Over the Alps in a Triumph TR4A

My alter ego is a classic car enthusiast. So much so that I have a number of cars in various states of disrepair. One, a 1967 Triumph TR4A, I use daily (until it snows) and have owned it for 40 years. I’m also fortunate enough to own a very rare Triumph Italia. This is a Triumph TR3 with a hand-made Italian body. You can read all about them at my site for the Italia: http://www.triumph-italia.com

Recently, I was invited to the 2015 meet of Triumph Italia owners in La Morra, Italy. One owner, Paul Harvey, has Italia #215 and also owns a TR4A. Paul graciously offered to let me drive his 4A from Norwich in England all the way to La Morra. I thought about it, for a second or two, and said, “Yes, please!” So, Patti and I were off to England just a day after returning from the annual National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards. All told, we put almost 2200 miles on the 48 year old Triumph. We shared the driving duties with Paul on the long section across France. Paul’s Triumph Italia, a very original example of which he is the second owner, was transported as far as Chambéry in France by another Italia owner, Graham Andrews. Graham’s Italia is undergoing one of the most extensive restorations I have ever seen and he used his Ford Ranger to transport Paul’s car for the meet. Once there, it was taken from the trailer and driven over the Alps along with a Guy Viel’s Italia #244 and the TR4A. Beautiful scenery, a classic car and a very special someone (just after our wedding anniversary) to share it with, it was an adventure of a lifetime.

We covered just about every mode of modern transportation, jet to the UK, car to Portsmouth, overnight ferry to St. Malo in France, across france and over the Alps to La Morra, Barolo and Turin. On the return we went under the Alps through the 8 mile long Fréjus Road Tunnel, among other shorter ones, and across France to Calais and the Chunnel train for our return to England.

Me, Graham Andrews and Paul Harvey setting off from the UK. Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Me, Graham Andrews and Paul Harvey setting off from the UK. Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Peter Johnston, Graham Andrews and Guy Viel. We met up with Peter and Guy at Rennes in France. Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Peter Johnston, Graham Andrews and Guy Viel. We met up with Peter and Guy at Rennes in France. Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Graham, Peter and the TRs.

Graham, Peter and the TRs. Photo by Patricia Sinnott

From our room at Château des Comtes des Charmes, 247 Montée du Château, 73190 Challes les Eaux

From our room at Château des Comtes des Charmes, 247 Montée du Château,
73190 Challes les Eaux Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Overnight at Château des Comtes des Charmes, 247 Montée du Château, 73190 Challes les Eaux

Overnight at Château des Comtes des Charmes, 247 Montée du Château,
73190 Challes les Eaux Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Drive over that?

Drive over that? Photo by Patricia Sinnott

 Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Photo by Patricia Sinnott

 Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Photo by Patricia Sinnott

 Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Mt. Cenis pass, 6827 ft.

Mt. Cenis pass, 6827 ft. Photo by Adrian Sinnott

Mt. Cenis pass, 6827 ft.

Mt. Cenis pass, 6827 ft. Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Mt. Cenis pass, 6827 ft.

Mt. Cenis pass, 6827 ft. Photo by Patricia Sinnott

 Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Photo by Patricia Sinnott

 Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Photo by Patricia Sinnott

 Photo by Patricia Sinnott

Photo by Patricia Sinnott

La Morra, Italy

La Morra, Italy Photo by Adrian Sinnott

The Vignale factory, home for the Italia!

The Vignale factory, home for the Italia! Photo by Adrian Sinnott

The Vignale factory, home for the Italia!

The Vignale factory, home for the Italia! Photo by Adrian Sinnott

The Vignale factory, home for the Italia!

The Vignale factory, home for the Italia! Photo by Adrian Sinnott

The Vignale factory, home for the Italia!

The Vignale factory, home for the Italia! Photo by Adrian Sinnott

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.