My Dad the British Car EnthusiestBy
My father a man who had a great love for British cars owned his first Austin Healey 3000 in the late 1970. He had 2 Austin Healeys, one BRG (British racing green) the other red was for Parts. In 1978 I was Born, he sacrificed and sold his Jems to raise a family.
Later in years he wou…ld tell me stories of Racing his friends muscle cars with his Healey and taking them in the corners and explaining how fun they were to drive and maintain. His stories and memories grew; and when I turned 15 years old we bought a 1979 Triumph Spitfire as my first car for $1000.
We rebuilt the engine; we did all the body work, replace brakes and suspension, new paint with all the decals. This was the coolest car in High School in 1995. My Dad and I Built it.
Later a few years passed and I attended technical school to become an Aviation Mechanic. I sacrificed had to sell my little White Spitfire to help pay for school.
Dad and I always talked about another and bought a 1974 TR6 in early 2000. We bought it with a blown motor, we replaced it but later found it had severe frame issues. Soon after I had started a family and time fell short and we never were able to find time.
In 2005 Dad and I and were in the process of building my home. Dad developed a speech problem. He was later diagnosed with Brian Cancer a GBM Glio Blastoma Multiform a very fast growing brain tumor.
My best friend, Dad, the most remarkable man in the world with cancer was told 3-6 months to live on Christmas Eve after Surgery.
But he’s strong and raised a strong family. WE fought it tooth and nail/nut and bolt. Soon he was in recovery and back to himself. He was back driving! So Dad went and bought a 1976 Yellow TR6 (his favorite color). This car was no show car but a good summer driver; one he could just get in and go (for the most part oil leaks and carbs adjustments aside) but again he had a British car!!
We are back in business and he was a kid in a candy store. We had the wind in our hair again together 10 years later; and a parts car. :). Life is good and cancer has not returned since surgery, chemo and radiation.
But Dad had 2 solid years of quality life. We had our ups and downs, we had a TR we could drive and tinker with when days were good. That can’t be traded for the world.
After Dad past I was a husband and father of 2. Katelynn and Jonathan were 5 and 2 years old. I was at my ultimate High and Low as a Son that lost his best friend.
After Dads passing I was no longer allowed to use or drive his TR6. Which hurt but I will spare the details.
Although In Aug 2011 I needed that life back and needed to occupy my mind. I bought my own 1973 TR6. I brought her home gave my family a ride (1 at a time). My kids thought it was the coolest.
After we drove it around the block 3 times I pulled the car in the garage. I pulled the body off, pulled the engine and transmission and striped the fame and worked all winter.
Dad was with me; within a sentimental earn I store still in my car today.
I completely restored everything attached to the frame, suspension, most of the electrical, rebuilt the engine, replaced a floor board etc. A good friend and I reassembled all within 10 months. I had the drive of the same 15 year old kid that built that Spitfire with the coolest Dad alive.
I drove my TR6 with my Dad by my side for near 2K miles after a 75% restoration without a single problem.
With my Dad is my copilot I am asking to help DRIVE AWAY CANCER. Please bring a sharpie marker when I meet you this year on your tour. I want you to sign my car and want to join you for the New England tour.
I want to join your drive and help to inspire other enthusiasts to drive cancer out of our lives and keep these cars alive.
Very truly yours,
Bryan Dunn. 33 years old father of 2 British car enthusiasts