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May 2010 COTM - Mike Stevens' Family Album

This isn’t so much ‘Car of the Month’, more ‘Cars Of The Past Several Decades’. Mike Stevens continues:

Before I discovered the delights of Triumph motoring, I had been driving an ex-Royal Marines LandRover but then I discovered ‘girls’ and the LandRover was not the ideal vehicle for going to dances in! A change was made to a Triumph big saloon and I never looked back. I even married the girlfriend Ann, so it must have been the right move – and we’re still together some 30+ years later. Ann and me that is.

I bought my first Triumph – which was a gunmetal Mk1 2000 – in 1974. Unfortunately, it didn’t have overdrive, so I bought a damaged overdrive gearbox, and rebuilt the mechanism into my non-overdrive casing. It was a steep learning curve but a good baptism into big saloon mechanics which has carried on since then. The Mk1 was sold in 1983 after over 30 return trips from West Oxfordshire to University in Exeter between 1975 and 1978. It never let us down for the entire time we had it despite the amount of stuff we carried.

Since then we’ve had another 12 assorted Triumphs –

  • ‘S’ estate, 1981 to 1988 (scrapped due to rust), maybe the best one we ever had
  • Mk2 PI saloon, 1987 to present day (being dismantled and scrapped)
  • Another ‘S’ estate, 1994 – 2003 (sold)
  • Mk2 2000 saloon, 1996 to present day (to be sold)
  • 2500TC estate, 1986, accident car, dismantled
  • Another Mk2 PI saloon, 2009 to present day

As well as big saloons, we’ve also had other Triumph models –

Mk3 GT6, 1500TC, Dolomite 1300, Stag (still owned, undergoing rebuild), Dolomite 1500HL (rusted, spares car) and Herald 1200 Convertible, (undergoing rebuild).

Since 1974 I have always had a big saloon ‘on the road’ and done all my own maintenance. I think the only thing I’ve not been inside is a diff and steering rack! This is totally different to the day job where I am an electronic system design engineer, designing and developing embedded systems for a variety of applications. This summer I ‘celebrate’ 40 years at the same work place.

The home is now in a small village near Didcot in South Oxfordshire, with a garden and (large) garage to house all the cars. Including the Triumphs, we currently have 9 cars! We’ve also had time to build the garage, extend the house and have 3 boys who are now aged 24, 19 and 14. None of them have really caught the Triumph bug – yet! We’re working on it though.

As well as classic car restoration, both Ann and I are keen Amateur Radio enthusiasts, so there tends not to be much spare time!

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