Triumphant return to Santa Pod
More than 150 Triumphs joined hundreds of other classics at the UK’s home of drag racing
Splicing together two words to come up with a new one is all the rage at the moment (nobody calls it ‘British Exit’ – it’s ‘Brexit’) and here we have the ‘Triumph Festival’ or, as the organisers behind this event the Triumph Sports Six Club prefer to call it, ‘TriumFest’ – a show which aims to be just as modern in its approach in its attempt to woo younger enthusiasts.
This is the second year that TriumFest has been held at Santa Pod as part of the venue’s wider Retro Show, which attracts a broad cross-section of marques, notably those popular with modifiers.
TriumFest is a weekend-long show within a show, although Sunday sees the number of Triumphs bolstered by the Standard Triumph Forum Marque Day, which saw other Triumph clubs – the TR Register, Triumph 2000 2500 2.5 Register, Club Triumph and Stag Owners’ Club – in addition to the Standard Motor Club, join the Triumph Sports Six Standard-Triumph cars as possible. Editor of the TSSC’s club mag
Courier, Bernard Robinson, said: ‘ We decided to support Santa Pod and the Retro Show because unless you get involved with the whole classic movement things can get a little insular.
‘ What we’re also attempting to do is put the cars in front of a whole new audience. A lot of the guys don’t know a lot about our cars. But they come here and see a GT6 or a Vitesse or a Spitfire or a Stag and their eyes light up.’
The drag strip action is at the heart of Retro Show and it was good to see plenty of Triumphs taking part. £25 paid for as many runs as drivers could squeeze into the day. They could ‘race’ the car alongside, even when it was simply too obvious a winner for it to be considered competitive – exemplified by the Morris Minor MM up against a Ford Capri MkI V6 that went so slow as not to actually post a time. It’s all fun to watch and the crowd cheers regardless of how impressive your quarter-mile time actually is.
Other highlights at Retro Show included a show ‘n’ shine competition, fun fair, a live rockabilly band, plus jet dragster demonstrations – plenty to fill a whole weekend, for retro and Triumph fans alike.
’We’re attempting to put the cars in front of a whole new audience’
Iain MacPherson’s Vitesse is powered by a 2500 saloon 2.5-litre engine, plus a GT6 differential. ‘Triumph had such an extensive range of cars, I’ve always felt Triumph is a marque for everyone,’ explains TSSC mag editor, Bernard Robinson. Brothers Chris and Ian Bodill have supercharged their Triumph Stag’s V8 resulting in what Chris suggests is around 260bhp.
‘I don’t think it’s going to be particularly quick but it will sound great!’ said Santa Pod strip first-timer Adam Posner, who was at the event with his son Darren in his 1980 Triumph TR7. He’s owned the car for the past 31 years. The yellow 1974 Stag is Mark Connell’s first classic, which he bought four years ago, while the blue 1975 Stag belongs to Ray Pile, who’s owned it for 32 years. They travelled over from Colchester in convoy for this year’s event. 23 years and 47,000 miles later, Paul Richardson is still in love with his TR3, a sports car he aims to use as much as he can. He often takes the car on regular trips abroad, most recently to Spa Francorchamps in May.