A head-turning sampling of British automotive engineering has spent the week in Pottsboro in the form of the Vintage Triumph Register National Convention.
Based at Tanglewood Resort and Conference Center, the convention was hosted by the Red River Triumph Club from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and drew almost 150 of the collectible cars, owned by Triumph enthusiasts across the nation. Eight of the cars came directly from the United Kingdom.
The convention in Pottsboro has been two years in the planning by the Red River Triumph Club, event co-chairman Duncan Wood said.
“It's a big deal,” Wood said. “There's lots of work involved. … We've got 147 cars here and 153 couples. We're delighted with the turnout.”
Wood briefly explained the Triumph's history.
“The Triumph is the primary sports car (in the U.K.). They started making it in 1923 and stopped in 1981. Triumph was a major multi-manufacturer in the U.K. and you'll see us all here. You'll see a Triumphs from every decade here,” Wood said.
Red River Triumph Club President Michael Sabelhaus said there are 32 Triumph clubs represented at the convention. The cars and their owners have traveled to Pottsboro, many pulling their cars on trailers, from all parts of the United States. Since arriving, the attendees have been cruising the Texoma roadways in specially-planned “rallies” similar to the poker runs that are popular locally. There have also been races on an unused strip of runway at the North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field, along with technical sessions, a judge's school and other activities and entertainment. All have been members-exhibitors-only events.
“At the conventions, we emphasize driving your Triumph,” Sabelhaus said. “These cars are 40, 50, 60, 70 years old. We put together multiple rallies allowing them to get out and drive their cars.”
Of the many special cars at the convention, perhaps three of the most special are the rare Gloria Southern Cross models. There are only 13 of these particular models left worldwide, Sabelhaus said. Three of those 13 are owned by members of the Red River Triumph Club and are at the convention.
Sabelhaus said he got his first Triumph in the late 1970s.
“My wife and I ran around in it. It was a two-seater car. Then we started having kids and it couldn't hold all the kids, so we got another car,” Sabelhaus said. “About 20 years ago, I got back into it (driving Triumphs), and now I own five Triumphs, including one of the Gloria Southern Crosses. … The beauty behind the Triumph is that it's simple to work on.”