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Triumph TR5/6

Triumph TR5/6 Published: 8th Aug 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph TR5/6
Triumph TR5/6
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Macho looks backed by brawny straight-six power makes the TR5 – and the more popular TR6 – a budget Big Healey possessing all the character yet at less cost. There’s a healthy choice backed by an excellent network of clubs and specialists. Believe us, you’ll never regret buying one.


The TR5 and 6 took on a new character once that enlarged Triumph 2000 engine was slotted in with fuel injection, giving the TR a performance it always lacked as only a big straight six can do, although, the handling suffered due to the heavier mass up front. Touring is what these TRs are better at where overdrive makes the going easy, as does the IRS taken from the TR4A, although the sad cacophony of squeaks, rattles and crashes always gives away the car’s post-war roots.

Best models

Condition counts more than the pre-1972 150bhp output, which in the real world isn’t appreciably notable plus the later tune provides better flexibility (as does a swap to carbs as many now are). Not all cars came with overdrive or hard tops. US cars have detuned engines, running on more reliable carbs. For 1974, the gear ratios were aligned with those fitted to the Stag and overdrive was made standard while a subtle front spoiler aided highspeed stability. Better seats after 1970.


Prices are now on the march for these beefy pair of Brits and some specialists talk of £30,000 tags for top TR6s and well over 40 grand for the rarer TR5. For the less well heeled, a decent TR6 with an MoT that won’t require too much work to keep it in presentable order should be available for around £10,000 but will need some work to make it nice. Some TR experts recommend you either spend a few grand on a basket case to restore properly or pay top dollar for a top car as anything in between (as many are) is a real danger area.

If you don’t want the hassle of restoring a banger but have a limited budget, then why not consider an ex-pat? US TRs can be had for around £5-£10,000 cheaper than an equivalent UK car.

Buying advice

The vast majority went to the US so a RHD car may well be a convert so it’s always a good move to check the offside suspension and chassis extra carefully for ‘sideswipe’ damage. The chassis frame is suspect for rot around the axle and suspension mounting points. On all cars it’s at the front wishbones while, at the rear, the area to watch concerns the suspension. A good test is to jack the car up and watch for the door gaps to alter. Other rusty regions include floors, inner wings, jacking points, steering rack locating points and the sills and B posts (where the seat belts are located!).

New frames are available and BMH can supply most body panels although stopped making complete shells some ten years ago. The six is robust apart from head gasket failure and that old Triumph foible of worn crank thrust washers. The days of fearing the PI have long gone and a good expert knows all the wrinkles for reliable operation, which when good can fuel over 200bhp. The suspension is little different to a TR4A although the front brakes are slightly smaller. If overdrive is retro fitted, this usually means the rear axle ratio is incorrect (i.e. too high) although matters little. And if the overdrive is playing up then it’s mostly small electrical issues rather than a major fault.


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