Club Automobile TRIUMPH Canada Inc.
The official name of our club is Club Automobile TRIUMPH Canada, otherwise unofficially known as the Montreal TRIUMPH Club.
We are one of the oldest TR specific clubs in Canada, started in 1976 and officially founded in June 1977. The two founding fathers were John Maycock (our first President) and Tom Swinchisky (first Vice President) and Victor Nobel as Treasurer. Public Service announcements in the media in July 1977 resulted in a number of new and future member meetings at the Maples Inn on Lakeshore Road. Events followed and the membership grew at a steady rate, by August 1977 it reached 29; consisting of 1 x TR2, 15 x TR3’s, 1 x TR4, 3 x TR4A’s, 1 x TR250, 7 x TR6’s and 1 racing TR7. Regular meetings were held every second Monday at 8:00 p.m. at the Maples.
In August 1977, British Leyland Ltd provided the Club an agreement allowing it to use as part of the Club’s normal and usual activities the following trademarks: TRUMPH; TR and The Standard Triumph Logo. Final agreement was reached and signed in September 1977 and approved by BL in November 1977. On September 2nd, 1977 the TR Register officially blessed our Club and wished us well.
In May 1978 our Club is now officially registered as a Not-For-Profit organization under the name of the “TR CLUB CANADA”. As part of this application the stated goals of the Club were listed as;
- To preserve the Marque of Triumph TR
- To further interest in motoring and motor sport
- To provide Members with information, advice and assistance on maters connected with motoring
- To further interest in the Marque by arranging competitions, tours, discussions and social and other meetings
- To afford Members such benefits and privileges as it may be possible to arrange.
June 1978 – John and Tom were re-elected for another term and newly elected members Linda Swineburn as club secretary and John Denny as Treasurer. The club finished its first year with a net $286.45 in the bank.
Membership at the start of 1980 was 45 and included all TR models plus [now] Spitfires, GT6’s and one MGB. For the first few years of operation the meetings were pretty formal; with the reading of the last month's meeting minutes and reports from any standing committees.
Treasure hunts were very popular during the Clubs early years. Different members organized them, arranged for prizes and made sure to always finish in a good locale with a cold beer. Routes for many of these drives ran through the West Island, Hudson, North Shore, South Shore, and Downtown just about anywhere where imagination dictated the route. One common theme in all the treasure hunts was the infamous TR Rock which added considerably points if found along the drive.
November 1978, Tom Swinchisky resigned as active VP following his transfer to Ottawa. This left the office open to Dave Geller who ran unopposed. February 1979, John Maycock was [also] transferred to Ottawa so John Denny accepted the post of President and Alain Legault stepped in as Treasurer.
October 1981 elections were again held, Tom Snabl was elected President, Linda Swineburn, VP and Dave Geller as Treasurer.
November 1982 Dave Geller comes in 1st in the 1500 – 2500 cc class in the summer Laurentide Driving Club (LDC) slaloms beating out a lot of not so British cars most of which were a lot younger than Dave’s TR3.
August 1983, meetings were moved to various members’ homes a tradition kept to today.
May 1984 The Club was granted exclusive access to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where we were given the grand tour topped off by an hour of escorted, non-competitive laps around the track.
June 2001 - Dave Geller, a devoted Triumph aficionado, also doubled as editor. The following is an excerpt from his last newsletter:
Having worked on cars for quite a while, I have heard many people complain about the high cost of keeping their sports cars on the road. I have always maintained that it is a great hobby, assuming that your kids are well fed & looked after & your mortgage is being paid…also there are a lot of negative things out there that any of us could be into, spending time & money on. I firmly believe that there is a definite positive effect of driving one of our classic cars…people wave & smile & approach & talk to you, where without question, they would not have, had you been in your minivan. A couple of weeks ago, Barry & I were at the Orange Julep having lunch when one of these encounters occurred. A gentleman pulled in beside us & began to tell us how wonderful it was to see our TR3’s & that he had bought a new one in 1958 (I think) & how great a time he had with it…we ended up talking for a good ½ hour, after which he left…leaving all three of us with a smile on our collective faces…now, if that is not a good thing, I don’t know what is.
In June 2001 - Dave Geller suddenly passed away. As a major contributor to our club and major supplier to the well-being and maintenance of many of our cars, the Club still recognizes his efforts today.
From 2001 onwards the club went paperless and started communicating via e-mail and web pages. Barry founded our first website and Don took over as Newsletter editor. In 2001 Tom Snabl was celebrating 20 years as Club President. As with any club, the number of activities varied by year pending availability of members, organizers and time. The club kept the monthly member meetings, but in a more casual and social format. We added an annual breakfast followed by a club drive to events like the Hudson British Car show. We also started an annual Christmas party or New Year’s reception, while our LBC’s were stored for hibernation.
In 2003 the Newsletter and event coordination were moved to Arnold van N, many members contributed to articles and events, making the newsletters and events a fun exercise.
In 2009 a new Club website was designed by Arnold in collaboration with Texpertek, using best practices from Barry and other British Car clubs. Tom volunteered to remain as President by popular demand.
Over the years, the membership kept steady at the 50 to 55 member levels. Slightly different from 1977 and 35 years later in 2012, the club consisted of 25 x TR6, 12 x TR3, 9 x Spitfires, 3 x TR4, 4 x GT6’s, 2 x TR7, 1 x TR8 and 1 x Herald. Even today the make up of ours cars is still very representative of those in 2012
We welcome inquiries for new members and want to continue encouraging current and future members to contribute to the success of the club and enjoy driving these great Triumph’s at every possible occasion.