Audubon Park

New Orleans, LA

March, 1963

    My first memory of automobiles was of the car in the background of this page, a 1962 Triumph TR4.  Actually, I can't verify that it is a 1962 as my memory wasn't fully developed at the time; I was too busy raking in the rays in my cool shades.  If anyone can lend a little validation or information on the car I would appreciate it.

What stands out the most in my memory of the car is the smell.  I can remember sitting in the car and being enveloped by smells of oil and leather.  There is nothing that smells remotely as good as that in a modern vehicle.  My father would take me riding up and down the coast and I'd have no choice but to smile while I took in the breeze and the sights of beachgoers and fishermen.  Sometimes I rode alongside my father while at other times I got to ride in the "jump seat."  It didn't matter where I sat as long as I got to ride in with my Dad in his convertible.

My father owned this car for approximately six years from 1962 to 1968 only to be replaced by a 1968 Mercury Cougar.  It was an attractive car with the same color scheme of white over red leather, and with it's 390 cubic inch engine it could go, but it just wasn't the same.  I recently asked my father about his Triumph and he said looking back he thought he sold part of himself when he let go of the that car. 

Unfortunately, the car met an untimely demise in August 1969 with the arrival of a Southern Belle named Camille.  Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast packing winds in excess of 200 mph and swept away many homes and lives.  It also swept away the Triumph with her as she ravaged my hometown and neighboring communities.  The coast was rebuilt, but the car was not so lucky.

While my father found the error of his ways and returned to true sports cars with a 1973 1/2 Porsche 911 (in March of 1974) and a 1986 Morgan Plus 8, he still looks longingly at my 1970 Triumph TR6.  The 911 and Morgan are still in the garage and look better than new.  In fact, the Morgan with it's 3.5l aluminum V8 engine recently threw off it's primitive fuel injection for a new four barrel carburetor that will give it even more oomph.  But as nice as those cars are, they still lack something - a straight six engine that provides that beautiful exhaust note as you wind up the rpm's.

So I'm the 2nd generation to own a white TR, and I'm happy to say that my 3 1/2 year old loves the car and affectionately refers to it as the "loud car".  He doesn't mean it disparagingly; he thinks all old convertibles are "loud cars."  He asked me tonight before he went to bed if he could go with me tomorrow on a drive with the local Triumph club.   I had to tell him that he needed to grow a little bigger until he could come, but then I'd love for him to join me.  He then said "when I get bigger, I'm going to buy a loud car and we can drive together."  Nothing would make me happier.

 

 October, 2004

Ashford Little

 

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