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View Full Version : TR6 Should I buy a TR6?



maypo52
12-23-2015, 05:10 PM
Hello All,

As recommended by Dave and Tom here are my questions;

I joined BCF because I am trying to decide if I actually want to take the plunge and buy a TR6. I have always loved the TR6 but never had the money or opportunity to buy one. I did own a 1973 Spitfire for a couple of years way back in 1978-79 and did a lot of work on it (rebuilt the motor) pretty much on my own. That was a fun car to drive. The TR6 has been in my mind since I retired a couple of years ago. I am still undecided whether or not I actually want to take the leap, but I'm not sure I want to do all the work that may come with it...:concern: I've been doing my research and looking at what is available out there. Lots of choices from fully restored to start from scratch (don't think I'll be doing that). I will peruse this site and others to help me make up my mind.

A few questions come to mind: What would be the best year to look for? With OD or not? Should everything be original? What after market add-ons are good? (ie. electronic ignition and such). What is he best online marketplace to look for a good candidate? Any and all opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Mark

malbaby
12-23-2015, 05:15 PM
Buy the one in the best condition that you can find with overdrive.
Restoration is a very time consuming and costly exercise.

Geo Hahn
12-23-2015, 05:26 PM
The last two British cars I bought came from eBay - though the venue is not so important if you have the right information. Both were very original low mileage (50-60K) cars.

In my opinion the safest choice is a nice, very original car -- including the original paint. It is really hard to conceal bad things if the car still carries its original paint (though many sellers say 'all original' then go on to mention a re-spray or one is indicated by the photos).

Failing 'all original' -- any good restoration should be well-documented.

Overdrive is a great feature if you plan on extended highway driving. OD can be added to a non-OD car (for $$).

TR3driver
12-23-2015, 05:49 PM
The usual warnings apply with any on-line transaction though. Basically be sure to keep one hand on your wallet at all times. I once paid a depost on a TR3B that turned out to be nowhere near the advertised condition (the seller had carefully avoided the rotted areas when taking lots of photos). After dragging a trailer some 2000 miles, I returned home without the car and without my deposit. (The seller promised to send me a check, but disappeared shortly afterwards.)

A shame, too, he had a barn full of interesting cars including a Triumph 1800 that used to belong to a local club member. I probably should have insisted on taking some piece with me as collateral for the deposit to be refunded, but I tend to assume people are honest even when they obviously are not.

arcom
12-23-2015, 06:31 PM
Quick answer....first, overdrive. Next, overdrive.

sail
12-23-2015, 06:34 PM
Yes. Like Geo I've bought a couple cars on eBay sight unseen, with the TR taking the balance in cash. That way I would be out a long drive and $500, not several thousand. I looked for no rust and original paint. I didnt want to get a car restored by a hack like me. In my case it wasn't running but that would be preferable, let the guy before you spend the money. There are lots to choose from, take your time and get the one that trips your trigger. I had watched them for a couple years.

tomshobby
12-23-2015, 06:44 PM
For any long distance purchase get the vin number and have your local police run a vin search. Then if possible have a local forum member check the car. The vin search saved me getting stuck before I purchased my TR6.

NutmegCT
12-23-2015, 06:53 PM
Mark - you might want to seek out a NYC based TR6 owner and see how comfortable you feel when behind the wheel. Do you know the NYC area clubs or owners groups?

I know I'm the exception - but I've "grown" a bit over the last 30 years. Or should I say "expanded"?

Tom M.

Edit: a list of clubs -

https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/custompages.php?page=Britishcarclubs

titanic
12-23-2015, 07:30 PM
Mark-Since you have owned a Spitfire, you are aware that old British sports cars are not a drive and forget it experience. I think at least half of the pleasure (maybe more) is maintaining and working on the car. Once the known weak areas are addressed, the TR6 is probably as reliable as any other car. Especially if it is driven frequently. If it sets in the garage unused for most of the year, don't expect it to be trouble free. If you don't enjoy working on the car, it probably isn't the car for you. The maintenance can be expensive and even if the mechanic is conscientious,the car will probably not be as well maintained as one that is fussed over by the owner.
Berry

glemon
12-23-2015, 09:22 PM
Agree 100% with what Berry said. I think these cars are for tinkerers. They can be pretty reliable, I went through the last couple driving seasons with no problems on the TR250 (TR6 under the skin). Basic formula is drive and enjoy regularly and tinker and fix til it stays fixed.

maypo52
12-24-2015, 01:40 AM
Thank you all for your comments. They will all help me make a decision one way or another.

I will definitely do my do diligence before I part with my cash as some of you have warned, and if possible I would want to have my eyes on the car before purchase.

I can turn a wrench and figure out most things mechanical and I'm not scared of getting a little dirt/grease under my fingernails, but I don't want to be under the hood more then being behind the wheel. That being said I'm sure I would enjoy the tinkering on a TR6 compared to today's cars.

I would probably lean in the direction of car in better than average condition like malbaby and sail said, and let the guy before me spend the money...:o

Thanks again,

Mark

Gliderman8
12-24-2015, 08:17 AM
When doing your search be sure to check the frame for rust; especially the trailing arms. Good luck, take your time, and checkout as many cars as you can.

tdskip
12-24-2015, 09:50 AM
Buying someone else's work for quarters on the dollar is the way to go provided, of course, the work is well done. These are strong and reliable cars once sorted, and sorting them out is not too difficult. Body condition would be my first consideration.

As noted an overdrive is a big plus but they can be retrofitted for around $2,000 if you do the work yourself.

Posting pictures here if any potential purchase is a very-very good idea.

Let us know how you get on.

Brinkerhoff
12-24-2015, 09:55 AM
I second the chassis frame inspection. These cars are all old now and the insides of the frame had no protection against rust at all and have been either slowly or quickly rusting since they were built. Insist on a thorough inspection on a lift ! An otherwise rust free looking car can hide serious frame damage that is expensive to remedy. Overdrive is THE option to have and not only makes it nice to drive but makes the difference between it selling quickly or not at all if the time comes. Adding OD by a competent shop would probably set you back $3500 in all.

Tom74TR6
12-24-2015, 10:14 AM
If you are really interested in a 6 may want to try 6-pack.org. There is a surrogate buyer program on that site, i have looked at cars in CT and Westchester county for folks.
One of our local members in our club has his car for sale, he is located in Pound Ridge, NY. His car has OD and is in great condition.
I can send you his contact details if interested

Got_All_4
12-24-2015, 10:34 AM
Like you I longed for a TR6. I worked in a gas station across from the local Volvo/Triumph dealer ship in the 70s and had to fill them up when they would go on test drives. It would kill me when they would line them all up on the front row angled with the wheel slightly turned to give it that action look. Like they were taunting me. The wallet couldn't afford the TR6 so I did buy a used 71 Spitfire. Had a lot of fun in it too.

However life got in the way with a wife and kids and I knew that a new one was out of the question. So right before I got married I bought a TR3 for $175 that needed restored with the idea to rebuild it over time as I had disposable income. To make a long story shorter I now have one of each body style which was my goal after Triumph went out of business. TR3A, TR250, TR6 and a TR7. (my user name Got_all_4) I've owned the TR6 for almost 10 years now and it needs restored . I elected to redo the TR3 first after 30 years of driving it and the values just keep going up on them. The 6 is next for sure.

So get what you want as soon as you can afford it and like malbaby said buy the best condition you can afford. I don't think the overdrive is that important if it's going to hinder you buying a car or one in better condition. Some guys over price there cars with a overdrive that is just ridiculous. As far as Ebay I would stay away from it. I like to look & drive poke and prod if possible before buying. I don't make that kind of money where I can just through it away on a bad purchase. Around here there is a lot on Craigs List and if you take your time purchasing one you can find absolute bargains there. I've seen fully restored cars go for pennies on the dollar vs Ebay where they get bided up higher then their value and like TR3driver experienced finding out that the lister was less then honest in listing it. Good Luck!!!

LarryK
12-24-2015, 10:40 AM
As Tom says, try one out first. If you fit in a Spitfire, you might not fit in a TR6. I drove a couple of Spits, but cannot get behind the wheel of a TR6, seems legs will not go under whel, even with seats all the way back.

BillyB62
12-24-2015, 12:25 PM
I too lusted for a TR6 in High School but did not have the resources to get one. I loved LBC's, having helped my neighbor restore an MGA our junior and senior years of HS but life happened and I sacrificed my wants due to much more important family priorities. When my kids were out of college, my wife said it was my turn and I could buy anything I wanted as long as it didn't need to be restored...it must drive! I took the advice of my people (especially on this forum) and bought the most car I could afford. I've never once regretted that choice as even with a driveable car there is always something to do....so my advice would be to determine your budget and buy up to that. Most people would agree (I think) that you will spend more on a restoration than the final car is worth...but the joy of driving these little roadsters is priceless!

To all, I'd like to add my wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous New Year to you and your families.

poolboy
12-24-2015, 12:41 PM
If you do get a "driver" then between what still needs to be done and what you just want to do as far as 'upgrades' you might figure spending 2 hours on such for every one hour you get to drive it....at least for the first couple of years.
And figure on spending about 2000 dollars a year in upkeep and upgrades for a couple of years, too.
But I don't think any 40 year old car in similar condition and value would be much different.
At the end of 2 or 3 years, you'll know YOUR car pretty well and have gained confidence in both yours' and the cars abilities and limitations.

maypo52
12-24-2015, 12:55 PM
As Tom says, try one out first. If you fit in a Spitfire, you might not fit in a TR6. I drove a couple of Spits, but cannot get behind the wheel of a TR6, seems legs will not go under whel, even with seats all the way back.

I don't think I'll have any problem fitting behind the wheel of a TR6. I'm only 5'6" and avbout 165lb...LOL

pdplot
12-24-2015, 01:05 PM
Buying an old LBC is like getting married. You are taking a chance. I found mine (the TR6) two miles from my house. Looked good but not running. I paid $2500 and towed it home on the end of a rope. Bought some new or missing parts and fixed it up myself. The battery had been installed backwards, burning out the alternator. Luckily for me, the engine and gearbox were strong and there was only a slight bit of rust on the rockers - still there 20 years later.I never bothered to fix it and it's not spreading. I had a welding shop (since closed) weld in a reinforcing plate in the rear of the frame,had an electrical short fixed by a local shop, and when it needed brake work and a rebuilt differential, I farmed it out to an LBC repair shop that proved to be sloppy and incompetent. Later work was done by expert friends with me looking on and washing parts as I have trouble with heavy work due to my age and bad back. Get yourself a shop manual and check out the online catalogs and you'll do fine. PS - We just celebrated our 50th anniversary.

maypo52
12-24-2015, 06:06 PM
Thanks again for all the good info.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

PS. And to pdplot (https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/member.php?11895-pdplot); Happy 50th anniversary!

pdplot
12-25-2015, 02:24 PM
Thanks, Maypo. Good luck if you decide to take the plunge. On the plus side, parts are relatively cheap and available and there are experts here to set you straight.

Daniel_B
12-26-2015, 07:53 PM
As mentioned before check out the club listings especially in your area. I found a decent Jensen Healey through the JHPS club site, Also a complete interior for my Stag on the TSCUSA club site. These clubs offer a lot of good advice and lists of reputable companies (these usually give discounts to members)
I would also look in Hemmings though some are pricey, College Park usually list some nice looking drivers for a decent price and they post tons of pictures.
Good luck in your search!
"Keep em on the road"
Dan

TR3driver
12-26-2015, 09:22 PM
College Park usually list some nice looking drivers for a decent price and they post tons of pictures.

Who or what is College Park, please? I only know of a town in Maryland by that name. (lived there for a few years, many moons ago)