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Triumph TR3 - How Cold Does It Feel? TR chill factor.

So it is December and we look outside and it is not precipitating. And we sense that we can find a route without salt on the road. Now how cold will it feel? How should we dress? Meteorologists introduced the concept of "wind chill" to extrapolate from the "dry bulb" temperature to how your skin feels due to different speeds of wind. Has anyone worked out a formula that takes into account some of the variables we sports car enthusiasts face:
1. dry bulb (normal thermometer)temperature
2. highest expected speed on our route (if we were scientifically inclined we might want to solve for this one)
3. speed of the actual wind if there is one
4. presence of the tonneau covering the passenger seat
5. side protection (i.e TR2,3 vs. TR4,6 design)
6. and the final, and perhaps most important variable, how bright (or high in the sky) is the sun?

I know this BBS has a large number of excellent mechanics and restoration buffs, but do we have scientists?
Dennis Nelson

I usually keep "TRusty", my TR3A on the road till the end on October here in the Montreal area. I haven't had to worry about salt on the roads since my restoration in 1987 - 1990, because I keep it under a cover in my heated and dry garage.

When I drive in the cold I still always drive regular speed and I always have the top down too ! I wear whatever I need to - to keep warm. I remember one year going to a club meeing about November 10th or so and coming home it was 30 deg. F (minus 1 deg C). I wear a couple of extra sweaters, my black leather jacket, zipped up, collar up, with a scarf (red) as well as a tuque. A tuque is like a Santa Claus hat - mine is red to match my interior but it doesn't have the white "bauble" at the tip.

Having the tonneau cover closed over the passenger's side is helpful when one is driving alone. That side seems a little warmer because there is less draught (draft).

The worst part of driving without the top or side-curtains in the cold is that the cut-down door lets the chilly wind sweep in and around to the left kidney (for those in North America with LH drive). For days later, one still feels a sore left back.

Happy Holidays (warm) to you all.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott TX I find fall, winter, and spring to be the ideal time to drive my TR3. As you have probably seen on TV (due to very tragic news) we have had wonderful weather this weekend...just about perfect.

In summer driving the TR in 100 degree F. heat is a torture except at night. If I don't put a towel on the seat my back will become soaked...

We do get some below freezing days and I've had some cold drives in the TR (topless of course--the car that is) so I can relate...

I like to compare my car to a motor cycle. When the Harleys come out of the garage then it's a TR day. If the Harley guys have on their leather jackets then I wear my brown one.

Robert Frost knew more than the scientists:
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April Day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off the frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

Two Tramps in Mud Time (1936)

With no meteorological answers from the BBS followers in almost two months, I searched elsewhere on the web, to determine that there are no real answers for sports car drivers.
- we face two challenges, heat loss from exposed skin, and heat loss from our torso, particularly as Don mentions, across the waist area.
-'s RealFeel temperature tries to bring sunshine into the exposed skin equation; as the rest of the weather world awaits the second additional revision of the updated Wind Chill calculation.
- it may just be a matter of priorities, while the rest of the world focusses on frostbite and freezing to death, we just try to figure out how fast we can drive with the side curtains off.
- so RealFeel is probably a good indicator of how your face and hands will feel (could be 15F better in strong sunshine), the torso issue is more one of insulation factors, and the rate at which heat moves away through your clothing.
- my current answer to driving is January is to check for salt, hope for sunshine, put my best windbreaker vest over my lap, and drive under 40 MPH if it is less than 40F.

Dennis Nelson

Dennis, It sure sounds like you're having withdrawl symptoms! Along the lines of what Ken was saying, I used to own a couple of Harleys. (now happily exchanged for a TR3) I had three rules of thumb for cold weather riding at the time:
1.Is the salt/sand gone? (you folks in Canada probably use less than us - our practices leave much to desire)
2.Is it at least 45 degrees w/o a lot of wind?
3.45-50 meant wear everything I had - you can always undress, but you can never dress up if you don't have it with you - and once you're cold, good luck gettig warm. (Motorcycle Rule #1: you can NEVER over-dress)

50-60 meant bring everything and change accordinly.
I was never one for being too scientific, kind of takes the fun out of it. But I've learned through the few rides in the TR3 that my motorcycle rules can be used as guidelines. (although my girlfriend would disagree) The first true "adventure" drive was at 40 degrees for approx. 60 min. to a restaurant for dinner (thaw out) then another 60 min. at the same temp to get home. Dressed correctly, it was as much fun as any other drive. (again, my girlfriend...) Ironically, that was also the last lenghty ride as snow came in early Nov. and some mechanical items needed attention.
And so we await the warmth of spring. (is it here yet?)
Have fun.
Mike Gambordella

Hi Guys:when I bought my first TR3A in '58 (at the same place Don bought his by the way)in Montreal I used to commute to Ottawa ON from Montreal on weekends even in the winter to visit my girlfriend now, my other half.
Duct tape around the passenger's sidecurtain and top to body was a great help.But we were younger then.


I'm so glad to hear your tale of how to make sidecurtains weatherproof. I've been fumbling around with several used sets and just can't get them to line up nicely. Your note about ducttape is just in time as we're having a run on the stuff down here as people get ready to gas proof their homes. I may just ride it out in the TR.

Best regards,

Bill Stagg
1961 TR3A
Bill Stagg

This thread was discussed between 24/12/2002 and 13/02/2003

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