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Triumph TR6

Triumph TR6 Published: 7th Jun 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph TR6
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Wide choice | Easy to own | Big Healey alternative | Still good value for money

What’s their attraction?

Last of the hairy-chested TRs, the TR6 is still the one casual enthusiasts – or those new to classics – hanker for the most due to those new German-inspired square-cut looks and the car’s beefy character. The TR6 is rightly regarded as the Big Healey alternative at less cost and is easier to own. There’s no shortage – the problem shifting out the good ’uns from the bodged ones.

Driving

As the TR6 is essentially a clever reskin of the TR5 (carried out by German Karmann rather than Michelotti) you’d think they’d drive the same but there are subtle differences. For starters, the TR6 has a front anti-roll bar which the TR5 strangely lacked and then there are power differences. Up to 1972 the full on 150bhp engine was fitted but for ’73 it was clipped to 125bhp to improve drivability. For the majority of folks, the CP 150bhp ‘CP’ is the holy grail – and they are prepared to pay for it – but experts say don’t get hung up on this tune as most never delivered that figure from new anyway and the real world difference between the later, milder ‘125bhp CR’ unit is not as great as you’d expect for the thousands asked more for them. Touring is what the TR6 is best at where the optional overdrive makes the going easy (it’s much fussier without it), as does the IRS taken from the TR4A. The interior looks inviting but the TR6 still suffered from age old TR creaks and groans although it’s far more civilised than a Big Healey.

Prices to pay

Prices are now on the march and specialists talk of £30,000 tags for top TR6s which is at least 10 grand less than the rarer TR5. For the less well heeled, a decent TR6 with an MoT that won’t require too much work to keep it presentable and legal should be available for around £15,000 but it will need some work to make it nicer and more reliable. Some TR experts recommend you either spend a few grand on a complete basket case to restore properly – or pay top dollar for a top car as anything in between (as many still are) is the real danger area. As with the TR5, American TR250s are derated and much cheaper yet not a bad choice if truth be told if the RHD conversion has been carried out right. Engine is easily uprated to UK power spec.

Top buying tips

BODGES While new shells aren’t made anymore, individual panel supply from BMH remains excellent so dismiss bodged up examples unless so cheap you’d be a fool to turn one down. ENGINE This long stroke six-cylinder suffers from the same TR problems, especially trouble with the crankshaft end float (check crank sideways movement as aid works the clutch). Heads can crack and gaskets fail as well; watch for overheating. FUEL INJECTION The Lucas mechanical fuel injection is really delightful if set up properly – from tank to injectors – by a good TR expert. A Bosch fuel pump, re-routed to keep it cooler is a worthy and club-accepted mod.

RUST Check all areas including the trailing arm locating points. Body locating chassis outriggers often badly repaired and the chassis arms located under the boot floor can give trouble as do floors, wings etc. New chassis frames available. IMPORTS US TR250; check quality of any RHD conversion (typically around £1200 when done by a specialist) and past side swipe damage as a result of a LHD driven on our roads. Expect to pay at least £5000 less than proper UK car although the condition may sway things more than the car’s origin.

Dates to remember

1968 A facelift by Karmann of West Germany grafts a new nose and tail onto the old centre section to create the TR6 with a crisper and more modern look

1971 Anti-theft steering lock standard, supports for the rear springs and trailing arms uprated. Carb-fed engines receive revised manifolds for a touch more power and on all models, gearbox gains a Stag-like design that’s more heavy-duty

1973 Power output on UK PI versions is reduced to 124bhp to improve reliability and smoothness. Chin front spoiler is also added. Desirable optional overdrive unit is improved and later becomes a standard fit; Stag ratios during 1974

1975 PI production ends for the UK market. Credible total of 91,850 TR6s were sold over a run of almost eight years



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