What a summer we’ve had! Wow, it’s been a hot one. As such opportunities for driving events have been few, but events we’ve had have been high caliber. The Chunky Dunk took place the first part of August, which, if you haven’t been, is the bomb. Jim Orr welcomes us to his lake house and ties in the trek to get there with a nice drive and a lunch stop in Toccoa at Shirley’s Soul Food. I arrived a bit late to Shirley’s but still had time to scarf down some of her ribs and cabbage. Yum! On to Jim’s lake house a group of about 5 cars and 8-10 souls took up temporary residence at Jim’s lake house. What a weekend of floating and chillaxing with friends. Honestly, it doesn’t get any better. Thanks Jim!

A group of intrepid GTA members also ventured out for the first ever Pinball Rally on August 20. While turnout was low at only 4 members, the time had was absolutely epic. All agreed that this is a ‘must do again’. We started out the day at the North River Tavern (Notice lack of Triumphs). However, one did eventually show up, the Triumph Dolomite of Joe Earnest. Way to represent Joe! At the North River Tavern we enjoyed a game of The Avengers. The atmosphere was terrific for the event at 11:00 AM, we had the place to ourselves basically.

From here we left around 12:15 and headed to the Hudson Grill in Alpharetta where we had an interesting game of Star Trek: Into Darkness. The issue was that the pinball was placed just off the kitchen and as such we had to contend with wait staff constantly routing through the area. We all agreed it was a poor location for the machine. We dined on some lunch here as well. Joe and Dean demonstrated their skills.

Departing Hudson grill around 2:30 we headed on to Bobby G’s Pizza, also in Alpharetta. Bobby G’s has some terrific pizza. We however, were there for the pinball. Bobby G’s sports a pirate themed machine, Black Rose, at present. Black Rose has some very interesting features including a playfield cannon.

The basic rules for the pinball rally were simple. You have an hour to get your best score on the machine. Then we move on to the next machine. At the end the results are tallied and the highest score takes the win. Most of the machines had ‘special values’ where you could get 3 games or more for a certain price. We always ended up with at least 1 leftover credit which we donated to the person with the lowest score to attempt to raise their entry. The cash outlay for the day was very nominal for everyone and the drives between venues were short which made ‘hot driving’ tolerable.

The winner of the event was Joe Earnest, followed by myself and then Dean. As we ended the day with only 3 participants, prizes were not awarded due to low turnout.

The final totals were:

Joe 21,609,000

Tony 21,393,780

Dean 17,441,320

The other event that took place, on the same weekend mind you, was garage night at Shawn Tarletons.

Shawn threw an Atlanta Garage Night party at his house on Friday the 19th. There was a robust turnout for an evening of hanging out and talking cars. Shawn went to a lot of effort to ensure the mosquitos were kept at bay for the evening. It was a great night for sitting by the fire.

So what’s next for me? Well, I look forward to throwing a couple of drives in the upcoming months. I have plans for a drive to the Swan Drive-In, probably late September and I am still wanting to do a Walking Dead drive in October. I’ll post when plans for these events firm up. I am also working on my TR6 trying to sort out my ‘sticky clutch’ problem. Nothing quite like putting in all new parts and ending up worse than it was before! Okay so the ball bearings from the throwout bearing were rolling around in the bell housing, but still, at least it was driveable. Try driving a 6 with a clutch pedal that sticks near where the release point should be. It ain’t happenin’, especially in stop and go traffic…but wait, stop and go traffic would NEVER happen in Atlanta.

-Tony Graham

Triumph…It’s what’s inside.