WORD | Mr Ramsbottom and his Triumph TR2

In some circles the Dreaded Previous Owner (DPO) gets a hard time but is there any greater joy than having a chat or corresponding with a previous owner. There will always little nuggets of information, a photo or document or two and maybe a spare kingpin. It might be a slightly romantic idea but part of the attraction of an old car is piecing together its story and knowing what it has been through.

 I will admit to a history of bothering DPOs. After buying my current Mercedes from a dealer we immediately took a slightly reckless decision to take it for a holiday in the South of France. So I checked the car over and off we went. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time and a very uneventful trip from a car point of view. When we got back I thought I’d start doing a bit of research and sent a letter to the previous registered owner mentioning the trip and was delighted to get a very nice letter back talking about the work he’d done on the car and how much he enjoyed it he also said it had been to the South of France so many times it could probably find it’s own way, all very reassuring. Since then I’ve met another DPO but he went through all the problems he had with the car. I already knew about those because he passed those on and I am still trying to sort most of them those out myself!

I will also admit a slight obsession with old car books and manuals and when I spotted an old but very clean hardback TR2 Manual on a dealers stall at the Brooklands Double Twelve last week I had to take look. To my delight tucked inside I found a stack of correspondence from 1955/56. It’s between the original owner of a TR2, Mr J. S. Ramsbottom B.Sc., and Standard Triumph plus a number of other suppliers; Lucas, Smiths, Richfield, Barwell Engineering, Pirelli plus others. As well as these I found some original 1950s SAH and Derrington TR2 performance catalogues (catalogue is stretching it a bit really they are just one page of typed details in those days).

Mr Ramsbottom seems to be setting his car up for competition in road rallies. There are letters about changing springs altering the rear brakes, calibrating the Speedo, installing a Halda Speedpilot and a clock etc.. I found them fascinating, and if Mr Ramsbottom was not happy with the service he got he certainly let them know about it! I know if owned this particular TR2 at the moment I’d be absolutely delighted to get my hands on these letters, so I’ve started searching. Initial enquiries with the TR Register have drawn a blank; unfortunately the commission number is not on their books at the moment. Someone did mention that he might still live in the same house so I’ve just written to Mr Ramsbottom at his original address and am awaiting a reply, fingers crossed.