RESTOR­ING AND RUN­NING A TRI­DENT CLIP­PER

Classic Cars (UK) - - Trident Clipper -

Says owner Steve Ri­ley, ‘Af­ter buy­ing it in 2001 for £2000, I trail­ered it home. It was in a re­ally bad way – the en­gine was seized, the tyres were rot­ten, even the wheels were rot­ten. I took the en­gine out and af­ter a fort­night soak­ing it in WD-40 it slowly be­gan to turn, so then I stripped it. I re­moved the body and pro­ceeded to re­build what­ever needed it – the brakes and the sus­pen­sion were to­tally re­built, but the gear­box and back axle seemed fine – al­though I later found the axle was bent. I had it back up and run­ning in about a year. A while later I had the in­te­rior re-trimmed and the wood re­fur­bished – that was all com­pleted by 2010.

‘The Clip­per is fairly straight­for­ward to main­tain; I do ev­ery­thing my­self. The only real dif­fer­ence from a stan­dard Austin-healey chas­sis is that at the rear there are out­rig­gers to hold the anti-tramp bars. You have to watch the steer­ing sys­tem, be­cause it de­vel­ops play. You can ad­just it to a cer­tain ex­tent un­til re­place­ment be­comes a ne­ces­sity, but the part is read­ily avail­able just like the other Austin-healey spares that are re­quired.

‘The Clip­per is the sort of car that I al­ways dreamed about and wanted to own; a small car with a big en­gine. Be­ing based on an Austin-healey, with a stock Ford 289cu en­gine, it is sim­ple to keep and cheap to main­tain. I just love the car; I’ll never part with it.’

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