View Full Version : TR5/TR250 Looking at TR250, has issues, need advice

04-07-2012, 07:54 AM
I'm looking at potentially purchasing a friends TR250 with chrome wires and working OD. Drives very well, looks great from 20 feet, needs some chrome and slight cosmetic stuff as well as interior work and top. Floors are mostly un rusted with a small 2" hole (very patchable) on the drivers side. There is some bubbling in the rear quarters forward of the wheels, but not major, and the car was painted 15 years ago.

Now the real issue: The frame outriggers that mount the rear suspension have been replaced with box section tubing, and the "T shirt" pressing in the middle has been replaced with flat 1/8" plate steel. It has all been done professionally, looks clean, and to an un-trained eye, would look standard. It was done without removing body from frame. The car feels solid over bumps in the road, but the door gaps are large at the top, probably due to the previous rusted frame pieces, and whoever welded it up didn't get the sag out.

Would you guys shy away at this? I'm leary, but I really like the car otherwise, and could probably buy it for under $8K. I could have it looking show-worthy for $10K. I just want to be able to sell it one day and not lose money. I buy cars that I like, but I also like them to be good investments...

04-07-2012, 08:12 AM
Cars that have been patched and painted are difficult to assess, IMO. Usually what appears to be localized rust, e.g. 2 inch hole, turns out to be more extensive. Door gaps and sag are big problems. Car seems, to me at least, to be a driver candidate rather than a show car.

Simon TR4a
04-07-2012, 09:10 AM
This one is not any kind of investment!
If you like it as a driver you could consider it but that car needs a complete restoration with major work done to be a decent car.
I would look for a car with a good frame and body, the mechanical stuff is cheaper to fix.

To get an idea of what is involved check the "My TR6 project" thread by Scot1966, he has plenty of photos showing frame repair in the area you mention.

Marvin Gruber
04-07-2012, 09:29 AM
Run Forrest. If the frame wasn't rusty, I'd say go for it. It won't be a good investment at $8k. If you can buy it around $4k and do the the frame replacement yourself, you might come out okay.

04-07-2012, 12:01 PM
I could have it looking show-worthy for $10K.

Want to bet on that?

04-07-2012, 12:52 PM
Doing all the work myself minus painting which I will have done by a professional shop, I figure getting my car restoration 'show worthy' which had many of the same problems listed is going to be north of $30,000

Restoring a car is ALWAYS more expensive than you think, and vastly more time consuming. Originally I budgeted 15k for restoration and 5k for the car. I've blown past that.

04-07-2012, 03:21 PM
My math is: come up with a realistic budget. Then double it.

Expect at max $.5 on the $1 back, more like $.15 is it is not both rare and desirable.

04-07-2012, 08:20 PM
OK, looks unanimous here...

By show worthy, I didn't mean concours... just where I wouldn't feel silly parking it in a "peoples choice" show. The intention was to make a very nice driver out of it. The plan was to replace some of the interior, get bumpers re-chromed, and put a top on it. The paint and body is actually pretty good. I could do a frame replacement, but I'm already into a frame- off TR4A IRS restoration, and was looking to have something to drive top-down to enjoy the summer. Just didn't want to lose money on it if I sold it in the fall. Aren't good driver TR250's worth in the $12K range?

Geo Hahn
04-07-2012, 08:39 PM
My math is: come up with a realistic buget. Then double it...

Yup, a variation on the old technique: "Get 3 estimates, then add them up".

04-08-2012, 02:26 AM
Britlover, yes, would agree about good driver TR250s being north of 10K. Everybody has their own opinions about this, and certainly where you see rust repairs you want to check carfully to make sure they got everything, if you are doing a frame off on a 4A you probably know where to look.

If the welds look strong and the metal they are attached to solid it may be OK, don't think you could touch a decent looking, running driving 250 for 4K, rough resto projects have brought that much and more in the last few years, I wouldn't run away, but I would get it up on a lift and poke the frame with screwdriver or something a little blunter if they made it all pretty down there, the frames rust from the inside out, and what looks good can sometimes be bent or poked through with your fingers.

The rear fenders rust along the door line as you describe, unfortunately the repair is a little more complicated because it is on the folded over seam.

The door gaps can be closed up some by shimming up the back frame to body mounts.

I did just re-read your description, I would inspect the undersides VERY carfully and might try to dicker down the price a little. Interiors are very expensive to do on these cars, probably spent more there on mine than anywhere else (doing all the labor except engine machine work myself).