Casper’s Story

By Bill Pugh 

It all began way back in 1957 when I acquired the new 1957 Triumph TR3 hardtop (this was the Midwest) with wire wheels and overdrive. I was just a young Navy Petty Officer then, and AnnaBelle was still a Nursing student. Going to the Electronics School in Memphis, I met some wonderful folks and joined the County Shelby Sports Car Club. The club held several races at an old airport in Halls, Tennessee. At that time, all you needed to race was a helmet and seat-belts. I had the only Triumph with disk brakes and won all the class races for “under 2000 cc” category. That fall, in September, AnnaBelle and I got married. Soon, I was sent to a special Radar school in Biloxi, Mississippi where AnnaBelle joined me after graduating from the Nursing School.

When I finished the Radar School, we received our orders – NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii!! What a place for a “real” honeymoon. We packed all of our worldly goods into and on the TR3, attached a one-wheel trailer for the big stuff, packed two tin-suitcases and an ironing-board on the luggage rack, and set off for San Francisco, CA via St. Joseph, MO, San Diego and Los Angeles, CA. The Triumph was shipped to Pearl Harbor and was our only mode of transportation until we traded it for an Alfa Romeo Guiletta Sprint Veloce (but that’s another story).

TR 1957

In 2000, we scouted the internet for a TR3 and found one in Portland. We drove up to take a look, and found that it was actually much better than the pictures. We bought it on the spot and trailered it back home. We decided to name it “Casper” as we thought it was the “Friendly Ghost” of our original TR3. All of this affirms that you CAN relive the PAST, and enjoy it grinning from ear to ear.

For our 50th wedding anniversary, our son took this picture of the “new” TR3 “Casper”, had it framed and presented it to us with the motto, “50 years Running, and Still in Tune”. He said it applied to us as well as the car. Casper has actually been driven in more Alpine/Snowball 500 mile rallies. Not bad for some old folks, both over 80!

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