Sunday, February 20, 2005

World Cup PI's Triumph's finest hour?

There seems to be a deal of excitment around at the moment about the PI World Cup Rally cars. Interest seems to pop to the surface every few years or so only to quitely dissappear again. For someone like myself who has carefully researched and harboured more than a passing desire for them for over 30 years I find this Johnny come lately interest good for the cause. An injection of new blood every so often keeps the legend alive, at times it seems it has been the preserve of a few die hards in the 2000 Register to keep the interest from waining . You may have seen elsewhere the photo evidence of my recent visit to see XJB 304H in the flesh after being hidden away for a few decades. On this occassion I dragged along one of these 'new blood' World Cuppers, Jason Chinn. Jason fortunately remembered to bring along his camera to capture the moment, my digital has unfortunately finally bowed to the pressure of helping to put this website together and finally thrown in the towel! Seeing 304 in the flesh means that I have now carefully examined every extent World Cup Car (including WRX 902H, the test car thats here in our workshop), including the only surviving privately entered car. The only car that has so far eluded me is XJB 302H the Paddy Hopkirk car that came 4th in the World Cup, although I have many recent pictures, I have yet to see it close up (soon to be sorted!) . I have to say that when it comes to sorting out future originality issues between the survivors, that this is one particular minefield that is going to take some careful investigation, I have my opinions! The sadest fact surrounding all of this World Cup PI mania is that the most successful of them all XJB 305H in which Brian Culcheth brilliantly fought his way to second place overall in the worlds hardest rally (only denied the number one slot by Ford cheating!) was scrapped on the instruction of Heritage. So the legend go's it was supposed to be being restored by the BL Swindon apprentices, while in fact it lay unloved in a car park gradually being picked over for goodies by everyone and their dog. Every now and again a snippet of news comes our way to refute 305's final demise, we have heard lately that 305 is substantially alive and well, we shall see!
In conclusion one of the largest gaps in the Canley 'Triumph Museum' presantly is one of these gallant flag flyers for Triumph in the 1970's, hmm we need to sort that out!

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