Justin VanDertuin 1958 Triumph TR3

So a quick (I’ll try to be quick) story of why I have this car...

It starts with my grandpa Jack. He had a love of British race cars and he also raced them. That “car bug” got passed down to my dad, not only by my grandpa but also by a ‘23 T Bucket model he had when he was 5. He would eventually go on and build that T Bucket some 50 years later.

So growing up, my dad and grandpa would go see the drag races and that style of racing got passed to me.

One day we were talking (my dad and I) about cars and he told me the story of his first car, a red 1960 Triumph TR3 that his dad bought for him. My dad was around age 15. It had black interior, racing rims, and a luggage rack on the back. It needed an engine rebuild, but he had a beautiful first car. And he loved it. It was an extension of his dad.

One day when he got home from being out the car was gone. He went and asked his mom. She told him some guy asked her if he could buy it, and she had said yes, without so much as a thought about what my dad would think or want. My dad was furious. He had lost his first car.

He told me he had always wanted to hunt one down. Just to have it back.

So at age 10 I thought to myself, someday I’m going to find that car and get it.

Fast forward 25 years...

I had saved every bit of spare change I came in contact with. One day at work I was trying to decide what to do with the money. I wanted it to be special. And I remember the story my dad told me about his first car. It just clicked and I decided I was going to find one. By the end of the day I found one on eBay, a red TR3, black interior, and a luggage rack on back. I called the seller and asked his price. He told me and at that, it was sold. The next day I drove up to Missouri and picked it up.

When I got it home my dad came over, and he finally got to drive that TR3 that was taken away from him all those years ago.

As a kid my dad would take us kids to car shows and drag races and we’d help him work on his T Buckets. That’s why you found me at an “American” car show. You don’t often see British cars at shows like that.

I now am passing that “car bug” down to my daughter, who helps me work on my cars and is always my car show buddy.