The car: a 1959 Triumph Standard TR10
Saloon. I bought this from a fellow in Chesapeake, Virginia in the Summer
of 2007. I know that a number of local Triumph enthusiasts went to look
at this diamond in the rough, but didn't buy it. Was the $500 asking price too
rich for them or was the thought of what their spouse would say when they got it home resonating in their
ears? For whatever reason, it was mine to take.
Why did I not balk at the price ($400 after approximately 30 seconds of negotiation)
nor let the spousal voice in the back of my head talk me out of buying it, you ask? Well, over the years my father has occasionally
spoken nostalgically about a “Triumph station wagon” that he owned when I was small. I’ve sometimes ignored
his reminiscing, and other times I’ve told him that Triumph never imported a station wagon to the U.S. or even manufactured
one to my knowledge, so maybe it was really something else? He has always insisted it was a Triumph, though. I am a car nut,
and have a pretty good command of car trivia, both American and foreign (and in particular re Triumph, I had assisted in the
rebuilding and maintenance of a TR3, a TR4, and a Herald when I was in high school and I had friends with Spitfires and GT6’s
later on) and I had never heard of a Triumph wagon. So I thought I was on firm ground in denying its very existence. That is, until last year my father showed me an old snapshot he had of a 3 year old
me standing in front of a strange looking little station wagon that had a Triumph badge on the hood! A quick Google search
later and I was looking at the TR10, a model that was the result of Triumph’s takeover of Standard. It came in 4-door sedan and estate wagon form and some indeed were imported to the U.S.
When I saw my TR10 advertised, I knew I had to have it. It was a very complete “restorable roller” with the engine and trans out. It came with the
original and an extra engine, 4-speed transmission, radiator, and heater core. There are 4 original hubcaps, and the interior
and all trim is complete though the glass was broken front and back. I had a windshield cut by Danny’s Glass in Hampton
and the car came with a replacement rear window. After a bit of a search I finally found the seals to install them at Kip
Motors in Dallas, TX. The doors work as do all the side windows. There are three nice bullet dents on the driver’s side.
That’s not a typo. And they’re big dents – I would swear they were made by a .45 caliber round. The body
is some made of some thick stuff compared to the tin-cans we’re used to nowadays. Painted under the driver’s side
window are the words “Kittie’s Kar”. That is apparently a reference
to a certain Catherine Collins who bought it new in Front Royal, VA in 1959 (according to the original title that came with
the car). It had never been retitled when I bought it, so only dreamers had owned it since her.