The Roadster Factory
TR6 - TR250 Glove Box Companion
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tonneau covers, fuzzy door seals, floors, trunk trim panels, door glass channels,
gearbox shafts, engine valves, cylinder blocks, crown wheel and pinion sets,
shock absorbers, thermostats, green water hoses, brake shoes, and hundreds of
other components, plus every clip, screw, washer, bolt, and bracket required to
put them all together to make a car.
In those early days, it was easy to purchase parts and sell them again, and
we at TRF rarely had to consider how the parts had been designed and
manufactured.  When I mailed out that first catalogue, the U.S. enthusiasts beat
a path to TRF's door, buying parts to keep cars on the road, many of those cars
used every day for transportation to school or work.  Thirty-five years later,
things are very different.  Virtually no parts are available from the original
manufacturer, and in fact, the original manufacturer has long since gone out of
business.  Thankfully, British Motor Heritage remains and continues to
manufacture major body panels on original tooling and various other
components.  Some other parts also remain available from original-equipment
manufacturers, but companies like Lucas, Girling, Lockheed, Armstrong,
Vandervell, Borg & Beck, and Laycock have been bought and sold so many
times in the past thirty years that current employees hardly realize that their
companies once manufactured parts for Triumph and MG sports cars.  Workers
who might remember those times fondly have long since retired.
Customers have changed too since the 1980's.  Few customers use their cars
now for daily transportation, although a few still say they do.  But most cars are
now valued more highly by their owners for what is special about them, and car
values have escalated although annual mileage has declined.  Most customers
still want the best parts, but they also want demonstrated value for their money.
Some customers are still working to improve the performance and safety of
their cars, and others are performing "frame-up" restorations in an attempt to
build a perfect car that they may drive only for events, shows, and family
The Roadster Factory has gradually changed too, from a company that
purchased repair parts from the Triumph Factory for customers trying to keep
their cars on the road in the 1980's to a company which manufactures parts
itself and looks for parts sources worldwide.  As original parts have become
unavailable, the question arose of whether reproduction parts should be made to
original standards or if it is all right for a reproduction part merely to perform
the function of the original part.  Manufacturers approach parts reproduction
from both directions and from directions in between.  At The Roadster Factory,
we always try to make our parts look and function as nearly as possible to
original.  Another manufacturer might be all right with a generic part that
performs the same function as the original part.
Sometimes, a manufacturer starts with the Triumph factory drawing for a
part being considered for manufacture, although drawings are very hard to
come by now.  Other times, a new or used original part is used as a pattern for
the reproduction part, and further down the scale, a manufacturer might use
another company's reproduction part as a pattern.  At The Roadster Factory, we
like to have a drawing and a new or used original part, but often we have to

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