Mike has been involved with British cars for over 22 years. It all began back in 1986 with a 1969 MGB-GT when he was a freshman in High School. Not long there after he was taking things apart to improve and partially restore the MG. It was a semi daily driver having to suffer through the cold New England winters. It was during the summer of 1989 he went to his fist car show at Larz-Anderson Park in Brookline Massachusetts. The car placed 2nd in its class. From this point on got more involved in the various other marquees. He read some specifications for the Triumph TR7s & 8s in various books and magazines that sparked some interest. An attempt was made to own a Russet Brown 1978 TR7 coupe that was not in that good of shape in 1990 after graduating from High School. In the end it was a parts car. The MG was used to commute through college for a short spell.
The TR8s were always intriguing and after meeting Todd Kishbach who owned a very rare preproduction 1977 coupe and a 1980 convertible Mike was hooked. The car that put the nail in the coffin was Woody Cooper’s white TR8 coupe, aka “BAD 8”. It was bright white with a hint of pearl and the alloy rims painted body color. The interior was red & black check with red carpet. The engine was in those days pretty modified with an Edelbrock intake, 4 barrel, headers, lumpy cam, dual-point Mallory distributor and to help with acceleration a TR7 3.45:1 rear axle. This was THE TR8 to own some day that was a pretty high standard for an 18 year old kid!
In due time he managed to own that “BAD 8” and a few other TR7s & 8s! In addition to the TR7s & 8s were more MGs, Rovers, and Triumphs. To a tune of over 50 with many being parts. It was while working at various British car repair shops; The Wedge Shop Classic Roadsters, Sports & Classics and Pristine Auto on the south shore of Massachusetts that he learned how to work on a wide variety of makes and models.
Having had the “BAD 8” and parting it out due to a real rusty body beyond repair Mike was set on looking for another TR8 to replace the dream car in 1998. It was a friend in Maryland that found a 1980 white coupe with green check interior, AC and a 5 speed that was 95% original. He flew down and drove the car back to Massachusetts. This is the car he currently owns. After making the migration in 1999 from Massachusetts to Maryland, the engine and transmission were pulled out for a rebuild in 2006. At this point what to do next and which direction to go in were unknown.
The decision was set in stone one day after surfing the web and seeing some pictures of a works rally conversion that was being performed in the UK. More & more exploration into the Works Rally TR7V8 cars and the BL Motorsports program turned up some videos and it was an addiction! The conversion from a stock TR8 coupe to a works rally replica has been documented in the TR8 Car Club of America newsletters and hopefully soon carried over to the Triumph Wedge Owners Association and Lanocha Racing website. During his time in Maryland Mike is helping/encouraging Tim Lanocha and company with their projects.