Running in – 1974

As a past employee of B.L. Triumph U.K. Ltd., I read the “Tale of a TR6” by the Assistant Editor (of Motorsport Magazine) with great interest.
The products of the Coventry plant are, without doubt, well-engineered and excellent value for money. The faults which give rise to such frequent trouble should in no way be attributed to the design and development team who do an excellent job (albeit somewhat inefficiently).

However, the way in which new vehicles are treated immediately after assembly should be brought to the attention of the uninitiated.

At the end of the assembly line each vehicle is subjected to a brief rolling road test and is then driven away to await collection. The way in which these zero mileage vehicles are driven needs to be seen to be believed. The sight of 2.5 Pls, TR6s, Dolomites, etc., being driven flat out, no more than 200 yards from the assembly line makes one’s blood boil. I cannot help thinking of the poor devils who buy these vehicles and spend months and endless cash in fruitless attempts to persuade the motor to run smoothly. Needless to say, with each distribution driver a budding Jackie Stewart. Minor accidents are not rare and many cars are not the perfect specimens they appear to be in the showroom’s. Indeed cars have been written off as a result of internal collisions.

Unless collected immediately, each vehicle is parked on the premises or in a nearby storage park to await distribution. It is not unusual for a particular vehicle to be left for weeks before collection and even used as internal transport.

The Assistant Editor clearly knows some members of the technical staff at Coventry; surely he cannot be unaware of the situation. Perhaps I am being over fussy and a little old-fashioned about such matters as “running-in”. however, I am convinced that to treat a new car in such a manner is asking for trouble.

S. R. Edmondson, Weybridge.

[As another former employee of Triumph I can confirm Mr. Edmondson’s observations. Unfortunately the same crazy and damaging driving of these Triumph ferry drivers can be observed at any of the large manufacturers’ plants and the management seem powerless to stop)
Motorsport, January 1974

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