Obin & Marilynn’s TR3A’s

 

Obin and Marilynn Hamrick are long time British Car enthusiasts.  Triumphs have been a central part of their family life for many years. They took their kids and grand kids to school in Triumphs (TR3As) and even sent their daughter Terry off to college with a TR3A.  They helped to found the Temple of Triumph car club in Tallahassee, Florida along with J.K. Jackson. 

 

They currently own two immaculate TR3A Triumph Roadsters.  The pale yellow (original color) early 1959 TR3A has a black leather interior. It has won a host of state, regional and national awards, (26 total) in associations such as  the Vintage Triumph Register (VTR) and the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) competition.  This car is well known.  It actually won the participants choice award for TR3As at the last Regional VTR Meet.  The only hitch was Obin and Marilynn didn’t bring the car to the meet and couldn’t accept the award. It met a deer on their last trip to the Roadster Factory Summer Party and sustained front nose damage.  Obin asked Marilynn, “did you just notice a thud?”  Marilynn said, “ yes dear, you just hit a deer!” The deer ran off into the night with no clue to its injury. Since this accident, Mark Lucas, a club member and owner of “Paint by Luke” has done a meticulous repair and paint job on the Hamricks’ Triumph.

 Since it first restored in 1989, Obin and Marilynn have put many miles on their pale yellow TR3A.  They do not have or rent trailers to pull their car.  Marilynn very carefully packs the car and Obin puts in a first aid kit. The kit includes an extra generator, points, plugs, condenser, distributor cap, fan belt, and fuel pump repair kit. They have taken numerous trips to places like Cincinnati, Baltimore, Atlanta, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Kentucky. True Triumph pioneers.

 

The newer late 1960 TR3A roadster is signal red with tan leather interior.  This car has quite a history also.  It was owned by a former original member of the Temple of Triumph, Charlie Smith. Charlie moved to Atlanta, Georgia.  Charlie owned this car for at least 12 years. The last 7 or 8 years the red car was being restored. Unfortunately Charlie has become disabled and can no longer drive this somewhat “fundamental” automobile. Obin bought the car from Charlie in 2005.  Obin and I went up to Atlanta and brought the car back to Tallahassee.  It was an ongoing restoration with 80 % completed.  The rest of the parts were stored in about 100 carefully marked boxes. Thanks Charlie.

 

You might not know the story on these types of ongoing restorations yourself.  When picking up this type of car you are usually dealing with a person that is very attached to the vehicle. They usually have always dreamed of owning a beautiful “finished” car tooling down a wooded lane with their honey by their side. They also have put a lot of money and personal time into the car. This means you have to be very considerate when completing the final transaction. The car is most always not running.  And also, things tend to be missing.  Getting the car on the trailer by its self can be quite an adventure. These cars, while quite small by today’s standards, still weigh a ton.  Hopefully the tires will hold air long enough to get them to roll onto the trailer.

 Well gentle reader, picking up the red TRA3 was no exception.  This beautiful, red, unscratched car had no steering wheel and nothing but an emergency brake on the back wheels!  Here’s the kicker.  Charlie lives in a beautiful, cozy, brick home that is sitting on a hill with an approximate 45 degree 50 foot drop to the street.  Good grief! Shades of my childhood in Birmingham, Alabama popped into my brain with me plowing head long into the neighbor’s beautiful, not paid for, 1967 Impala on my homemade go-cart with a wooden stick for a stop that didn’t do anything but raise the front wheels off the ground. Yikes!  We aren’t 12 years old anymore and for Pete’s sake it was dark-thirty! People were coming home from work on the street below.

 What does Obin do? He jumps into the car puts a vise grip on the steering shaft and takes off while pulling frantically on the hand brake to slow the descent of the one ton handmade go cart.  Miraculously, somehow, it slows down just before it reaches the street below.  What a relief! We have a beautiful, enclosed trailer but we soon realize that we can’t push the thing into the trailer.  It is too heavy.  Obin brought one of those 42 dollar Harbor Freight winches but we can’t hand crank the car into the trailer.  What to do?  No battery!  But wait, we have the truck battery!  It is now totally dark, no lights, except a small flash light.  We hook the battery up to the winch and it very slowly pulls the car up into the trailer.  Hooray, hooray! Next morning we take an uneventful ride back to Tallahassee.

 Since 2005 Obin has consistently added the parts to the car while asking for assistance from some fairly knowledgeable people to nudge the Triumph back to its former grandeur.  It is now a beautiful example of a Triumph roadster and any enthusiasts would be proud own it. This marks the first month (June 2007) the car has been on the road. Terry Hamrick, Obin and Marilynn’s daughter, a second generation TR nut, brought it to our recent club picnic.  David Knopf  June 2007