I have been imbibing in a heavy dose of nostalgia this past week. It all started last Sunday when a leak in the roof of one of the garages at home threatened to ruin my 'precious' pile of classic car magazines, and the various Triumph club magazines I had gathered over the years. I had long since given up collecting this sort of stuff, indeed most of what I receive in the way of 'temporary' reading matter these days comes straight to work after I have read it to be re-cycled as packing material via the shredder. This pile of stuff then that had so far evaded this treatment dated from the 80's, and had sat in various forgotten corners since then. The first shock I got was just how many Triumph club's I had been a member of in my time, I counted six. The next shock was realising just just how many of those magazines titles I had bought over the years were now defunct. Anyway having decided that this would have to be the last time I moved this pile I loaded up the 13/60 estate and brought them into work for the dreaded shredder treatment.
The next bit of nostalgia came over me yesterday as it dawned on me that next year would be the 20th anniversary of our 'official' start up. Although by no means the start of my Triumph restoration career as I had already rebuilt/restored a TR5, a couple of Stag's, a Vitesse MKII saloon, a TR6, a 2.5 PI estate, and a Spitfire 1500 by the time we opened the doors as Canley Classics in 1987. Indeed that chassis off job on the TR5 was undertaken a full 10 years previously and I still have it to boot! So that's two anniversaries to celebrate, 30 years since my first Triumph restoration, and 20 years of Canley Classics.
Flicking through a few of those club magazines this morning from the 80's (probably for the first time in 20 odd years, so why did I keep them?) brought to light just how many traders had come and gone in that time. I have a late 80's TSSC Courier in front of me and at a conservative estimate 80% of the traders advertising in there no longer exist. Some names from the past that have come and gone include, British Sports Car Centre, Triumph Scene, Classicar Automotive, John Hills, Swindon Classics, Andy Rose Triumph, STS Triumph spares, Spits and Pieces, Cardinal Triumph, Six Spares, Central Spitfires, Cambridge Triumph Spares, and I can think of another half a dozen who aren't with us anymore. Famous names from the past (at least if you are into your Triumphs) who are no longer with us, it goes to prove just how difficult this business can be.
All of this makes me even more proud that we are still here, and more to the point still doing what I love. Yesterday I finished off paneling up a Stag in the workshop in for some insurance work, great wouldn't have it any other way. Even better today I start on a minor body restoration on a TR6, and tomorrow I shall be putting a Herald 948 back together after it's paint job, nirvana!