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TR6 Worth Saving??? What do you think we should do?

16 y.o. first car


  • Total voters
    21
  • Poll closed .

Slasher

Freshman Member
Offline
Okay,
It has been a roller coaster week.. I though I was buying a father-son project with a suspension problem... But it was actually a frame issue..
I have to step back and assess... I am going to get it to a restorer who actually does this type fab work and then decide depending on if he will fix the frame, and how much it will cost...
But the community knows more about these lil cars and what is out there... and in what condition...As was suggested, it isn't worth it. I think it is, but it may not be to me and my son...


Drivers Floorboard


passengers floorboard



Behind drivers seat



Behind passengers seat


Original worn REDSTRIPE!!!

Trunk pan



rocker panels


engine bay
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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In my opinion, you should go ahead and fix it to be a "driver". Once you accept that it will never be a show car (in this incarnation anyway), there are a shortcuts that make the job a whole lot easier than doing a "frame-off restoration".

Find a frame shop that can stretch the frame back into shape well enough, and weld in reinforcements to hold it there. Patch up the rust with fiberglass, the dents with Bondo, and get a cheap respray. Then you & your son can enjoy the car soon, and decide together where to go from there. If the restoration bug bites, then you and he can decide whether to take this one back off the road to restore, or keep it to drive while working on another one.

For me anyway, driving the car is the fun part. Other people get their kicks restoring them down to the last nut and bolt; but I would rather be driving a car with a few defects than working on a pile of parts in the garage.

But ultimately, it has to be your decision. Don't let me or anyone else tell you what is "right" or "wrong". It's your car (I mean you and your son of course), so you get to decide what it should be. It should please you, not me.
 

Gliderman8

Yoda
Gold
Country flag
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The other option is to replace the frame unless it makes more economical sense to repair yours. There's a company in NY called RATCO that makes frames for the TR6. Just another option.
 

Geo Hahn

Yoda
Country flag
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I've never had a TR6 (or any IRS TR) but my understanding is that the rust/integrity that matters most are in the rear of the car. In particular around the mounts for the trailing arms and diff and in the area sometimes called the 'T-Shirt Pressing'.

I mention it as you may be coming up on a decision point on the frame so you might as well have as much info as possible on what else will need to be considered.
 

George_H

Jedi Trainee
Country flag
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Take it to someone that knows tr6's. One look and many tr6 owner can tell if its repairable. From your original post, I'm not sure about the frame condition. If its bent, you can probably fix it or have it fixed. If the t-shirt area and rear suspension mounting area are rotted its a new frame or find a donor.
 

malbaby

Jedi Warrior
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IMHO it will cost a LOT of time and MONEY to completely restore the car.
Perhaps sell the car and buy a nice one that does not require any additional expense.
 

Tybalt

Jedi Trainee
Country flag
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As others have said in the other thread, you might want to contact Georgia Triumph Association and see if they have any recommendations on contacts in your area.

From the description you offered of the problem part, it sounds like it is what they call the front turret assembly, part numbers 307796 (LH) and 307797 (RH).

https://gar.zeni.net/trf/TR6bluebook/T6-V1-Drivetrain-Chassis.pdf Go to Plate DC for items DC5 and DC6.

As near as I can tell, those are no longer supplied (NLS). Revington TR out of the UK specifically states that their replacement frames will reuse front turrets from a donor. Rimmer Brothers out of the UK shows frames as exchange items and also shows the turrets as NLS, so my gut feeling there is they are also using donor turrets. Same with Moss Europe, Moss US, and Roadster Factory when it comes to listing them as inventory items.

While there are differences in the TR6 frames over the years, the turrets are the same regardless of year for the TR250 and TR6. I think that the TR4A uses that same turret, but can't say for sure. I can say for sure that the TR4 and back turret will not work.

I see four options at this point if you want to keep this car:

1. Find a donor for the needed frame bits

2. Fabricate the needed frame bits from scratch

3. Contact RATCO, see if their parts used for building up new frames could be used to repair your existing frame and if they would sell you the needed repair bits.

4. Replace the frame with a new one.

Before I would go tossing big amounts of money at this car, I would also ask that the body man make an assessment of the body shell, especially the sills and the pillars at the doors. If you get back an iffy report on these areas, it will have gone beyond the realm of building a "driver" and driving it. It would either become a full blown restoration or it should either go to someone else or perhaps be looked upon as a parts car.

I'm not trying to be the angel of doom and gloom, it's just that this information on the frame damage has moved this from being a straight forward father -son project where son gets a drivable classic sports car in short order to something that looks to be much more involved and it doesn't sound like that is what the two of you signed up for when taking this on.
 

justin_mercier

Jedi Warrior
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Up here in new england we'd call that a rust free car !

edit: seriously, that's all surface rust, doesnt even look like it's through rust in any of those places, though cant tell without going at it with a pick. That's WAY better than ANY non-restored car you can find up my way.
 

poolboy

Yoda
Country flag
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I think you got more than you bargained for.
Some of these fellows said they had such and such for a first car, but that was a long time ago and the cars weren't 45 years old at the time.

Sell it and get the boy something to drive that was made either in this century or the last decade of the 20th century, unless you want to follow him around with your tool box for the first year or two until you get the bugs worked out.
 
OP
S

Slasher

Freshman Member
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Up here in new england we'd call that a rust free car !

edit: seriously, that's all surface rust, doesnt even look like it's through rust in any of those places, though cant tell without going at it with a pick. That's WAY better than ANY non-restored car you can find up my way.

I say except for the back f the trunk lid, you're right.. mostly surface rust.. except for that, I could probably cut out any iffy metal and use a 12x12in piece of metal for all the replacement pieces...
Thats why I thought it was a great project!! a lil soda blasting, sand blasting on the worse spots... some cutting... a lil welding,,, a qt or two of POR-15... and then prep for paint... 4 coats of single stage... it'd be a nice driver...

I will get with the Triumph club... They're gonna be about 12 miles away next month... Maybe I can join them and get some
honest opinions...

In reality.. I may just buy him a lil toyota/honda/mazda... and roll this thing into the shop and use it as a learn to weld, spray paint, chase and shoot wires...
 

ed_h

Jedi Hopeful
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You call that rust? That isn't rust. This is rust...
SDC12865aa.JPG
 

TR-3rg

Senior Member
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Hi,

Have you posted a photo of the actual damage? I believe in the first thread you had drove it home and it ran good. If the front end is way out of alignment, several company's sell an adjustable (welded) upper control arm pivots.

Another consideration in the decision may be insurance. I do not know if you can get "antique car insurance" for a car with a 16 year old driver. If all you can get is liability, you may want to watch your budget.



Roy
 

Tybalt

Jedi Trainee
Country flag
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..... Another consideration in the decision may be insurance. I do not know if you can get "antique car insurance" for a car with a 16 year old driver. If all you can get is liability, you may want to watch your budget.

Roy

Roy raises a valid point about insurance coverage. As a general rule vintage/antique/collectible policies rule out the car being used as a driver and to the typical standard insurance company policies out there it will be just another mid-70s crock.

If you are seriously considering getting something else as your son's driver and use this car as a full blown father-son restoration project, you might very well be on a better path. My suggestion for going that route and getting most of the way to what your son seemed to be looking for, suggest that you look at Miatas. You can pick up decent NB series cars (1998 - 2005) for reasonable prices. The NA models (1989 to 1997) cars are at that collectible inflection point where they are nice but priced accordingly or worse for wear and you'd probably have to sink some money into it. You can pick up early NC series (2006 - 2015) cars for reasonable prices, but I think they might be too "modern" and lacking that sports car rawness that might have been his motivation for wanting a TR6. Another plus is that many Miata owners also have or have had British sports cars in the past. They can relate to tales of both joy and woe with respect to British cars.

If you think that might be viable option, here's a link to miata.net, lots of different areas including tech stuff and a rather active forum:

https://miata.net/
 

bnw

Jedi Warrior
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I did it with a $300 car, similar to yours back in 1990. I thought my frame was good until someone told me to take a pick hammer to it. I had rust in the rear deck, all four corners where the mud collects, and in the rear dog legs. Strangely enough, my doors, and sills were nearly perfect. Wings and quarters were only $200 each from some supplier in Rhode Island. I elected to get a rust free budy tub shipped to Michigan from a Salem, OR wrecking yard for $800 total. I bought a welder, sand blaster, 2 paint guns and went to work. It took me a year, every spare moment except for a few weeks when my wood stove couldn't get the barn up to working temperature because it was sub zero outside. My seats and door panels were all good. It ended up costing me over $5000 in 1990 dollars. For the experience I gained, it was worth it. From every other aspect, it wasn't. I kept the car for 16 years and sold it for $12000. That was one year out of a young man's life. Today, I'm caught up in a 57 TR3 project for almost 10 years now that I just can't seem to finish. Everything you touch on that car is going to need more than you anticipated. I would take Randall's advice and get it on the road ASAP, or dump it and find another one.
 

HerronScott

Darth Vader
Offline
If you are seriously considering getting something else as your son's driver and use this car as a full blown father-son restoration project, you might very well be on a better path. My suggestion for going that route and getting most of the way to what your son seemed to be looking for, suggest that you look at Miatas. You can pick up decent NB series cars (1998 - 2005) for reasonable prices. The NA models (1989 to 1997) cars are at that collectible inflection point where they are nice but priced accordingly or worse for wear and you'd probably have to sink some money into it. You can pick up early NC series (2006 - 2015) cars for reasonable prices, but I think they might be too "modern" and lacking that sports car rawness that might have been his motivation for wanting a TR6. Another plus is that many Miata owners also have or have had British sports cars in the past. They can relate to tales of both joy and woe with respect to British cars.

If you think that might be viable option, here's a link to miata.net, lots of different areas including tech stuff and a rather active forum:

https://miata.net/

Actually that's the route we went with our son more to give him the top-down 2-seater experience of a British car. Picked up a 1997 NA with only 87,000 miles and a hard top.

Scott
 

traveler501

Freshman Member
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I don't think the car looks all that bad if you want to make a project out of it. But keep it for yourself, get your son a Miata and never look back!
Btw, very nice NA Miata on Bringatrailer this week (auction ending Wednesday)….31k miles, currently at $7100.
 

Born_Loser

Member
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Not long ago, we went through the "first car" question. I will save everyone the trouble of re-posting their opinions - here you go!

https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/showthread.php?98266-Spitfire-or-TR6-for-sons-first-car

All that being covered (to Miata or not to Miata), our "project" is on the road (we both know its never really 100% complete). Having come through this with a 15/16 year old very recently, I offer this advice. Do NOT do a frame off. I don't know your son, but, 15/16 year old kids typically don't want to work on a car - every spare minute - for a couple years. Don't kid yourself, it will take that long - at least 1 full year of azz-s and elbows. Remember, he will not really speed up much, you have to teach him everything, and, most importantly, keep something he can do by himself every time there is something he cant help you with. He is not going to want to "watch" - he will be bored to tears that way. As someone posted earlier - just decide its not going to be a show queen, and find a path that gets it on the road much sooner. We went about 7 months - and that was plenty long for a high schooler. That being said, he took it to an "open" car show, at a local car restaurant, and the American Muscle car guys really liked it/him, so they gave him one of their 50 trophies (exaggeration, but they did give out a lot). That's about the most we can expect (we did NOT take it off the frame), but that, the conversations at the gas pump, the thumbs up on the road, and the "what year is it?" at the red lights, he feels like he's driving a super car. Knowing we were not going for points - gave him a chance to make it his own. We have metal flake pearl paint; painted stripes; the badgeing is from an earlier year; a lot that should be black on a '70, is chrome, like a '69; side markers are deleted; we made the dash, steering wheel, shifter knob, and handle escutcheons out of the same Walnut....you get the idea.

So, for me, the only 2 options I would consider:
1) Find a quick (relatively) path to drivability - a project that doesn't require EVERYTHING - If you are planning on doing the body, and interior, be sure you DON'T have to do the drive train as well...
2) OR, find a car that fits number 1.

You don't want him to finish this car, just in time to have to go to college!

Cole with his Spit:

attachment.php
 

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Slasher

Freshman Member
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Thanks Folks,

Anyone looking for a nice project? (for full disclosure has a little frame issue...)
I'll be putting it upon the classifieds once we take off the wheel so I can get a good pic of it online....
PM if interested
 

NutmegCT

Great Pumpkin
Silver
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I may have missed a comment, but what does your son want to do?

Is he really taken with the "Little British Car" idea? Does he want to learn to work on old cars?

Or is he just interested in having something small and fast?

If he's a young "car guy", and you have the time and money to do it - just keep it and you two work together. Great father/son project.

My neighbor overlooked the obvious: got an old sports car (needing lots of TLC) for his son, but his son really wasn't interested. He forgot to ask his son if he'd even want one - and his son wants nothing to do with wrenches, oil, and grease. Oh well.

Tom
 
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