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Triumph TR6 - This Spitfire Gets Around
I know this is strictly a TR6 Forum but I posted this true story over on two other Triumph forums and I thought I'd share it with you all too. There is an update today over on the BCF and I will continue to update it as the saga of the missing Spitfire unfolds. Enjoy and please forgive the length and my Spit invasion of TR6 land.
Thought you Spitfire guys and gals might get a kick out of this funny but very frustrating story. My buddy Dave bought a clean, rust-free Fresno, CA 1975 Spit from a very reputable seller in Kelowna, BC back in June and arranged to have it shipped across the country to Newfoundland by a carrier who shall remain nameless. For the record, the seller if anyone makes the connection is completely blameless, ie; not involved in what eventually transpired here. The little yellow Spit went by trailer from Kelowna to Vancouver like my TR6 did back in 2004 and from there by train to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where it was supposed to be loaded aboard a car transporter and shipped to Newfoundland via TCH (that’s the Trans Canada Highway for the benefit of our Southern Triumph cousins) and the Marine Atlantic Ferry - destination - the capital city, St. Johns. Delivery was to have been on or about July 8th but the carrier told Dave the transporter was full so it would be 3 - 4 more days before they had another trailer with room for the Spit. No problem so far but when you're getting a new Triumph, every day seems like a month. Ask me how I know - I've been there. Anyway, Dave is following up on the 10th and after repeated messages, gets a call from the shipper, "Dave, this is the claims department. We're just calling to let you know your car is not damaged! Dave goes, uh-oh something's wrong now....! Why would my car “not be damaged” if nothing’s wrong here? Why is some guy named Mun…. (something unpronounceable) be calling to tell me my car isn’t damaged? Thinks Dave, “this should be good”. Enter Mun buddy what’s his name ….. saying, “Uh, yeah, well... Dave, it seems some boob from another company using that yard , accidentally mixed up your car with another yellow antique car and uh, we, kind of accidentally shipped it to Baltimore, MD and it's an 8 -day return trip but we’re sorry and your car should make the round trip from Baltimore and be back in Halifax in just 3 – 4 weeks. OK? So Dave goes, hang on here, summer in Newfoundland is short for top-down driving and they’re talking about 3 – 4 weeks getting the car back to Halifax and if it’s an 8 day trip what’s with the 3 weeks? Whassup wit dat? Anyway, being the patient and understanding guy that he is Dave says OK, get it back as soon as you can and we’ll talk about compensation later. Boom! The lines of communication are cut, severed, discombobulated. All of a suddy (sic) nobody at the shipper’s HQ speaks Dave’s language, which by the way is English, with a Newfoundland twist of British, Irish and “Murrican” . So 10 days go by and Dave hears nada from the shipper and calls repeatedly and e-mails to get an update. Nothing, except a terse reply that states, “we are having difficulty arranging the return of your Spitfire to Canada and we have no ETA on delivery”. Well, thinks Dave, “Jeez, $3000 paid in advance to ship the car from BC to NL and it’s now 5 weeks later and nobody has an ETA. Time to take drastic measures to protect my investment”. So Dave, again being the patient and reasonable gentleman that he is, fills out a Statement of Claim for filing with Small Claims Court and faxes it to the shipper, asserting that in his opinion, his car is lost, his requests for information have been ignored and he wants compensation for the loss of the car and the shipping charges, UNLESS, his car is shipped to him or at least he has a definite ETA and somebody starts answering his questions and starts giving him straight info. Dave ends his message saying, “for all I know, my Spitfire is in the Middle East or Europe but you have until next Monday to respond and I will hold off on my litigation until then”. Like I said, dave is a reasonable guy and shows more restraint than I would have in this situation. Well, lo and behold, this time Dave’s message gets somebody’s attention - somebody realizes they have dropped the ball here and that Dave’s frustration is justified and calls him. “Dave, this is the VP of Everything, here at “We Ship Spitfires Dot Com “ (which I just made up) – just want to let you know that your Spitfire is not in the Middle East so don’t worry about that”. Now Dave is doubly reassured as he knows now that his car has not made a pilgrimage to the Pryamids or to the Holy Land but he still doesn’t know where it went. However, the VP of Everything dude says “Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how to explain this but your Spitfire is now in England. We don’t really know what happened but before we could get your car back from Baltimore, MD, USA some nimrod shipped it to Europe and it is now in a port in the UK, awaiting the first available ship back overseas to Canada. Really sorry about the delay but in a couple weeks it should be back in Halifax and we’ll get it to you asap”. Well, Halifax being some 1000 miles from St. John’s and 90 miles of that by water, Dave is not too happy but what can he do? The whereabouts of the car has now been disclosed and it is on its way back across the Atlantic. Jeez, I wonder if it’s been converted to right hand drive while it was visiting the country of its birth? Maybe they should fill the trunk with Spit parts from Moss Europe to compensate him for his trouble. Anyway, here we are on August 9th, waiting for the Spit since early June and we still don’t know exactly when it will get here. Hope the little bugger’s got a passport though! Imagine, this little Spit crossing 8 provinces, a bunch of states and the Atlantic Ocean, to another continent on its way to Newfoundland. That’s 3 countries and 2 continents to get down east. And it’s still not here! Hope it’s a good one when it arrives. I’ve attached a pic – it’s a ’75 with original paint, removable hardtop, a Weber carb, header and overdrive so it should be a really nice car to fully restore to its former glory; if it ever gets here that is. We’ll let you know what happens.
|Tough Audience! :0)|
|Just waiting in suspense Bob|
|It's not a tough audiance...it's just a TR-6 audiance...therefore a thread on a Spitfire here really doesn't have much of an audience. Think about the first line in the post...."I know this is strictly a TR6 forum but......."|
|Spitfire or TR-6 ... a comedy of errors like this one is always good reading! I need to know how it ends as I sent this on to some of my friends and we are all waiting in suspense to see how the story ends.|
|See, told you Bob|
|I was waiting for the next installment as it sounds like a few others were. It is quite a story. A comedy of errors. I only hope there is no damage in all this. I would probably be demanding a free trip to England to accompany it back.|
I have a 68 Spitfire so it is OK with me if some things get posted here on it.
|Sure make me look like a jerk...the guy posts it on the 11th and nothing on it till he posts on the 22nd....now everyones interested! Sorry, truth be told, I am a jerk...there I said it. Honestly, I didn't really read it...when I saw it was a spit and as long as it was....too long for me. At my age I'd just fall a sleep trying to get through it. Sorry, hope all works out in the end...I'll wait for the movie! ;)|
|That's okay JT - no offense taken. I posted because it was tragically funny and it was a Triumph, even if it was one of the "little brothers' and not the "Big 6".|
I held off on the outcome because it looked like litigation was in the works after communications broke down again. However, it arrived a week ago Sunday on Aug. 14th and there was still a compensation issue so I did not post. The car arrived undamaged after its trans-Atlantic holiday and it is still LHD more's the pity! While it is quite tatty looking, it is a rust free (surface spots only) very solid California Spit with 45K and OD that will need a complete cosmetic resto but the frame and all wells and underneath is very solid. It has been off the road in Fresno since 1993 but Drake's did the hydraulics so brakes and clutch are reasonably good and the OD works great as we had a short drive. Buddy Dave has sorted out all the electrics already (bad grounds) and has it running pretty good. The best news, the shipper is refunding almost $3k in shipping charges with a few $$ extra for his frustration. Pretty good deal I think. Here she is sitting lonely in Halifax after returning from her cruise. I'll post another pic and a "short" note tomorrow. Thanks for tuning in. It could have been a lot more dramatic but it ended well for Dave.
|Rains in Halifax too?|
This thread was discussed between 11/08/2011 and 23/08/2011
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