T2: Coming to Grips
We try to rescue history.
Some of it is notable in its niche narrow band of this life, some not-so-much.
In the past year, two cars came to us of some note, built by the same builder in Saginaw, Michigan.
One car is going to be relatively easy to get running again.
The other… I’m not even sure how to complete that sentence, honestly.
It has a 64-year-old aluminum frame bent and repaired in every way under the sun. The body was built out of the thinnest gauge aluminum possible, with clam shell fiberglass fenders glued and riveted onto said body. It probably looked stellar in the 1960s, but it is in a sad state now. Added to that, it has been stripped of most of the components to make it a roller again.
It’ll be a lot of guess work to make it roll again- but we’re trying.
And then the age-old question enters into it again- is the juice worth the squeeze?
It is when its what you do, and your efforts are in memory of those who spent countless summers living a slice of the dreams they had when they were young.
I had dreams of racing cars. I’m living those dreams. I’m one of the lucky ones, both on and off the race track.
Somehow, two decades ago now, we started finding historic cars to race. Some of them ready to go, most in a rough state. Martin Tanner’s T2 is the saddest car we’ve found thus far- to the point where the widow of the former owner wanted to scrap it for its value in aluminum.
That might have been the sensible thing to do.
But racing cars isn’t a sensible thing to do.
Saving them surely isn’t.
But you have to do something with your life. Cards, shuffleboard and pretending that this life is long surely aren’t going to do the trick for me.
Accidentally cutting myself on 64-year-old fiberglass, getting covered in aluminum dust and jamming my fingers trying to refit corners?
Feels like living...
In four weeks time, T2 will be reunited with the family that ran it most successfully, from 1960-1967. The trophies it won will be proudly displayed with the car, as well as photos and artifacts of its time as a competitive family-run H-Mod.
It won't be the prettiest car on display at our shop that day, but it sure has a great story to tell.