Bernard Cabral & his '80 Spitfire

Back in 1962 When I was 10 yrs. old my father shows up with a Austin A40 Sports. We were a family of 2 adults and 4 kids. So us kids fit ok in the rear seat as we were thin kids. Six months down the road the canvas top acquired a huge hole on top as it was quite brittle due to the California sun. This thanks to a large cat that decided to make it his landing point as he jumped off a branch of our fig tree and ended up inside the car. Found out years later that only approx. 4000 of these were made and at the time my dad knew of only one other at least in the Los Angeles area. So my mom handy that she was due to small finances on my dad's part and she a house-wife decided to take the top apart stitch by stitch and used it as a pattern to fashion a new top in black naughahide using nylon fishing line as thread. All this on her trusty Singer portable sewing machine going through quite a slew of needles. My dad was so proud of her work that he never took the top down for the next four years that he owned the car. Much to my displeasure I vowed that when I became an adult I would buy myself a convertible sports car and have the top down always unless it was raining. Only saw the car with its top down the day he sold it to prove to the buyer that it would come down with no problem. So low and behold in New York now 1972 I purchased a 1971 Triumph Spitfire Mk. IV which I drove topless even in the winter with windows rolled up and the heater blasting 'til the very worst days of winter and come very very early spring back to top down again. From then I’ve had a slew of European convertibles : Triumph TR6, Austin-Healey 100-6, Fiat 124 Spyder, Fiat 850 Spyder, MG Midget, MGB and currently a 1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 converted to European specs with twin S.U.HS4's and lately saving up for a European exhaust header with twin stainless steel mufflers. Unfortunately car lives in Dominican Republic were I tend to spend at least 4 months out of the year now that I'm retired. Usually spend the rest of the year trying to stock up on mostly used good parts-sometimes new and ship then down there a month before I go down as other than spark plugs, oil parts are hard to get down there.