In the Beginning
The history of Racetorations began in the late 1960’s, long before the company began trading. Darryl Uprichard the company’s founder & Managing Director had a long association with the TR marque after owning multiple TR3’s during the 60’s including his first TNX900. Purchased for £100 in 1963 this 1955 TR3 was Darryl’s first taste of a TR.
After using it as a daily driver for a few years the car was sold and a brand new Mini Cooper purchased. Despite enjoying the Mini Darryl always lusted after owning another TR and in 1966 traded it in for 400FPK a 1958 TR3A. This was the car that really began his passion for building & improving TR’s. After carrying out general maintenance as well as a respray to tidy up the car the decision was eventually made to fully restore it, another first for Darryl. Once completed the car was used for a vast list of events including Lands End to John O’Groats economy runs & Goodwood sprints.
1969 saw Darryl acquire the car for which he would most known for, 600BPC. Purchased from his brother-in-law for £250.00 after he had written the car off by hitting a bus in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Darryl however overlooked the damage as he was more interested in the fact that it was fitted with an aluminium differential cover. The car was rebuilt and used as a road car initially before becoming the race car that everybody remembers.
As you’d expect, more serious competition and racing was prefaced with auto tests and sprinting. Various airfields, Brentford market and of course all the TR Register Goodwood sprints, when 600BPC always claimed FTD. This was known as the Trent Trophy and was an alloy TR4 con. rod mounted on a wooden plinth, since misplaced by the Register. It was manufactured by Rolls Royce under the quality control eye of Bob Matthews, a Trent group member at the time.
The first sprint outside of the Register was the Brighton Speed Trials which as Darryl’s memory recalls was rather tedious. For all those events the TR was used as a road car and as such ran in the TR Register long distance events starting in 1973 with the Lands End to John O’Groats economy run. Darryl organised this event with around 20 TR’s competing to achieve the highest MPG along the gruelling journey. A decision was made early on by Darryl and his co-driver Pete Hunt that they weren’t interested in winning the event they just wanted to arrive at the hotel first. 600BPC finished an ignominious last with 22MPG while the winning entrant achieved 35MPG.
Over the Early Years
Darryl spent much time developing the car but there were few places where uprated TR parts could be purchased and Kas Kastner’s book was not on his horizon. Vic Derrington’s shop in Kingston-on-Thames and SAH were about it.
With this Darryl approached his close friend Pete Hunt who was instrumental in the early days of Racetorations to design a high-lift camshaft taking inspiration from those used on BSA Gold Star Motorcycles. Pete’s theory was that the 4 cylinder TR engine was 4 x the 500cc single-cylinder engine of the Gold Star. The camshaft worked well above 4500RPM but took minutes to coax it up there!
Stiffer suspension, Koni dampers and a thicker front anti-roll bar were about the limit of the modifications prior to racing. Half side screens, a tonneau and single aero screen were fitted to reduce the frontal area of the car by 33%.
Withdrawn from General Road Use
600BPC was withdrawn from general road use when Darryl entered the Aston Martin thoroughbred race championship circa 1978.
As the season developed so did the TR with Darryl not too far behind, however, it took the entire first season before he was comfortable and could fully exploit the TR’s ability. At this time the 750 Motor Club was running the 6 hour relay race at Silverstone which the TR Register entered. This often required many hours of racing depending on the reliability of other team members TR’s. It was always dangerous racing due to the dramatically different speeds of the competitors, Austin Seven’s versus Aston Martin V8’s was always, interesting. Darryl and the team competed at this event for a few years and won the event on handicap one year.
Early Racing Years
Darryl joined the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) circa 1985 and participated in many mixed grid races at which time more TR’s began to race.
With this racing desire from TR owners, Darryl founded the TR Register Race Championship. With the numbers being smaller in the first season the grids were supplemented by Austin Healey’s. After the initial season, the championship grew and produced great racing from the wide range of TR’s entered.
During the early championship years Darryl spent more time managing of behalf of the TR Register than actually racing in it.
Mixed Grid Races
Darryl always found the mixed grid races with a vast variety of different cars more enjoyable to race than the one make championships, with this in mind he looked to European racing. To drive on historic race circuits such as Zolder, Nurburgring, Zandvoort, Spa, Hockenheim & Montherly was a great attraction. The racing in Europe was totally different to British club racing and he found the TR to very competitive against all the competition. He very much enjoyed hearing the National Anthem, flying the Union Jack and having Ferrari & E-Type Jaguar drivers standing on podiums below him. Once!
As Seen On TV
Aluminium-bodied TR3 test
Interview with Robert Anderson and Ian Forrest, Chief Racing Instructor, Knockhill Race Circuit.
Fifth Gear Review
Fifth Gear review of one of our TR5s.
I decided to spend my Golden Hand Shake on a Classic Triumph. My second and best decision was to have Racetorations of Gainsborough to look after it over the last 25 years. They are a very efficient and excellent team that I would highly recommend.