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Triumph TR6

Triumph TR6 Published: 14th Mar 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph TR6
Triumph TR6
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WHY SHOULD I BUY ONE?

The TR6 was the last of the traditional, hairy-chested, Triumph sports cars and a useful development over the rare (and now more valuable) TR5PI. A good one offers traditional British sports car character and thrills with vivid performance and – after some suspension tuning – good and entertaining handling. There’s an army of TR specialists around and spare parts are no problem plus (fuel injection system excepted) it’s an easy car to DIY maintain.

WHAT CAN I GET?

While the basic design remained untouched over some seven years of production, there are some points worth noting. The TR6 was essentially a Roadster with a hardtop model optional but no Surrey top like the previous TR4. Most came with the vital overdrive option (and many have been retro-fitted) but there’s no automatics. The engine, initially rated at 150bhp, was famously detuned to 125bhp for 1973, with a Stag gearbox ratios fitted a year later. The vast majority of TR6s went to the US and a fair few have made it back to these shores, some still in left-hand drive form. Conversions to righthand drive are quite straightforward, but budget for around £1500 from a specialist to do the work, although it’s not hard to do yourself. Or why not leave it alone because classic Brits are hot stuff overseas, especially left-hand drivers?

Where you may lose out on with a US expat is with its detuned engine as it runs on more reliable carburettors. But that could be a good thing because you won’t suffer from PI woes plus you can easily uprate the engine to UK spec and beyond yet still on carbs.

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO DRIVE?

Even though the TR6 is basically an uprated TR4, which in itself traces its roots back to the post-war TR2, the Triumph still feels more a sports car than the MGC. The reasons are a more energetic engine and a chassis that likes to oversteer when pushed, although the handling is largely dependent on the state of the suspension that, according to TR specialists, will have been overhauled and modified (stiffer dampers and springs) to some extent by now. TR experts further advise not being too hung up on the 150bhp engine tune because this was an optimistic claim (strangely the 2.5PI saloon was rated at 132bhhp!) and the real world differences between this engine and the later 125bhp one is minimal. Without overdrive (which provides six-speeds if you use it right) the TR6 is fussy but even with it, the Triumph is a noisy car to tour in suffering from a familiar assortment of creaks and rattles as well as a lot of wind noise. The hard top fits quite well though – probably better than a Stag.

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO LIVE WITH?

The TR6 is a little harder to maintain than an earlier model but that’s mainly due to the fuel injection, which despite its age and – compared to modern set ups – simplicity is still best left to TR experts because its state of tune dictates the car’s performance; worn throttle linkages rob a lot of pep for instance and it’s a very common fault.

TRs hide their rust well, and rebuilds always cost more than you originally budget for and certainly more than buying a good one from the outset. This situation is complicated by the fact that very few TR6s are still around in an unrestored state. There’s an excellent supply of spares which, like the MGC, includes body panels from BMH.

VERDICT

Compared to the MGC, the TR6 feels far more a sports car and will appeal more to the out-and-out enthusiast as a result. The smoothness of the big six over the tractor-derived engine found in earlier TRs makes the TR6 feel the closest replacement for the Big Healey.



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