British sports cars have legions of fans

 
 
Posted8/22/2015 7:15 AM
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  • 1967 Triumph TR4A

    1967 Triumph TR4A Photos Courtesy of Matt Avery Media

  • Kolton's vehicle was in decent shape when he purchased it, but he decided to restore it to like-new condition.

    Kolton's vehicle was in decent shape when he purchased it, but he decided to restore it to like-new condition.

  • During the renovation, the TR4A's paint was changed from Carmine Red to Royal Blue.

    During the renovation, the TR4A's paint was changed from Carmine Red to Royal Blue. Courtesy of Bill Kolton

  • Participants gather around their vehicles at the 2015 Vintage Triumph Register National Convention in Fontana, Wisconsin.

    Participants gather around their vehicles at the 2015 Vintage Triumph Register National Convention in Fontana, Wisconsin.

John Kolton's love for Triumph sports cars emerged early one morning in 1975. He had just knocked off work on an overnight shift when a co-worker buzzed up in a striking British Racing Green TR6.

"He offered to take me for a ride and that was it," the Kildeer resident said. "I bought one within three months."

That first Triumph purchase eventually led to six more, and he even bought a Triumph motorcycle. Kolton now owns three Triumph autos and he just recently completed a long overhaul on his 1967 TR4A.

Kolton purchased the car from a seller in Eugene, Oregon. He and his brother, Bill, took a 4,000-mile road trip to retrieve the new project. The vehicle was in original shape and rust-free. Still, the pair proceeded to remove everything and return it back to like-new condition.

All of the TR4A's body panels are original. Kolton opted to change the color of the car from Carmine Red to Royal Blue. The stock engine and transmission were retained but thoroughly gone over and rebuilt.

The project wrapped earlier this month. The perfect place for the Kolton brothers to show off their handiwork was at the 2015 Vintage Triumph Register National Convention. The event was hosted by the Illinois Sports Owners Association and took place Aug. 10-15 at the Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wisconsin.

A total of 212 Triumph vehicles participated, ranging from examples as early as 1935 to as late as 1982. Some came from such places as California, Texas, Florida and Minnesota.

The weeklong festivities included local sightseeing and boat tours, autocross competitions, a parts auction and area driving routes. Kolton got plenty of all of it, but his favorite activity was behind-the-wheel time in his newly completed project.

Since finishing it, he's racked up 170 miles.

"It's exhilarating," said Kolton, a 22-year member of the ISOA. "It runs, rides and drives better than I thought; it's like hitting a home run."

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