Godfrey's Triumphs


Meet my three Triumph friends, who live in Robertson in theory where life is peaceful and where wine is plentiful.  They have consecutive registration numbers and get on well together.  Cars have always fascinated me, and I have owned many over the years.  Some of the more interesting were:  Singer Roadster (Aluminium  -  bodied and beautifully put together, it rivalled the TD), Nash Metropolitan (a big American Nash, shrunken down to two-seater proportions and with Austin power, fast enough too), Mustang (4,7 litres and left hand drive), Ford Galaxie (massive and massively powerful as well), Pontiac Grand Parisienne – (pretty but not as nice as the Galaxie), Escort 1300 GT (I enjoyed this cheap car), Vauxhall Viva GT (a marvellous car, why were so few made?), MG Midget (purple and I miss you), Escort RS 2000 (modified to Porsche-like performance and very fast), Triumph TR2 (was a little tatty, but I should have kept it).



However Triumphs have always been my favourite ever since I first saw the TR2 in 1953, and they are spoilt, spending their lives in my garages, while the Porsches have to live in the carport.

My Spitfire was owned by Karl and has racing in its “blood”.  I felt sorry for it when I bought my Morgan in 1984, and gave it a full (very full) makeover (resprayed black like the Morgan, engine overhauled, differential replaced, fitted all syncho gearbox, lowered suspension and Koni shockabsorbers on the front, electric fan and oil cooler, big-valve head, branch manifold and modified exhaust, modified camshaft and twin Dellorto carburettors, new clutch, American specification radiator, seats recovered and full interior re-trimmed, new softtop and frame, wire wheels and Michelin tyres, new steering wheel (wooden) and yellowwood gear lever knob, better coil and electronic ignition, chromed engine cover, dipstick and some other small parts, replaced carpets, new windscreen.  I also added more instruments, Voltmeter, Ammeter, oil pressure gauge and an oil temperature gauge – not many cars have these)  The brakes are still standard apart from green Kevlar brake pads in front and some uprating would not be amiss.  Jon says I should fit a five-speed gearbox, and he has a point.  Jackie and I had a nice peaceful discussion over the cost of all this, but no bones were broken.


My TR7 comes from npcomments-->npcomments-->Still Bay, and I am the second owner.  Modifications have made it a better car, and it is the car I enjoy most.  It is certainly the most agile of any car I have driven, and can really be thrown around.  Modifications were alloy wheels, green Kevlar brake pads, branch exhaust and modified system, twin Weber carburettors, electronic ignition and better coil, lowered suspension, modified cam shaft.  Will it become a TR8?  Time and money will tell, we need one in our Club now that poor Jon’s one is out of action.

I came upon my GT6 while looking for a TR6 in 1995.  There were just no TR6’s anywhere, and I wanted another 6 cylinder, having sold both my 2000 and my Chicane.  The poor thing was bought “unseen” and came from Edenvale.  My good brother-in-law, who was living there, checked it out and pronounced it a good buy (for 18 000).  It was in good mechanical condition, but the body work was not as good with the previous owner having painted the whole under bonnet area as well as the chassis, silver.  This did not suit a white car, as well as being unoriginal.  I therefore had a body-off repaint done almost immediately.  The good Bodyshop had the car for almost two years and just rushed the job at the end, not even renewing the chassis mountings.  Consequently the car has a N.V.H. problem.

The handling is terrible of course, but I like the lively straight-line performance and the smooth gear change.  It also has nice leather seats and an overdrive.  Modifications have been minimal:  light alloy wheels and Michelin tyres, electronic ignition and a massive coil, lowered suspension and Koni shockabsorbers front and back.

P.S. Having an “Old” Spitfire which cost more than a brand new Morgan 4/4 from the Factory proves two things.  One is that I like Triumphs.



From Porches to Spitfires, this car fan owns them all 

Article by Shaanaaz de Jager, Weekendpost 2010/02/13
Photographs Brian Witbooi




DRIVING around in a super car or a classic one could seem like a dream come true for some people but one Port Elizabeth man is living this dream and enjoying every minute of it. Framesby accountant Godfrey Gericke, 72, has the pleasure of driving around in his classic 1984 Morgan 4/4 and super cars a 1968 Spitfire, Triumph TR7, a 1966 GT 6, 944 and 924 Porsches and Ford Escort. He has owned all cars collectively for 76 years.

Gericke, a member of the Triumph Sports Car Club of SA, the Porsche Club and EP Veteran Car Club said driving these cars brings along the “distraction he needs”.

“I use the cars for work purposes. If I don’t they will deteriorate,” said Gericke.

He bought the TR7 in Still Bay after he saw it advertised in a car magazine, paying R22000.

The GT6 was bought from Edenvale. “I bought the car unseen, which was risky. I was looking for a TR6 but couldn’t find one so I bought the GT6. It is not quite as good at the TR6 – there were only 17 GT6’s in the country – and I paid R18000.”

The Spitfire was bought in Johannesburg and the two Porsches were purchased from two former Port Elizabeth doctors who had emmigrated.

The Morgan was imported from England in 1984. “I paid R33330 for it. I went to the factory and had it made to my specifications, such as having it fitted with chrome spike wheels, normal vinyl seat covers and an aluminium body.”

Gericke has been running his accounting business from his home since 1978.

“We have 600 clients. They are individuals, sole traders or smaller companies.

“I enjoy life and am grateful for everyday that I have.”

He bought the GT 6 after he had a major colon operation.

His wife Jackie also takes the cars for a spin and prefers the Ford Escort, the Porsche 944 and the Morgan.

Jackie said the Porsche 944 has “nice power and I take the Morgan to the club outings and sometimes to the club’s British car day.

“We also take turns driving the cars to out of town shows,” said Jackie.

Gericke says they enjoy interacting with people and often attend car runs with different clubs and participate at car shows.

At the end of February he will participate in the All Club Show at the EP Veteran Car Club premises in Parsons Hill.

He is a big car enthusiast and pasted on his walls inside his house and garage are enlarged photographs of a number of vintage, classic and other super cars.

“I would love to own more cars but space and money are problems. People offer to purchase my cars but I am too attached to them. They are not for sale,” he said.



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