Tyee Triumph Club

By Kay Franklin

Hailing from Washington State, the Tyee Triumph Club is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, long-time member Kay Franklin shares her experience and perspective on this tight-knit community of classic car owners:

A big part of the fun and enjoyment of belonging to the Tyee Triumph Club is the lifelong friendships we create — along with driving a classic Triumph convertible. 

I first joined the Tyee Triumph Club in 1982 when I bought my 1973 Triumph TR6 from a club member. I fell in love with the throaty exhaust, road handling, and British roadster styling. 

I volunteered at events, helping with meetings, ordering club regalia, and enjoying the winery tours and picnics. I have met so many talented and genuine people in the Tyee Triumph Club. We celebrate personal milestones and family births, mourn passings, and support each other when our Triumph is misbehaving. It’s also reassuring to talk with another owner who has “invested” just as many hours and parts into improving their ride. 

The value of joining Tyee or any car club is the road support, inside parts information, and marque knowledge. Tyee members came to my rescue on several occasions. I was on the freeway when all of a sudden my temp gauge pegged at Hot and steam came rolling out from the bonnet. I pulled over and called a new Tyee friend, and he brought and installed a new fan belt. Another time on the tail end of my TR6 restoration, I was 48 hours away from its debut at the ABFM show when my distributor failed. I sent an email to Tyee and had three members offer to bring or ship me their spare. I made it to the show and brought home a trophy!  

One of the principles of Tyee Triumph Club is that if you are on a drive and have a mechanical issue, you won’t be left roadside. Many of our members work on their Triumphs, so when a member’s Triumph decides to take an unscheduled rest, everyone stops to help and get them back on the road. I remember an alternator failure at an evening meeting and a member rotated batteries every so many miles between the two Triumphs until they got home. Another time on a club drive, a member picked up two nails in two different tires at a rest stop. Between my and another member’s spare tires, they replaced the two flats and we all made it to the car show. There IS safety in numbers! 

Like many car clubs, members work on their cars themselves and so have a lot of good Triumph knowledge and experience. Members are happy to help other members to chase down a problem, explain “the fix”, or help with the upgrade. We all share information on good parts sources and vendors that go above and beyond to ensure their after-market parts were made correctly to spec.

The Tyee Triumph Club has been in existence since 1964, never missing a meeting even through the pandemic –adapting with outdoor and online meetings. We’d talk with members from our cars at rest stops or picnic with added spacing. Sixty years strong, we enjoy our Triumphs and delight in the many memories we make with fellow Tyee members.

The Tyee Triumph Club can be found at https://tyeetriumph.org.

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