Where I live, and probably where you live too, there are more than enough bumpy roads. And I’ve lately realised that in almost every new car I drive, I half-grit my teeth when I see a ridge, pothole, ripple or dip approaching its low profiles.
What I’m preparing for is a thumping, small-scale shockwave to earthquake through the car. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn’t but with most cars, you can reckon on a hard thudding at some point on every drive.
What made me notice the half-gritting bit is driving something pretty old, but with a mileage accumulation low enough that I’m confident it behaves pretty much as its makers intended. The car in question is one I own, and rather shamefully, I’ve been too busy to use it much over the past year.
But this week I’ve been enjoying it rather a lot, and the thing I’ve been enjoying most of all is its way with bumps. Which might seem a surprise for a machine that’s supposed to be a sports car, and even more of a surprise given its suspension layout, which appears to border on the crude.
But the McPherson strut, live axle chassis arrangement of the Triumph TR7 was masterminded by legendary Rover engineer Spen King, who reckoned that a properly controlled live axle and well-damped, long-travel springs was the way to go for America, where most TR7s were destined.