Jack Russell 1980 TR7

Jack Russell knows full-well that his car doesn’t like his wife. Mainly because it absolutely refuses to let her start the engine! Time after time he’s taken the trouble to show her just how to insert and turn the key. Time after time the engine resolutely refuses to fire – she just can’t do it!! However, this isn’t just an occasional phenomenon, it seemed that on more than one occasion the car could second-guess just what she was thinking as well!! Jack recalls the time that he went, together with his wife to Winter Park to attend their annual car show. Winter Park is a round trip of about 225 miles, and after the show ended Jack decided to go out for dinner before driving home. The dinner was satisfying and they were about half way home and driving along a particularly desolate portion of I-4. With no moon, it was pitch black and the car was cruising faultlessly at around 80 mph. 80 mph? I thought the National speed limit in the USA was only 50 mph – but no matter! Jack’s wife made the casual, off-hand remark that they’d passed a few cars broken down along the road, and no sooner was the comment out of her mouth than the engine quit, and all the gauges fell back to zero. Within mille-seconds, the vehicle had gone from a well-behaved TR that brought a smile to the face to a ton or so of scrap steel that was coasting to a stop a hundred miles from nowhere! However hard he tried, Jack was unsuccessful in restarting the engine. Grabbing his flashlight from the glove locker he got out and looked under the bonnet, where the ignition seemed to be OK. The oil level was checked, and that was OK as well! The underside of the carburetor was a bit sight-unseen, being tucked away as it was against the angle of the engine, a small brass tube sticking out the end! He did no more than jam the tube back into the hole on the pump, giving it a twist as he did. It held…

The car started and they were on their way, albeit with a rapid decreasing fuel supply and a disgruntled wife announcing from the passenger seat that she’d never go anywhere in the car again, giving the reason that the car hates her! However, the day hadn’t been a total loss. Jack had won First Prize in the TR7-8 Concourse Class. He had to buy a new fuel pump – and this led him to start ruminating on the defects on the car when he bought it new. First, there were the wheels, or perhaps the tyres. They had to be balanced not once but twice, and then all five were replaced under warranty. There were oil leaks, and the pressure switch was replaced, along with the oil pump! There were electrical problems as well, indicators that didn’t indicate and a temperature gauge that remained resolutely on cold. The cigarette lighter hadn’t been wired up and the radio/cassette player was replaced, together with one door speaker. Externally, the paint was thin, with primer showing through in places and there were several paint runs on both doors. When delivered the car had twenty miles on the clock – guess this occurred when the night shift at took it for a spin before signing it off! However, let’s be honest. None of this put Jack off buying!