President’s Report – September 2023

October 31st, 2023. Submitted by Alex Smithson.

Firstly, I am very pleased to welcome Natalie Farrell to the Committee as Social Secretary. Natalie is a Life Member of the club and has held numerous positions in the past during her long membership. Natalie has always been super-efficient and dedicated in everything she does, and I know she will be very successful as Social Secretary.

We have had a great start to the Club year with two very successful Sunday events. The run to Bethany on 27th August was reported on in the last edition of Fastrak, and was well attended, with a gourmet lunch supplied by the tireless team of Bill and Margie Berlemon.

The Berlemon team was again at the fore with the All-Triumph Observation Run on Sunday 17th September, this time with Dean and Lisa organising a very enjoyable run along the metropolitan coast with stops at Henley Square and Semaphore Road, Exeter for a series of challenging questions, before having another great BBQ lunch (supplied and prepared by Bill and Margie) at Osborne Foreshore Reserve, North Haven. The weather was near perfect, and we had a great turnout of members, with lots of them in their Triumphs.

We have also had a mid-week run to the Aussie Inn Hotel at Hackham, once again organised by Laurie and Kaye Placing.  There are a group of regulars to these lunches, and there is always a convivial atmosphere. All club members are welcome to attend, and I am sure you will enjoy yourselves.

Ian Rigby explained at our September club meeting, the problems he has had in following up members to have their logbooks updated for this year. Ian puts in countless hours in ensuring that TSOA is “Gold Standard” in the Conditional Registration Scheme, and that members do not get in trouble with DIT, the Police or their insurer by being non-compliant and driving a technically unregistered vehicle. We are a club of over 250 members, and the amount of work Ian does to follow up those who do not comply with our procedures is immense. I ask all members to do all they can to make Ian’s job as easy as possible and get logbooks to him next year in a timely manner.

We had two new members, John Watts and David Marlow have their vehicles, a TR7 and a TR6 on stage at the September meeting. Both cars looked great, and John and David were able to tell us about their ownerships. Members’ cars on stage is something I would like to get back to on a regular basis, and I will be asking new and recent members to get involved by presenting their cars to club meetings.

Our next big event is the Day of Triumph on Sunday October 15th at Civic Park. Modbury. Dean Berlemon is convening this event for the first time, although I am sure that previous convenor, Ian Rigby will still be a key part of Dean’s team. It would be great to see a record number of cars there, and I ask all members to make a special effort to have their cars on display. You definitely don’t need to have a Concours standard car, and do not need to enter it into the judging. Please come along however and add to the spectacle of the day. Club members Dino and Lisa Vettese, who own Café Primo at Tea Tree Plaza are offering a super cut-price breakfast at only $10.00 to all club members.  Thanks Dino and Lisa, and please, take advantage of this great offer.

You don’t need to book or advise anyone in advance of your attendance at the Day of Triumph. Just turn up to Civic Park, Modbury prior to 10.00am on Sunday 15th October.

Dean also asked for judges to volunteer to help on the day. This is a great way to have a close look at a lot of cars and be involved. Judging is not hard, as we are not looking for originality, and is great fun. We need more members to help out, so please contact Dean ASAP.

Lastly the Christmas Dinner is coming up on Saturday 25th November. This is a great night and super value at $50.00 per head, with sponsorship by the club, including drinks before the meal. Please contact Sue Gibson to register your attendance.

Regards

Alex Smithson

TSOA NATIONALS REPORT – VICTORIA 2023

October 31st, 2023. Submitted by Alex Smithson.

The 42nd Nationals (the 2nd after resumption from COVID) which ran from 21st to 28th October 2023 are over and it was once again a great success. There was a drop-off in final numbers close to the event with, in the end, 79 registered participants, with SA being the third largest contingent with 17.  We travelled to Victoria as two convoy groups, all meeting at Tailem Bend, and then with 5 couples travelling via Keith and Naracoorte and staying overnight in Penola, and the others travelling along Highway 1 via Meningie, Kingston and Millicent and staying in Mount Gambier on Friday night.

The week-long event was in Warrnambool, and we stayed at the Lady Bay Resort which provided first-class accommodation. The “Shipwreck Coast” as this locale is known, is one of the most stunning parts of Australia, and includes the Great Ocean Road, twelve apostles and the like, and TSOA Victoria organised a great week which was thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending.

The centenary of Triumph and 70 years of the TR were celebrated, and these twin celebrations formed the theme for the Nationals. Our first event was the welcome dinner at the resort on Saturday which was a great night, with a “blue and white” dress theme bringing out the best of the creativity of the rally delegates.

We were not blessed with great weather, and Sunday’s show and shine at the nearby Lake Pertobe events area was nearly cancelled due to rain and wind. We persevered however, albeit that not many people washed their cars beforehand, and several umbrellas ended up being blown out and put in the rubbish bins. We all survived, and the adjacent coffee shop did a thriving business as it was a lot warmer and dryer there than at the S&S.

South Australia was not able to repeat its successes of the last few Nationals, however we did take out three of the six places in the S&S awards being 3rd – Dino Vettese (TR6), 4th – Lisa Vettese (Stag) and 6th – Alex Smithson (TR5). In case anyone is wondering how the Vettese’s had two cars on display, they drove the Stag, and had Steve Moule and Geoff Mockford trailer over the TR6 for the event. The winner was Trevor Norris from Victoria in a Dolomite Sprint.

That night, we had dinner at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and watched the light show afterwards. Weather still wet and cold.

Monday was a much better day weather-wise, and we set out in and easterly direction on an inland and coastal tour of some 200 km round trip, to view the Great Ocean Road, Twelve Apostles and Port Campbell, with a coffee stop at the Dairylicious Fudge Farm between Timboon and Colac. Dinner was at The Pavilion Cafe and Bar overlooking Warrnambool Harbour.

On Tuesday we headed north and west to Tower Hill and Port Fairy. Weather had deteriorated, and we had lunch and watched a film at Port Fairy’s historic Reardon Picture Theatre. The film was the early 1970’s Australian cult classic, “The Cars that Ate Paris”. It is reasonable to say that the film was not universally acclaimed by the TSOA audience, with the bad weather probably stopping most of the audience from walking out earlier than they did. Those of us with a dark sense of humour enjoyed it thoroughly.

In the evening, we had a “Barefoot Bowls” night at the Warrnambool City Bowling Club and a BBQ dinner. This venue is fully under cover with heaters, so was perfect for us. As well as having great fun bowling in teams, this counted to the first “Ironman” event for the week. For the uninitiated, this is a novelty competition between states, with a very large and impressive perpetual trophy awarded to the overall winner. Everyone wants to win it, carry it home in their generally already overloaded Triumph, and then proudly store it for 12 months, prior to then carrying it to the next Nationals.

The rules of the bowling component seemed a little haphazard, and somehow WA won this event despite having only two competitors.

On Wednesday we drove some 60km to Cobden, where we had go-karting, mini-golf and mini-train rides. Unfortunately, this was the worst day weather-wise, with cold wind, numerous rain showers and two quite heavy hailstorms. Those on the mini train or on the go-kart track during the hailstorms really did cop a beating. Both the mini golf and the go-karts counted to the Ironman competition. There were only three karts, and the competition was a regularity event over three laps, and separate heats for each state. The rain and hail made the track very slippery, and there were numerous spinouts and karts ending up in the grass.

Our team of Neil Martin, Ian Rigby and Lisa Vettese put on a good performance, however did not win the competition, which was uneven due to rain showers coming and going during each state’s runs.  Somehow, WA with only two drivers (plus one additional ring-in from NSW) also won this event.

The mini-golf was also marred by ongoing rain and very slow greens with numerous unexpected water hazards. This was however won by Team South Australia, highlighted by Dean Bogisch having two holes in one, and Alex Smithson with one.  It is of note that WA did not field a team in the mini golf as their two delegated (Ron and Leigh Marian) were competing in the go karts at this time.

We had a roast lunch at the go-kart track and a free afternoon and night on Wednesday.

Weather improved on Thursday, and we headed west again for another 200km day to Portland, where we did tours of the Maritime Museum, Powerhouse Motor and Car Museum and Cable Trams Depot and Museum. Some of us also ventured out to the Cape Nelson lighthouse. At night, we had dinner at Pippies by the Bay Restaurant in Warrnambool.

Our last full day on Friday saw us drive to Suffoir Winery, Brewery and Distillery in Macarthur, around 80km north of Warrnambool. We learned about this most diverse business from proprietor, Pieter Badenhorst and enjoyed great platters for lunch.

There was a delegates’ meeting where the future of Nationals generally was discussed, and then we had our final presentation dinner at Lady Bay Resort.  The theme for this dinner was “Gold” and almost everyone was dressed for the event. Various prizes were awarded, with our own Lawrie Placing being adjudged the “most creative male”.

Numerous serious and less serious awards were given, the most controversial being that of the winner of the “Ironman” trophy. Team WA (solely represented by Ron and Leigh Marian) won this trophy, despite not having a full team number for any event and forfeiting one of the three events which counted for points. They also did not have room in their Stag to take the trophy back to WA, and so it goes back to NSW yet again (it has resided there since 2019). Whilst the rest of us were perplexed about how this win was possible, in the end, we were all pleased that we did not have the responsibility of transport and storage of this sizable trophy.

We also heard from John Stokes who talked about ongoing planning for 2025 in Port Stephens, NSW (picking up the cancelled 2020 rally) and from Ron Marian who gave us a full run-down on the 2024 Nationals in Albany Western Australia. As always, WA has organised a great program, and many of the attendees at Warrnambool plan to make the trip over the Nullarbor next year to attend this event.

Unfortunately, due to the cold weather for the whole week, we did not have a time where everyone was just wearing shirts, to show off our “Team SA” red polo shirts and get a team photo as a group. We did however get some photos of Team SA in their gold finery (thanks particularly to two avid photographers, Marg Bogisch and Raeleen Rigby).

Victoria had their initial problems in organisation at Warrnambool, including delaying the initially planned event last year due to South Australia running 2022 after we had to cancel 2021 due to COVID. Unlike last year, there were no cases during the week, which was a great relief to all.

Roger Jeary, immediate past president of TSOA Victoria took on the role of Rally Convenor and did a great job, along with his hard-working committee. Trevor Norris was the liaison person with participants, and Barrie O’Shea was the MC. They, along with the rest of the team that put the week together were outstanding. We had a “Have You Been Paying Attention” quiz on the last night, and one question was “which was Barrie’s funniest joke?”. Quite unfairly, I thought, the correct answer was “none of them”. Barrie’s wife, Rose ran the quiz, and could potentially be forgiven as she may have been the long-suffering sounding board for his practice as being MC, before the event.

After a fabulous week of great food, great company, great events, and of course, great Triumphs, we are now looking forward to Albany next year. Thanks in particular to all the South Australians who attended and help make it such a great week.

Alex Smithson

Triumphs in Competition

October 2nd, 2023. Submitted by Roger.

Her’s a couple of SA members having some fun in their Triumphs . . . Bryan Young in his Vitesse and Andy Ansell in his TR7, both competing in the Leyburn Sprints. If you haven’t heard of Leyburn, it is a small town in Queensland that has become somewhat noted for this event over recent years. Have a look at YouTube for footage.

 

Getting ready for Day of Triumph

September 28th, 2023. Submitted by Duane Kaak.

Wheels and tires are one of the categories for judges to inspect. My Dolomite Sprint wheels were in poor original condition, as can be seen but are turning out great with hours of effort at home, 1 side done, 2 weeks to get the passenger side finished

 

DAY OF TRIUMPH 2023

September 28th, 2023. Submitted by Roger.

Social Report – Sept 2023

September 23rd, 2023. Submitted by Roger.

Sunday 27th August  saw 36 members enjoy the drive through the hills to Bethany for a gourmet sausage sizzle for lunch.  We had hired the Pavillion and Bill had the fire going, and although it was a beautiful day,most people sat on the lawns and enjoyed the sunshine.

Sunday 17th September was the Observation Run  and we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day.  Dean and Lisa had set a great run through the beachside suburbs and we ended up at Osborne for a Hamburger and Sausage Sizzle lunch. 24 members participated in the day.

It is with great pleasure we announce that Natalie Farrell is taking on the role of Social Secretary for the incoming year. We wish her all the best.

Margie and Bill.

President’s Report – August 2023

August 29th, 2023. Submitted by Roger.

I am very pleased to become TSOA (SA) President after serving my apprenticeship as Treasurer and then Vice
President and have some big shoes to fill from outgoing President, Peter Davidge.
Peter was Treasurer for our club for a decade or so and President for 3 years. He and wife Julie have also been key
members of several Nationals organisation committees, and they have been passionate advocates for our club. Julie
has been a great support to Peter and is almost always at club meetings and regularly organises supper. Thanks,
Peter and Julie, for everything you have done for our club, and we hope your move to Victoria goes well. Luckily,
Peter and Julie have a strong connection with several TSOA members in Victoria through attending many Nationals,
so they should soon feel right at home.
I joined TSOA when I purchased my TR6 in 2008 and kept that car for some 14 years before buying my current TR5.
It has been a great journey, and my wife Sue and I have loved every minute of being in the club. We have both been
on three Nationals committees (the last as conveners) and have, like Peter and Julie, made many friends in TSOA
clubs around Australia.
Our club is strong with a membership of over 250, however we only see a reasonably small proportion of those
members at club activities. Filling committee positions remains difficult, and for the club to continue to prosper, others
will need to take on some responsibilities in running the club in the future. We do, however have quite a few very
dedicated and hard-working members, who Peter and Tony Case acknowledged at the AGM.
The President’s Award for members of the Executive committee was jointly awarded to Fastrak editor Katherine
Bradley and Treasurer Lisa Macleod. Kat and Lisa are both relatively recent members who took over their roles after
the last AGM and have done outstanding jobs, so much so, that they were both re-elected unopposed at the AGM this
year.
The Vice President’s award for non-executive members was jointly awarded to Laurie and Kaye Placing. Laurie and
Kaye have been long-serving members of TSOA NSW, however moved to Adelaide a couple of years ago. They
have run mid-week get togethers each month and invited all members to an Australia Day BBQ at their house in
January. They were also very supportive of me for the 2022 Nationals and a regular attendee at almost all club
events.
Secretary Duane, Membership/Historic Registrar Ian and Competition Secretary Neil have continued to do a great job
in their respective roles, and the club would not be able to operate in its current form without any one of these three
members. I am extremely grateful that they are all continuing for 2023/24.
Life members, Bill and Margie Berlemon are retiring from the Social Secretary role, however will still be organising the
Club Weekender, the door at club meetings, supper etc, so it is hardly a retirement. Bill and Margie are tireless
workers for TSOA, despite having many other community roles, and it is almost impossible to imagine our club without
them. Thanks to Bill and Margie for everything they have done and will continue to do for TSOA.
Whilst the Social Secretary role remains open, the Regalia role, which my wife, Sue has done for many years has
been filled. Thank Sue for doing such a great job and thanks to Dean Berlemon for taking this on for the future. Dean
(Bill’s son) is also running the Day of Triumph, our club’s premier event, and his wife Lisa is Treasurer. As I have said
previously, the work of the club is done by a small portion of the membership.
We do, however welcome Richard Sellers to the Executive Committee as Vice President.
Finally, I congratulate our newest life members, Rory and Sue Gibson, who were unanimously elected to Life
Membership at the AGM. Rory and Sue have been the epitome of dedicated and hard working TSOA members for as
long as most of us can remember, having been part of our club for over 30 years. Rory ran Day of Triumph for 8
years and both have been integral members of the last five Nationals organising committees, including putting the
Rally Guide together, arguably the biggest job on the committee. Sue was social secretary for 8 years and has
organised the club Christmas Dinner for 10 years. They have won the Clubman Award around 8 times, run many club
runs and observation runs and prepared many suppers over their 30 years with our club.
fasTRak – August 2023 3
I look forward to another successful year of TSOA. The club has been going for nearly 60 years, and we are very
fortunate to still have our joint founder, Tony Case in our club, and who remains an active (and vocal) part of Club
activities. Thanks, Tony, for all you have done, and continue to do for your brainchild all those years ago.
Regards,
Alex Smithson
TSOA SA President

Paul Newman racing a TR6

August 28th, 2023. Submitted by Roger.

Paul Newman’s early racing career started out in Triumphs before moving on to Datsuns. Interesting front air dam / spoiler .  . .

Vale: Harris Mann, designer of the Triumph TR7

August 22nd, 2023. Submitted by Dean Bogisch.

Vale: Harris Mann, designer of the Triumph TR7.

The TR Register is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our long-time honorary members and stylist that played a pivotal role in Triumph’s history – Harris Mann who has passed away at the age of 85. 

Harris Mann was born in London in 1938 and by the time he arrived at Triumph to style the TR7, had already built up an impressive portfolio of work. He worked at Duple, the (American) Loewy Consultancy. Then after some time out of the country for National Service, Mann worked for Commer and then Ford, where he was involved in the first Escort and Capri. His boss at Ford, Roy Haynes then persuaded Harris to follow him to BMC in 1967, where he moved to lead the design studio at Cowley. Roy Haynes’ brief was to rejuvenate the design team and part of his solution would include Harris Mann.

When the TR7 family was conceived in 1971, Harris was really considered a ‘Longbridge man’ as opposed to a ‘Triumph man’. Once he moved to Longbridge, he shaped the beautiful BMC ‘Zanda’ concept car and put forward acceptable original shapes for the Austin Allegro before these were changed by the British Leyland (BL) planners. Harris was responsible for the wedge-style BL Princess which would be launched immediately after the TR7. The Princess was a large and attractive package which, once again, would have done him more credit if it had not been put on sale when BL was in the depths of its nationalisation crisis.

It was his work on the TR7, where he offered up the shapely wedge-styled shape, which was accepted ahead of Michelotti, Pininfarina and other proposals in a kind of ‘internal’ styling competition. It would be the TR that would outsell all the models that came before and despite a troubled start due to factors out of Harris Mann’s control, would be loved by its dedicated band of enthusiasts for generations.

We interviewed Harris Mann on many occasions in front of audiences at TR events and for TR Action Magazine, and learned much about the detail surrounding the TR7 – why was the screen angled so, why was the rear window glass angled like that, what influenced the nose and flip-up headlamp layout etc – and he was always so honest, modest, and eager to share insights and stories.

Spending time with Harris was to appreciate what professionalism and talent he had, but also what an agreeable and pleasant personality he was. He was so very friendly and easy to get along with. A conversation over lunch though might often be disrupted by him grabbing a beer mat or menu card to draw up some styling detail to explain why things were as they ended up on a particular model.

In the late 1970s, he worked on updates to the Marina style, then the Metro and Maestro projects and the still-born Triumph SD2 saloon project. The entire motor industry recognised his talents, so after he left BL in 1983, to set up on his own, he was never short of work. He shaped several Suzuki motorcycles and worked for BMW on four-wheeler and two-wheeler shapes. Then there was work on big railway locomotives, on Lotus and Lola models, and much more.

Harris found himself back at Longbridge during the early-2000s working with the team headed by Peter Stevens on the MG Zeds and even the MG SV.

For the fans and enthusiasts, the delight of meeting Harris never waned and he always took time to answer in detail even the most naive of questions and explain the reasoning behind designs or to share an anecdote from those troubled times at British Leyland.

He was an active participant in TR Register events, an honorary member of the club and a friend to many of us and he never seemed to tire of seeing the cars being loved and appreciated by enthusiasts, always willing to stop by for a photograph, a ceremonial cake cutting or to sign someone’s boot lid!

Harris Mann, a stylist, a talent, a part of history, a lovely Mann.

 

This article has been reproduced in part ‘by kind permission of the TR Register UK’ … Dean Bogisch

 

 

 

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Group 44 Triumph TR8 Race Car

August 1st, 2023. Submitted by Roger.

Here is photo of Bob Tullius’s Group 44 TR8 Racer. Very successful in it’s day, including a class win in the 1980 Sebring 12 Hour endurance race. Quite a mean machine!