing not greatly represented was motorbikes. There were some, but not too many. One of our members took his Holden ute with his Velocette motorbike in the back. An impressive double-act there!

I first went to this event two years ago, after many years of wanting to go but never actually going. Then I discovered how easy it was to get there: Picton Road, Hume Highway, M7: constant cruise at 100 – 110 with not a traffic-light in sight, until the last little bit near the end.

Once again my local club got prime position: just opposite the pits area, under cover. You couldn’t wish for a better position!

There is so much to see! The cars, of course, but also the trade displays in nearly 50 pit garages. And walk up the stairs to the top of the pit building and you get a panoramic view of the main straight, so you can watch the various clubs doing their drive around the track. In pit-lane is the crème-de-la-crème, with the entrants in the concourse all lined up for inspection. And all this within a short walk from where we were parked.

Another advantage of our allocated position was that almost directly opposite us was the Triumph Sports Owners Association display. There was a good showing of Stags, a couple of Dolomites, a couple of sports cars, and a couple of sedans. That kept me and my camera busy for a while! Then just down a bit from there was a Jaguar club, the Leyland P76 display included the very rare (never actually a production model) Force 7 coupe. And without walking too far were displays ranging from American muscle cars to the diminutive Micro-Car display that included Goggomobiles and NSU Prinz. The Thoroughbred Sportscar Club included Alfas, BMW, and more Jags, there were also the home-grown heroes like Holdens, Fords and Valiants etc. And then there were…. Okay, well, you get the idea!

I did a few circuits of the track on two vintage double-decker buses; one newer than the other. This was interesting, there being quite a difference between the two models. The later model brought passenger comforts like cloth seats (instead of vinyl) and heating.

One of the highlights is that you get to drive around the track. My local club’s drive was in the last group of the day, beginning at 3:45. As luck would have it, that put us on track at the same time as the Triumph Sports Owners Association; so I cleverly positioned myself behind them, and drove around following a gaggle of TR Triumphs, Stags and Dolomites. The last time I did the track drive, 2 years ago, it was a very leisurely drive, getting up to a maximum speed of about 80 kph down the main straight. However this year when the lap commenced led by a pace car, they took off at quite a rate and swung into the corners with a lot more enthusiasm than I remember from the previous time. I had some CDs and my camera sitting on the passenger seat, and as I turned into the second corner they went flying off the seat and landed somewhere on the floor. We then proceeded to drive around the track at quite a decent speed but we still didn’t exceed 80kph – which is the set speed-limit for these drives, apparently – but it was good fun.

Officially the event was still going, but I left after that. It had been another enjoyable day at this fabulous event!

  • Jordan 1.jpg
    Jordan 1.jpg
  • Elwyn's Car
    Elwyn's Car
  • Dolomite Sprint at Shannons Sydney Classic
    Dolomite Sprint at Shannons Sydney Classic

From The Election Officer    Return to TOP

Thu 09 August 2018
It’s that time of year again when we ask for nominations to be made for positions on the Committee and expressions of interest in Committee Appointed Positions.

This year these forms will be emailed to all who have chosen the e-magazine. Please keep an eye on your inbox. Those who receive a paper magazine will find these forms enclosed with this copy.

Please consider whether you would like to take part in the running of this great club. We are always looking for fresh ideas and it is good to have as many people as possible taking part so that we can all work together to make the next year even better.

Just follow the directions on the forms and return them by the due date so that the ballot forms can be prepared and posted on time for the election at the AGM in Gunnedah on the 27th October 2018.

From the Election Officer
Alan McMillan
Election Officer


From The Historic Plates Registrar    Return to TOP

Wed 08 August 2018
Hi All

Pink Slips for Historic Vehicle rego no longer have to be written out in the old Pink Slip book.

Henceforth, owners should ask for a print-out of the electronic Pink Slip, (the same as for full rego), from their inspection station so as to be able to supply it to the Club Registrar for rego renewal.

If you get one of the Club Vehicle Inspectors to do your inspection there is no change from what you are doing now.

Also be aware that the RMS may put both a Historic Vehicle Declaration form and a Modified Vehicle form in the envelope with your Rego renewal form. Make sure you fill out the correct one.

And finally, windscreen stickers are no longer being issued for vehicles on club rego. If you want a visual record of when your car is due for rego, leave the old sticker on. From the Historic Plates Registrar

John Snape
Historic Pates Registrar


Spotted - Vanguards    Return to TOP

Wed 08 August 2018
Robert Bensley

Margaret and I came across these Vanguards during a road and rail trip to Western Australia in May. They all appeared to be for sale judging by where they were parked but none carried prices.

The Phase 3 wagon is north of Adelaide and quite rusty but the other cars are in the dry climates of Port Augusta and Broken Hill and appeared outwardly to be less affected. I can provide locations if any member is interested.

The only Triumph sighted was a nice TR6 being driven at North Perth beach.

  • Phase 3 Wagon
    Phase 3 Wagon
  • Phase 2
    Phase 2
  • Phase 1
    Phase 1
  • Phase 1a
    Phase 1a

Vale - A Tribute To Lou Molenaar    Return to TOP

Mon 09 July 2018
Michael Marsh

Lou and Lyn joined the Standard Triumph Car Club shortly after its formation in 2004. I'd had several phone conversations with Lou but I had never had the pleasure of meeting him until I met him and Lyn on the side of the road at Urunga NSW whilst travelling to the Port Macquarie Rally in 2009. Lou was driving his little blue Standard 10 on its very first club outing. Unfortunately the little 10 had a few teething problems on its maiden voyage but together we were able to sort them out.

Since that day Lyn and Lou have become close friends, they have always been very supportive and welcoming to all our club members. Lou recently lost a short but intense battle with mesothelioma, I am sure everyone in our club who has met Lou will miss him greatly. I would like to extend my sympathy to Lyn and I am sure I speak for everybody when I say Lyn will always be a member of the STCC family and will always be welcome.

Lou had a long association with the Standard Triumph Marque.

  • Aged about 10, sitting on the mudguard of the family Vanguard.
    Aged about 10, sitting on the mudguard of the family Vanguard.
  • Lou and Lyn at Port Macquarie 2009.
    Lou and Lyn at Port Macquarie 2009.

Letters To The Editor - On The Subject Of Measurements...    Return to TOP

Sun 08 July 2018
Thank you for the most interesting Article (TTS, May 2018) concerning a variety of terms used for Specialised Technical Measurements. May I, however, be permitted to comment that the article is not entirely comprehensive, and seek your indulgence in allowing me to expand a little on the topic.

Firstly, the inclusion of “Bull’s Roar” may be warranted. Now, admittedly, this is not a precise dimension, but often more a term to describe something that won’t – like fitting a five stud wheel to a four stud hub, or trying to get a Vanguard into the shed space that became available after the sale of a Spitfire. Perhaps, however, its inclusion as one of the most imprecise but descriptive measurements ever devised may be warranted.

Second, however, is a much more technically precise term, which I learnt when I was a trainee surveyor. It is the “snifter” (not to be confused with the smidgen), and its origins require some study of Ancient History.

Back in the days of the dinosaurs (more or less), surveyors were a peculiar breed who devised their own measurements – things like chains, links, rods (not to be confused with roods), poles, perches and so forth. It was probably about the time of Federation in Australia (we may as well blame the Feds for it!) that it was considered discriminatory to allow surveyors to have their own language and terminology; so it became necessary for surveyors to think in things like feet. Fortunately, a chain was exactly 66 feet (except in Scotland where it was 74 feet), but an acre changed from being 10 square chains to 43,560 square feet – good grounds for the surveyors to plot their revenge! And revenge they had – feet were accepted, but not inches! Instead, a slightly illegitimate metric system was developed, with feet divided into 10ths and 100ths – but the good news was that, with an eighth of an inch being one ninety-sixth of a foot, a hundredth of a foot was very little different.

And this is where I came in.Constructing sewer mains under Sydney in the early 1960’s, much of our workforce comprised recent arrivals from Europe who, whatever background they had, certainly didn’t have it in the Imperial System. So they studied hard, and learnt all about feet, inches, fractions of an inch and so forth; and we, out of the benevolence of our hearts (or probably fear of fouling things up even more than sometimes still happened), used to carefully convert our surveying language into the better known feet, inches and fractions – down to an eighth of an Inch – which was good enough if you were building a small sewer on a grade of, say, 1 in 200. But that didn’t work on very flat grades of perhaps 6 inches to the mile, especially when two teams were driving a tunnel 100 feet below the suburbs, starting a mile or so apart and hoping to meet up near the middle.

And so I learnt about the “snifter”. We didn’t talk in anything less than eighths of an Inch – after that we used snifters. lightly imprecisely, the terminology ranged from a “couple of snifters” (around 3/32”), progressively down to a “snifter of a snifter” (maybe 1/64”). And it actually worked – we normally got tunnel breakthroughs to come in within about ¼” (horizontal and vertical), often better.

But no, I didn’t follow a long term career in precision surveying. If I had, my snifter skills would have been taken over by lasers, and I would have been declared redundant!

Paul Ballard


The Oldest Triumph Super Seven In The World    Return to TOP

Tue 12 June 2018
Story by: Ron Thorp

In 1927 Triumph exhibited its newly released SUPER SEVEN car at the London Motor Show.

Introduced to compete with a range of small cars such as the Austin 7, Morris Minor, and Singer, the Triumph Super 7 offered a number of unique features.

Being of somewhat sturdier construction than its counterparts it boasted four wheel hydraulic brakes, a three bearing crankshaft and a worm drive differential.

Triumph tourer, chassis number 5003 was one of the show cars on display that year. Being only the third Super Seven to come off the production line it retains all its original features with the exception of the repositioned headlamps from the front mudguards to a support bar between the mudguards.

While most early Triumphs in Australia were imported prior to their bodies being built by local firms, this is one of the few which has found its way out here as a complete car.

How this came about was previously unknown until we had a visit from the Jaguar Driver's Club of Queensland during the early days of the Inverell Transport Museum where the car was on display. The Club's President, a Mr Ross, identified the car as the one his grandfather owned and the same car in which he learnt to drive. It is presumed that grandfather Ross purchased the car in the UK and brought it out to Australia where it was in his family for three generations.

It next appeared in the Gilltrap Car Museum on the Gold Coast where it remained on display until the Museum was disbanded following the death of George Gilltrap senior. At that time I attended an auction of the Museum cars and memorabilia and saw it for the first time. It was then that I realised its significance due to its very early chassis number. Not being in a position to buy it I saw it knocked down to the successful bidder and then lost track of it until several years later when it was advertised for sale in Just Cars magazine.

It transpired that George Gilltrap's daughter had bought it with the intention of having it restored, but for reasons unknown, had only managed to have the engine rebuilt before abandoning the project. Consequently I was fortunate to purchase it and trailer it back to Inverell where it joined the list of “one day” jobs.

Eventually its turn came and during last year spasmodic progress was made to the point of bringing it to a running and roadworthy vehicle. Apart from some minor panel repairs and paint the Super Seven is still in its original
condition including its leather seats which are a little the worse for wear.

So once again, the Super Seven, affectionately known as Teenie Triumph, can provide enjoyment for the owner and general public as it joins its other two siblings Trixie and Tweetie in tootling along as it did many years ago.

  • Thorp 1 Side view.jpg
    Thorp 1 Side view.jpg
  • Thorp 2 Front view.jpg
    Thorp 2 Front view.jpg
  • Thorp 3 Engine.jpg
    Thorp 3 Engine.jpg
  • Thorp 4 Makers Plates.jpg
    Thorp 4 Makers Plates.jpg
  • Thorp 5 Interior.jpg
    Thorp 5 Interior.jpg
  • Thorp 6 Seats.jpg
    Thorp 6 Seats.jpg
  • The Oldest Triumph Super Seven In The World - Thorp 1 Side view.jpg
  • The Oldest Triumph Super Seven In The World - Thorp 2 Front view.jpg
  • The Oldest Triumph Super Seven In The World - Thorp 3 Engine.jpg
  • The Oldest Triumph Super Seven In The World - Thorp 4 Makers Plates.jpg
  • The Oldest Triumph Super Seven In The World - Thorp 5 Interior.jpg
  • The Oldest Triumph Super Seven In The World - Thorp 6 Seats.jpg

Post-war Triumph Dolomites In Australia    Return to TOP

Sat 05 May 2018
Story: Robert Bensley, John Shepherd and Susan Barker
Photos: John Shepherd

In a casual discussion last year John Shepherd remarked that he thought as few as 30 Dolomite 1850s remained with only a few roadworthy. This set us wondering if we could find out accurately how many were brought into the country and how many now survive. We shared the task with me finding registration/sales data while John and Susan looked at how many still exist.

History and sales
The post war Dolomite was announced at the London Motor Show in 1971 and went on sale in the UK in October the following year. It was based on the Triumph Toledo which in turn had been derived from the front wheel drive Triumph 1300/1500. The Dolomite was initially launched with the 1850 overhead cam engine of similar design to an engine being supplied to SAAB who took about 35,000 of them. The range was expanded with the introduction of the 2 litre Dolomite Sprint in June 1973 and, as part of product rationalisation, Dolomite 1300 and 1500 models were released replacing the Toledo and FWD Triumph 1500. The Sprint had a novel cylinder head design with 16 valves driven from a single camshaft. To take the extra power, the Sprint used a manual gearbox and diff from the 2500/Stag instead of the lighter GT6/ Marina based components in the 1850.

In 1972 Leyland Australia was committed to local production of three models at their Sydney Zetland plant and the Dolomite was not a part of their plans. The Australian subsidiary had already committed to the Marina as an interim medium sized car while they worked on the large car. The large car was to be the P76 and after this was completed, a new locally designed mid sized car would replace the Marina.

Assembly of Triumph 2000/2500 sedans by AMI in Melbourne from imported kits continued over this period, having commenced in 1964 when the Triumph 2000 replaced the Vanguard 6. Assembly was to continue until 1978, only ceasing after the supply of kits dried up following the end of 2500 production in the UK late in 1977.

Local manufacturing at Zetland ceased in October 1974 and Leyland Australia had to again look to the UK as the source of product. Press advertisements at the time of the factory closure showed pictures of future cars including the Dolomite and a revised English Marina. The revised Marina never made it here but the Dolomite 1850 and Dolomite Sprint did, the first cars arriving in mid 1975. One 1850 and four Sprints were registered in August 1975, all in NSW and were probably press (road test) cars.

Launch price of the Dolomite 1850 was $6,400 and the Sprint $7,700. Overdrive or automatic was an option on the 1850 adding around $400. The pricing was high for a car about the size of a Holden Gemini and put the car near Alfetta and BMW 2002. Pricing was also close to the larger Triumph 2500TC ($6,800). We think it is likely many buyers thought $400 extra for the larger 6 cylinder car was worth it.

The 1850 was available in a range of colours including white, blue, brown and two shades of red. Interior trim was black, blue or brown, generally depending on external colour although white cars can be found with either blue or black trim. Almost all Australian delivered Sprints were Mimosa yellow manuals with overdrive and black upholstery. A friend of John Shepherd who worked at Leyland Australia in Brisbane recalls a small batch of white Sprints being supplied to special order. Later on, a few (believed to be around 50) Sprints were imported with limited slip differentials. These cars can be identified by the letter S at the end of the Commission Number.

Australian delivered Dolomites were little different from UK cars. Local design rules initially required only minor changes such as standard fitment of head restraints, seat belts meeting Australian standards and painting wiper arms in non-reflective satin black.

Press reports at the time of launch showed Leyland expected to sell 1600 Dolomites in the first 12 months in the ratio of three 1850s to one Sprint. This was to prove optimistic. From the launch in August to the end of December 1975, just 116 Dolomite 1850s and 67 Sprints were sold.

By early 1976 Leyland had decided to stop selling Dolomites in Australia. The last cars to arrive in Australia carry June 1976 compliance plates. Had Leyland wished to continue imports past June 1976 they would have had to comply the cars with the more stringent ADR27A exhaust emission standard which commenced on 1 July 1976. This standard was tougher than required in the UK at the time and we understand Leyland decided the volume of sales being achieved in Australia did not justify the changes.

43% of Australian delivered Dolomites identified by John Shepherd (see next section) carry 1/76 compliance plate dates. We do not think this reflects when they were brought into the country. We suspect that with the slow sales in 1975, most cars landed in the last quarter of 1975 were given 1/76 compliance plates to make them easier to sell in 1976.

Prices were cut in September 1976 in an effort to boost sales. The 1850 was reduced to $5,900 (manual without overdrive) and the Sprint to $7,300. Even this did not cause a stampede at the showroom. Over the whole of 1976, a further 424 Dolomite 1850s and 192 Sprints were sold taking the total since launch to 799 vehicles.

When I bought my 1850 in September 1976 just after the price cut was announced, I read part of a Bulletin from Leyland to dealers. It was sitting on the salesman’s desk and I read as much of it as I could while he was doing something else. The part I remember most was a sentence to the effect of “We admit we made a mistake in the marketing of these cars”. I can only guess on whether this meant in the way the cars were promoted or the decision to sell them at all.

Dolomite sales continued for quite some time before stocks were cleared. 652 cars were sold in 1977 (the break-up between 1850 and Sprint is not available). It is not known when the last cars were sold as changes in statistical reporting combined Dolomite and TR7 sales from 1978 on. Some sales continued into 1978, and we can only wonder what prices were negotiated on cars with compliance plates dated 2 years prior. Efforts to locate records from the old Leyland Australia of the number of Dolomites imported to Australia were unsuccessful. As best we can tell from registration data, total sales in Australia were about 2000 cars comprising roughly 1350 1850s and 650 Sprints.

Sydney car dealer and former race driver Ron Hodgson entered Sprints in NSW and Victorian events from 1975 to 1977 with some assistance from Leyland Australia. Bob Morris was usually the driver except where his Torana commitments took priority. The first race car was imported from Broadspeed in the UK with later cars developed locally. The cars were competitive in the up to 3 litre category and achieved several race wins including a 50 lap event at Oran Park which I attended. The specification of the race cars varied with local regulations and in Group C form had many modifications from standard including Weber carburettors, Cosworth pistons and AP callipers. More information on the racing Sprints is available on Shannons website under ‘Racing Garage’ in an article by Mark Oastler.

Interest in Dolomites languished for many years, but Penn Bradly (2009) wrote a review for Restored Cars magazine including ‘road testing” two cars in Harden, NSW: a blue 1850 now owned by Susan and a Sprint owned by Peter McCarthy. He was very impressed by their drivability.

How many survive today?
Extensive enquiries were made of Australian car clubs for information on known 1850’s and Sprints. Information from sale advertisements and cars known to be in wrecking yards was also obtained. The VIN and Compliance Plate data was recorded in a database.

Information on Sprints was easier to obtain as Sydney parts specialist Sprintparts at one time maintained an online database where owners could enter their VIN. Some 60 cars were on this list including 15 parts/ written off vehicles.

All up 16 1850s and 81 Sprints were found. Of course, there will be cars in sheds and paddocks we don’t know about.

As expected the survival rate of 1850s is much lower than the more collectable Sprint. Indeed many 1850’s ended their days as donor cars for Sprint restorations as the body and interior were the same. We have seen many Sprints for sale on eBay and Gumtree which came with an 1850 parts car included. We also saw advertisements for Sprints where the seller disclosed the body was from an 1850 with the mechanicals transferred from a damaged or rusted Sprint.

A sample size of sixteen 1850’s is small, but from these a few comments can be made. The lowest commission number is WF 51046DLA date stamped June 1975 and registered outside NSW. Susan’s car (WF 51479DLO) was registered by Leyland Australia in Brisbane (date stamped July 1975). The date stamps are not always in sequence with the commission numbers, for example car WF 51259DLA was not stamped until September 1975.

Six of the sixteen 1850’s recorded are unrestored in private hands or wrecking yards and two of these no longer exist. So we have only been able to locate ten roadworthy examples, mainly in the STCC. The highest 1850 commission number is WF 57563DL and there is a gap with no WF 52000 cars recorded. Similarly, there are no VA 19000 Sprints recorded. For Sprints the numbers range from VA 15110 up to VA 20365. The much larger sample size for Sprints shows that just over 50% were delivered in NSW, but no doubt all the State distributors were selling them. They were popular in Brisbane.

Penn Bradly, R (2009). Triumph Dolomite Australian Delivery models 1975 to 1976.
Restored Cars #197, (Nov-Dec), P. 32-35 and 64.
Note: DL - 4 speed saloon; DLO - 4 speed overdrive; DLOS - 4 speed overdrive with limited slip diff (Sprint only) and DLA - 3 speed automatic.

  • Shepherd Dolomite Sprint
    Shepherd Dolomite Sprint
  • Shepherd Dolomites Port Macquarie
    Shepherd Dolomites Port Macquarie

Letters To The Editor - From Malcolm Miller, Mt Helena Wa    Return to TOP

Sat 05 May 2018
Hello Editor, Sue

I enjoyed reading Elwyn Jordan’s excellent article, in the March issue, about the beautiful Triumph “Italia 2000”. I had known about this derivative for some years and added seeing one to my bucket list.

On my last visit to England, in 2011, I made a beeline for Coventry, the home of Triumph, because I’d heard that an Italia was on display in the Coventry Motor Museum. A wonderful car museum this one - like all the others, I’m
sure- because it promoted the marques manufactured in Coventry. A Canadian-registered Italia was displayed, unfortunately for the likes of me, in a roped-off area, preventing viewers getting a look inside. The car was, most likely, on temporary or permanent loan to the Museum and the roping off would have been aimed at preventing any possibility of damage resulting from contact with people.

If any club members are contemplating a trip to Britain, it would be worthwhile visiting Coventry and going to the museum, regardless of whether an Italia is there or not. It’s a great display and, for me, being able to see such a rare (and valuable) Michelotti masterpiece, was a bonus. Whilst in Coventry, I took a Public Transport bus journey along the whole length of Banner Lane and walked back, from the end to the beginning but, there is no trace left of the former Standard-Triumph offices or factory. They’ve all gone, replaced by modern business premises. There is, somewhere there, a large signboard, erected some years ago, bearing the “shield” logo and a suitable plaque but it’s not facing Banner Lane and I couldn’t find it. It had been unveiled by the Late Harry Webster, a very well-known former ST Chief Engineer. (On the outward bus journey, having not seen anything that looked like the ST building, I asked the driver if he knew where it is/was. He had no idea but asked another passenger, an elderly lady, who looked as though she might have been around in Sir John Black’s day. She thought it was about half way along.)

I understand that the old ST employees’ social club rooms survive, way over the back, behind the modern buildings. It’s now a local pub apparently.

It is well-known that Ferguson tractors, built by Standard at the Banner Lane works, were driven down the road to the Harry Ferguson Tractors Limited works, where the hitching equipment was added to complete the tractor. The tractor facility is still there but, for many years now of course, has been Massey Ferguson. There’s even a bus stop along the lane, with a stop number as usual but also naming the stop “Massey Ferguson”. No such recognition, as far as I could see, for the company that made the tractors famous throughout the British Empire/Commonwealth through the 1950’s. Back in the city, there is a pub, called “The Standard”, across the street from the museum.

Members having had their appetites whetted by reading Elwyn’s article, will find that Bill Piggott’s wonderful book, “Original Triumph TR2/3/3A”, has several pages devoted to the “Italia”, including good interior and exterior photos. A truly lovely car.

I extend best wishes to all my fellow STCC of NSW members, no doubt thoroughly enjoying the wonderful events arranged by the hard-working Committee and regional rep people. I sold my TR4A a couple of years ago and am still trying to sell my Triumph 2500S Estate car.


My Story - The Travels Of Vic And Pam    Return to TOP

Sat 07 April 2018
Story by: Vic Lewis

As many of you know last year we spent the last 6 months of the year doing our long awaited trip around a large part of this great country. We visited every state except Tassie, however only putting a foot in Queensland when we went through Cameron Corner!

Even though the trip was everything and more that we hoped, the purpose of this note is not to bore you with trip details but to pass on a few things Standard cars related that we encountered along the way.

We had to stay at a little town called Copley, (about 100 kms south of Maree) for a few days whilst one of the Patrol’s back windows was replaced after having had a stone break it as we were travelling down the Strezlecki Track. The gentleman running the garage/ repair shop was also a car enthusiast with a few old Landrovers and other English
vehicles. Obviously, whilst having a chat with him and one of his colleagues the subject of Standards and Vanguards came up. His mate said to me in passing, “did you go down to Hawker for the auction?” My polite answer was “no” and he said “oh well, just thought that you would have been interested, there were at least 3 Vanguards up for grabs and all sold. Not for a lot of money I understand”. So, there you are, still some being sold!

On our way to Uluru we stopped at Curtin Springs, only a couple of hundred kms from the Rock. They had a great outside covered eating area and as usual Vic had a bit of a look around. On a board talking about the establishment of the property was a note saying that Peter Severin and his family had originally come from Adelaide to establish the property in 1956 and arrived there in a Vanguard and Bedford truck full of supplies and their worldly possessions. A photo displayed showed a later phase 3 Estate car (ignore the Holden in the background). Due to the influx of backpackers it is very hard to speak to anyone with some local knowledge. However after calling in again on our way back from Uluru we managed to get a phone number and eventually spoke to Mr Severin’s grandson who informed us that Mr Severin was now in his 90’s and we could not really talk to him. However the grandson did say that Peter had mentioned how good the Vanguards were in helping to give reliable transport in the earlier days and that they had several of them over the years.

Getting closer to home we were crossing the Nullarbor and a friend suggested that we detour to a place called Koonalda. The turnoff to the left (at this stage right hand turns ended quickly in the Great Aussie Bight) was about 94Kms before the Nullarbor roadhouse. With our usual navigational skills we located the dirt road in (a bit sloppy due to rain the night before) and after 15 kms we arrived at an abandoned homestead that was pretty much still intact and was made of railway sleepers. It turned out that it had been located on the original Eyre Hwy that had been a very rugged road and had also been a garage / roadhouse.

Needless to say there were a lot of abandoned vehicles and they were all piled close together with a sign “take only what you need”. Standing to one side was a blue late model Phase 111, 6 cylinder ute, very much like Malcolm Gow’s but not quite in as good a condition. Some parts (door handles etc) looked good but rusted screws prevented any such bits going to the Lewis parts bin. We must say this was the only Vanguard or Standard but there were quite a few Holdens and Fords!

As you can see, despite the distance we covered (27,500 kms), it was a bit disappointing not to see more of our cars. However it was a great trip and our Vanguard experiences added to it.

Remaining in the Vanguard... Vic and Pam

  • Lewis Travels 1.jpg
    Lewis Travels 1.jpg
  • Lewis Travels 3.jpg
    Lewis Travels 3.jpg
  • Lewis Travels 2.jpg
    Lewis Travels 2.jpg
  • My Story - The Travels Of Vic And Pam - Lewis Travels 1.jpg
  • My Story - The Travels Of Vic And Pam - Lewis Travels 3.jpg
  • My Story - The Travels Of Vic And Pam - Lewis Travels 2.jpg

My Story - Celebrating Sir John Black    Return to TOP

Sat 07 April 2018
Story by: Elwin Jordan

In the last issue we saw photos of some of our members who took part in the Drive Your Triumph Day; a day organised by Rye Livingston, Activities Chairman of the Triumph Travellers Sports Car Club in Northern California. The idea of this was to get people all over the world to drive somewhere in their Triumphs on February 10, to celebrate the birthday of Sir John Black. Take a photo of your Triumph out on this day and send it to Rye Livingston. It began a few years ago as an event just within his club, but he expanded it to clubs across the country and then around the world. This year our club received an invitation to take part; and several members – including myself – joined in the celebration.

So just who was Sir John Black? Well, he was the man who saved the Triumph brand from extinction, and was responsible for some of the best-loved Triumph models, including the TR range.

He began his automotive career with Hillman, and became joint managing director. His connection with the company became even closer when in 1921 he married the owner’s daughter, Daisy. (They divorced in 1939). In 1929 he resigned from Hillman when it was taken over by the Rootes brothers. He subsequently joined the Standard Motor Company, and was appointed joint managing director in 1933. When war broke out he turned his attention to the manufacture of aero engines, and in 1943 was given a knighthood in
recognition of his work supporting the war effort.

Meanwhile, over at the Triumph Motor Company – the company that had begun by manufacturing bicycles, then motorcycles and then cars – business had been up and down. It started out okay. Reflecting their diversification into the manufacture of cars, in 1930 the company that had previously been known as The Triumph Cycle Company changed its name to Triumph Motor Company. Some excellent cars were produced, with Donald Healey (yes, that Donald Healey) being responsible for the designs. But by 1936 the company was in financial trouble, and was split in two, with the motorcycle side of the business being sold to Jack Sangster, of Arial motorcycles. If that was supposed to end their financial woes, it didn’t work, because in April 2018 12 The Triumphant Standard 1939 the company went bankrupt and was placed in receivership. The Thos W Ward company, a huge
business involved in everything from engineering to running quarries, purchased Triumph and appointed Healey as general manager. But the production of cars was stopped when the factory was destroyed by bombing in 1940.

in 1944, with the company still bankrupt, and Healey having moved on, Sir John Black arranged for it to be purchased by the Standard Motor Company. His reason for buying Triumph is interesting. Standard had been supplying engines, and other parts, to Jaguar (and its forerunner, SS Cars) since the 1930s. But Sir John had a falling-out with Jaguar boss William Lyons, and decided he would make cars to compete with Jaguar. Apparently he thought the Triumph name would be suitable for this project, so bought the name and what was left of the company.

In 1946 a new range of cars was produced, that included the Triumph Roadster, and later the Renown, with Sir John being responsible for the choice of styling. In the early 1950s, it was decided – probably by Sir John – to use the Triumph name for sports cars and the Standard name for saloons. It was under Black’s direction that the TR2 was developed, beginning a range of sports cars that was to become perhaps the most admired Triumphs of all.

In late 1953, Sir John was being given a demonstration run in a Swallow Doretti (a sports car that used TR2 mechanicals) when the car crashed. The injuries he sustained in the crash seemed to affect his judgement, and in January 1954 he was forced to resign.

He went on to work for Enfield cables; and took up farming in retirement. He died on 24th December 1965, aged 70. Alick Dick, who had replaced him as chairman of Standard Triumph, described Sir John Black as, "an extrovert and exciting, if somewhat controversial, personality". He was a true icon of the British motor industry; and what better way to honour him than taking the brand he saved, and inspired, out for a drive on his birthday!

The run was a great success, with 179 photos coming from all over the world: England, Scotland, Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Netherlands, Uruguay, Canada, and of course all over the United States. As for me, I went to Kiama for a picturesque backdrop.

Warwick Budd writes...
Another photo for the birthday collection. This was taken in the grounds of Moonby House, looking towards the Moonbi Ranges. For some unknown reason there are two different
spellings for the same word!

Our car was the only Triumph 2000 (not Mk2) of the 150 photos taken.

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    Our car was the only Triumph 2000 (not Mk2) of the 150 photos taken.

Vanguards Are Winners!!!    Return to TOP

Sat 07 April 2018
Story by: Greg Campbell

Margaret and I are happy to inform members of STCC that at our end of year function with Tamworth Vintage Car Club (TVCC) in December 2017 (seems so far back already) our Vanguards received three awards. Although all awards are given out with fairness in mind there is some thought put into the categories and winners.

Firstly our ute received the award for “Best Owner Restored” and we were happy to receive the award in front of other cars that had been restored and put on the road during 2017.

Our second award was the “Hot Wheels 2017” and was given to Margaret and me for using the Phase 1 sedan on the first TVCC Pie Run on 2nd February 2017. The award did not recognise speed or anything like that but the fact that it was 42 degrees in the sun and we travelled to Manilla, 45 kilometres each way, for a luncheon get together. We were the only old car that hit the road, not counting a 1975 Mercedes with air conditioning. The rest of the members all chickened out to use modern cars. I must inform you that we did consume one large bottle of water each way between the two of us and it didn’t take long to get in the pool on arriving home.

The third award was again for the Phase 1 and unfortunately it was the “Failure to Proceed” Award for 2017. Light was taken of the fact that we had to come home from Werris Creek on a trailer after electrical issues stopped us cold. I found that a fuse had slipped out of the holder and when I put it back in place it started, I must also say that I fitted a Hi-Torque starter motor as again the drive stripped out of the original. Off to Manilla for a monthly run only to turn around near Attunga due to backfiring and loss of power to again finish the trip on the trailer. After addressing the problem by fitting new points, condenser and a generator it again stopped on the way to Registration Day and came home on the end of a rope. Next repair was to fit a new Lucas solid state regulator from England, clean out fuel lines and replace the electrical wires from the coil (also new) to the distributor as the insulation had worn and it was shorting out when hot and also the wire to the fuse as it had weakened over time and had a couple of dry breaks in it. Persistence pays off and now it runs along quite smoothly.

To finish off this story I will tell you that I also purchased some Liquid Intelligence 239 and cleaned out the water courses on both Vanguards and my MGB. This is a somewhat tedious job but well worthwhile in the long run.

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Murphy's Law Of Car Maintenance - How To Turn A Short Job Into A Long One    Return to TOP

Wed 14 February 2018
Story by: Robert Bensley

We all know of Murphy’s Law which is generally regarded as being ‘whatever can go wrong will go wrong'. According to the Murphy’s Law website (yes there is one), Murphy was Captain Edward Murphy of the US Air Force. The story goes he was working on a project on deceleration forces in the late 1940’s and on finding a technician had wired a component incorrectly, said about the hapless technician ‘If there is any way to do it wrong, he will find it’. The project manager apparently kept a log of ‘laws’ and named this one ‘Murphy’s Law’. The saying is older than the 1940’s but the above events are said to be behind the naming of it as Murphy’s Law.

I can relate to the technician after some routine maintenance on my Dolomite. On a manual Dolomite 1850, the clutch slave cylinder is mounted on the top of the bell housing in about the 10 o’clock position, roughly below the coil on the firewall. Triumph did not see a need to fit a rubber boot to the bell housing clutch throw out arm opening. While using a ¼ drive socket set to replace the coil, I dropped a short extension piece. By now you will be putting two and two together and working out that yes, the extension piece landed on the clutch lever then fell through the hole into the bell housing. I was not happy!

My inspection camera could not be manoeuvred to show where the piece landed and I was not prepared to cut a hole in the bottom of the bell housing. Retrieval of the recalcitrant extension piece meant separating the gearbox from the engine sufficiently to allow it to be retrieved from the bottom of the bell housing. Fortunately the gearbox only needed to come back about 2 inches and the use of some 3 inch guide bolts between gearbox and engine allowed the gearbox to stay aligned with the clutch. The rear of the gearbox was supported on a rolling trolley. All up it took me over a day’s effort.

Lesson learned is to cover the clutch lever opening whenever working around the firewall or back of the engine on a manual 1850. I’m now looking for a rubber boot which fits. At the moment duct tape is serving the purpose.

Footnote – the Murphy’s Law website mentioned is It also lists an observation from US Air Force doctor, Col John Stapp – ‘The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle’. That gives you great confidence for your next task doesn’t it?


What's Hiding In The Hills ?    Return to TOP

Tue 13 February 2018
Story by: Greg Campbell

Warwick Budd and I found time in our busy schedules to trek off into the hills of Barraba to visit a gentleman with an eclectic collection of vehicles. We met him at his home and checked out his latest acquisition, a 1934 Chrysler in really good nick. It looked very smart parked next to his new Chrysler 300, the daily drive. In his next shed we looked at all his ‘to do’ jobs including a motorised mobility 3 wheel buggy, a Phase 1 Zephyr, an XC Falcon, a VC Valiant, a Chrysler Royal and a Morris 8.

We next moved out of town to his bush block looking for things ‘Standard’. Going up the little track we passed a parked up VW with a rear wheel missing, the new owner of that vehicle didn’t realise the wheel had come off as the track is that rough.

On the crest of the hill we found another shed that housed two Vanguard Utes, one was an early 61 model with the close spaced letters on the bonnet and the other a later model with spaced out letters. Both vehicle had been driven into the shed some years back and both are very straight, the front one without rust and the rear one with a little bit here and there.

This is where Warwick started to salivate and get out the pencil and paper, as shown in the attached photos, he found ‘more numbers for his collection’. In this shed we held a discussion between the difference in being a hoarder or an avid collector. No definite resolution was the outcome.

After looking at another Chrysler Royal, a Series 2 Land Rover and a little bulldozer we ventured further up the road to the resting place of a Triumph 2500. The plan was for me to check out the parts situation and for Warwick, you guessed it, get some more numbers.

After our appraisal of this 1977 Triumph 2500 S we decided that it was best left where it sat, under a tree with the Willy Wagtails nesting above it, mum and dad weren’t impressed that we were near their 3 little ones.

We then returned to Barraba and attended the local Fire Station as our host is a retained fire officer and his last show piece was a 1954 Dennis Fire Truck. It sat proudly next to the new model truck but lacked quite a few of the pieces of equipment that’s in the new one.

Warwick became a little perturbed when reading the working history of this truck as it seemed to be stationed in places where Warwick lived and it led me to ask if they considered him a ‘fire risk’ in those days. Fortunately Warwick had never lived in Crookwell where the truck finished its service. During our talks I mentioned that I had to make more shed room for my Triumph and I was considering selling my 1927 Chev C Cab truck and as it turned out I may have found a buyer.

Our return journey went quickly, travelling through some much appreciated rain and we believed that we had done the right thing by going out looking. Many old cars are out there “Gone but not forgotten”. Since our visit to Barraba both of the Vanguards have been sold but if anyone is interested in the Triumph (whole car only not just parts) feel free to ring me and I will supply the owner’s details. We must thank our host for giving us his time, friendship and valuable information.

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