Flashback to 1973 in Poulsbo, Wash., and bell bottom pants, big hair, and progressive rock were all the rage.
So were muscle cars.
Dale McRoberts, all 6’3” of him, went off the grid when he purchased a Triumph TR4.
He owned the little British sports car for 15 years and over that period racked up 300,000 miles on its odometer.
“I was the TR4 guy,” the 62-year-old Aldergrove resident reminisced, as he helped promote the Langley Area Mostly British Motoring Club’s 11th annual St. George’s British Motoring Show, taking place Sunday in front of the Fort Langley Community Hall.
McRoberts continued, “All my friends were the big muscle car [owners], the Road Runners and Camaros.”
He and two of his pals became known as “the Triumph guys.”
“We were the only kids we knew who owned these types of cars,” McRoberts said. “We were the oddballs.”
After he eventually sold the TR4, McRoberts went years without owning another car of that ilk.
Then, on his 56th birthday in 2010, he came across a 1980 Triumph TR7 while visiting Brantford, Ont., but wasn’t all that keen about that particular model.
The four-cylinder car was, however, on the market for a relatively bargain price of $2,000.
Once McRoberts took the car for a test drive, he was sold.
“It’s like going to the SPCA and saying, ‘let’s just go look at a dog. I don’t want a dog, let’s go look at it,” he said.
Thinking he wouldn’t find another convertible sports car for such an affordable price, McRoberts bought the car.
“I started fixing it up, everything goes on with them, they’re 40-year-old cars, but I loved them,” McRoberts said.
McRoberts soon joined the B.C. Triumph Registry (BCTR), a club dedicated to the preservation of Triumph cars.
It was through a connection in the BCTR that he bought a Triumph Spitfire for his wife.
He then snapped up a yellow coupe for his son.
“So we each had a car,” McRoberts said. “Well, when people see you have three cars, the word gets out there. So then I started coming across these cars – a TR8, a TR7, another TR7… so then I started coming across people who didn’t want them or couldn’t fix them up.”
Fast forward to today, and McRoberts owns 12 cars, some in various states of repair, a few of which are stored in a 40’ by 80’ garage next to his house.
His collection includes a pair of MK 9 Jaguars – 1960 and ’61 models, as well as a ’67 TR4A, a rusted ’66 TR4A, a ’68 TR5, and a ’76 Jensen Interceptor.
McRoberts plans to take his “daily driver,” a 1976 Triumph Stag, equipped with a V8 engine, to the April 24 LAMB show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s a four-seater with a V8,” McRoberts said.