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Triumph TR’s

Triumph TR's Published: 21st Aug 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph TR’s
Triumph TR’s
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Triumph TR's

Why should i buy one?

The six-pot TRs were always regarded as the spiritual successor to the Big Healey, and if the original TR5 PI is seen as the ‘3000’ by dint of its better performance, masculine looks and higher values, then the TR6 must be the better value ‘100/6’ of the range. In fact, a TR6 and 100/6 are fairly evenly matched price-wise although (like-forlike) the A-H is the more expensive classic.

What can i get?

Only one TR6 was made yet there’s only one car to own many feel – the original pre-1972 150bhp version. This is because after this, the engine was toned down to 124bhp care of a less wild camshaft and smaller inlet valves. Well, that’s the widely perceived view although the lower on paper power makes very little difference on the road between and too many people still get hung up on insisting upon a ‘150bhp’ CP-engined car irrespective of its overall condition and rather if it’s fuel injected or carb fed.

Rather, you should buy a TR6 on its condition first and foremost rather than how many horses it still has under that clever German Karmann facelifted bonnet and that’s because, like all TRs, they hide their rust too bloody well, and rebuilds always cost more than you would initially budget for – certainly the final bill can cost more than buying a top car from the outset.

This situation is further complicated by the fact that very few TR6s are still around in an un-restored state. The vast majority went to the United States and a fair few have made it back to these shores, some still in left-hand drive form and a good percentage still in US tune. Where you may lose out with a US expat is with its detuned engine that’s running on carbs, but that could be a good thing because you won’t suffer from PI woes and you can easily uprate the engine to UK spec (and above), yet keep it on easy going carbs.

What are they like to drive?

Despite a far plusher cockpit, better head gear and a lighter feel, the Triumph is still a Healey-like beast and that’s surely their appeal? Power from the long-stroke six-pot engine makes the tail squat when burying the throttle and the infamous ‘Triumph twitch’ when you apply power remains all to evident as well as unnerving to novices. The ride is firm, but the front anti-roll bar (lacking on TR5) allied to IRS helps make the handling pretty predictable on good tyres although in the wet, tail slides can be had – but nicely held – at whim. In the right hands, hustling a well sorted TR6 becomes something to savour – so long as you are prepared to take control of yours by the scruff of the neck – just like a Healey…

Performance is largely dependent on the state of engine tune but if gentle cruising is more your style, the TR6 is also well suited for the job. Overdrive ensures the legal limit sits easily under 3000rpm. Like the MGB, it’s essential as the (rare) plain four-speeders appear fussy at high speed by comparison.

What are they like to live with?

The supply of parts at reasonable prices is superb. Sadly, BMH all too quickly stopped making complete shells but continues with individual panels and CTM Engineering will make chassis to order.

To run on unleaded, ultimately you need hardened exhaust valve inserts while the seals in the Lucas PI metering unit will also need upgrading when the time comes. The PI system is now trustworthy if an expert sets it up. TR specialists also say that replacing all the suspension bushes along with a full geometry rejig transforms the handling.

We reckon

If the Big Healey is too old hat, too heavy and too dear and a TVR Chimaera too modern and flash, only a TR6 fits the bill…


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