Monday, 3 February 2014

So damned close after all these years...

A very strange and wonderful thing happened at the weekend.

I'd 'phoned a specialist in early post War triumphs on my son's behalf about some bits for the Renown, which is now safely entombed in his carport and I spoke to a chap called Brad Lodge about my history with many Triumphs.  I happened to mention that as a family when I was around 5 we had what we always called "The Renown", or "Our Baby Rolls".
In fact it was, I have had confirmed recently by the Club, a 1948 1800 Town and Country Saloon, but you'd have to be a nerd to know the difference.  I do recall my Dad mentioning that it was an 1800, even though he also called it the Renown.
It was registered HXN 384 and before I'd even got those number out, our Mr. Lodge interrupted with , "a black 1800?"
"Yes, how on earth did you know that?". asked I, mystified by whatever bit of technology was informing him of our long lost, but much loved old car.
"I had it recently, got the number plates, vin plate and logbook on my workshop wall".

Well, you can imagine my reaction to this.  It seems he had judged the wood to have been too far gone and so was forced to break the car for spares.  The whole family of Razoredge saloons were genuinely coachbuilt in steel and aluminium over an ash frame by the famous coachbuilders, Mulliners of Birmingham. If the wood "goes", it is a very substantial rebuild required.
BUT, he told me that the engine had gone to a German gentleman and the gearbox to an Englishman, both with Roadsters and that he'd sold the doors and bonnet only last week!

Yesterday I learned from a Dutch Roadster and Renown owner that he had seen HXN quite recently whilst buying spares and did not consider the car too far gone on sight, but confirmed that storage space for whole cars was at a premium.
SO...if I'd have know just a few weeks earlier, I could have had our 66 year old family car back and restored her, since wood work is not a problem for me.

Mr. Lodge then kindly offered to send the remaining number plates, vin plate and log book to me for the cost of postage!

So over 50 years since I last saw that wonderful, stately, black baby Rolls, I will be getting back her "essentials", to put on my wall and not just a garage wall, but right here in front of where I type.  And if the log book is the original old buff one, somewhere in there will be Raymond James Field, followed by Jack Silk.

I can't wait to get all the bits.


  1. I have to take my hat off to you, Martin. You have so many projects on the go and unlike me, you seem very likely to complete them all. This connection with the old Triumph is an amazing co-incidence and another illustration of how kind folks can be.

  2. Iain, this project is my son's. His bad back made the GT6 impractical, so he sold that and bought the nice upright Renown.
    Though no doubt I shall get roped in on this one too!