By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. —
It wasn’t a perfect day for Stillwater resident Frank Steindl to be driving a British sports car.
Chilly and damp don’t mix well with a 1962 Triumph TR3B.
“The English drive on the wrong side of the road and the air conditioning works in winter and the heater in summer,” Steindl said as he chuckled.
Steindl’s Triumph was one of approximately 100 entries in Saturday’s Downtown Stillwater Car and Bike Show. The event is sponsored by the Downtown Business Improvement District.
Triumph built the TR3B for just one year, 1962. Its predecessors were the TR3 (1955-57) and TR3A (1957-1961). The TR3B was powered by a 100 horsepower, four cylinder engine, mated to a four-speed gearbox. Top speed was approximately 110 mph.
The Oklahoma State University professor emeritus said he drives the Triumph daily to and from campus.
“It’s not a highway car,” Steindl said. “It’s so lightweight that there’s a lot of turbulence, especially when a truck goes by. It’s great around town if you like riding in style.”
Steindl’s TR3B had a bit of a makeover about six years ago. The steel body is prone to rusting. The red Triumph had some rust spots repaired and was repainted.
“See how nice it looks now,” he said.
It’s not difficult to find Triumph parts because the vintage cars remain popular. A Triumph club, Central Oklahoma VTR, is based in Oklahoma City.
Club members exchange advice and experiences in order to keep the vintage British sports cars on the road, Steindl said.
Classic and modern American and foreign automobiles lined Main Street Saturday afternoon. The street was blocked off let pedestrians walk along and mingle with car owners.
Those making the stroll dodged light rain as the looked at Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros, a Studebaker, DeTomaso Pantera and even a Ferrari.
Downtown Business Improvement District Coordinator Amy Jo Frazier said the cooler temps and light rain didn’t keep too many people away.
“This has been a really popular event so even though it’s been a little chilly I think people were ready to come out and take a look at the really awesome vehicles that we had entered,” she said.