A group of ten Triumph sports car enthusiasts mostly from the Houston, Texas area arrived for a visit to the Lind Brothers Racing facilities in Waterloo, Iowa on Thursday, May 18th as part of their 2023 Midwest Triumph Tour.
Most of the group are members of the FOG (Funny Old Guys) Triumph sports car organization, a 60+ member informal national organization started by the Woods brothers from Pittsburgh, PA. There are a total of 18 FOG members from Texas, which have informally taken on the name Texas FOGs.
Over the past fifteen years the Texas FOGs along with a few non-Texas FOG members have taken an annual two weeklong driving tour through various regions of the US. Most of the drives cover at least 3,000 miles and the 2015 tour to New England covered over 5,000 miles. Destinations have included four drives to the Rocky Mountains, six drives to the eastern US, two to the Great Lakes area, two through Florida to Key West and one drive planned to the West Coast that was started but not completed. The tours always incorporate stops at numerous car related venues, as well as various other air, military, historical museums, and national parks. Our routes generally follow along lesser roads and avoid extended runs on the interstate road system. We also typically arrive at our evening hotel venues in time for a 5:00 PM wine hour, dinner and followed by an evening glass of Port.
Obviously, driving 50+ year old classic sports cars on extended driving tours, periodic breakdowns are to be expected and do occur. Fortunately, everyone carries a selection of extra parts which essentially become a parts pool available to address the issues that pop-up. On one of our recent Rocky Mountain drives to Yellowstone National Park, we experienced a half-shaft failure on a TR250 along a relatively remote portion of a road in South Dakota. Somewhat to the surprise of the group, one of our TR6 participants was carrying a spare half-shaft, which we installed along the side of the road! It is a tour tradition that the first car to experience a breakdown is awarded the First-to-Breakdown Award and the right to carry our infamous rubber “screaming chicken” until the next breakdown occurs.
These extended drives are truly a memorable experience and provide an opportunity to drive these classic British sports cars in a manner they were built for – the open road!