Bargain Brit: 1972 Triumph TR6

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Of all of the TR series sports cars produced by Triumph, my absolute favorite is the TR6. There is something about the squarer styling and those aggressively deep standard wheels that really appeals to me. This one is going to need some work to revive it, but the asking price appears to make it a real candidate for restoration. Located in Tucker, Georgia, it is listed for sale here on eBay.

There is a bit of rust visible in the Triumph, as well as the occasional ding and dent, but from the outside things look promising. The rockers will need replacing, and there are a few other minor rust spots around the car, but all of these are repairable. The big worry is what’s going on under the skin. We have no idea about the state of the floors or frame, which is disappointing. The state of the frame will really determine the viability of the car as a restoration project.

The Triumph has been off the road for at least 20-years, but all things considered, the interior has survived remarkably well. Apart from the missing radio, the interior trim doesn’t look too bad. This is especially surprising given the fact that the soft-top has disintegrated, and offered no protection from dirt, dust, or anything else for that matter. I can only assume that the car was under a cover of some description because I would certainly have expected things to look a lot dirtier inside the car.

Under the hood are the 2.5-liter 6-cylinder engine and manual transmission. While the cars destined for the UK and other world markets were fitted with fuel-injection and produced 150hp, the US cars were fed by carburetors, and produced 125hp. This was still enough to provide pretty reasonable performance. The Triumph is fitted with a manual transmission with overdrive. However, we get no indication of the state of the engine. Having said that, there are some indications that someone has at least tried to get the car running, so we need to cross our fingers on that.

Prices for a reasonable TR6 will generally start at around the $14,000 mark, but a really good one will command $30,000 or more. There are a number of unknown factors to consider on this one, including the state of the floors, the frame, and the engine. If the frame is solid, then this car would be a good candidate for a restoration, and the owner’s BIN price of $1,750 makes it all the more attractive.

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  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Hallelujah, it’s got O/D!! ( badge over right tail light and text sez so) As little as 5 years ago, I’d jump at this chance, just not today, and sadly, and from what seems like a slight downturn in British sports car values, anybody that would have been interested in these cars, probably feels like me, just isn’t happening today. I don’t think you’ll find a cheaper 6 that’s in one piece.

    Like 5
  2. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Not to be the one to kick the sleeping dog, but why is it luggage racks seem to be OK on everything but a Corvette? They are very handy for two seaters. Though I never hear comments like ‘get rid of the rack’ on anything but a Vette?

    Like 5
    • ccrvtt

      L D: I used to think there were only 2 kinds of people in the world – those who drove Corvettes and those who wished they drove one. Now I realize there is a third kind – those who secretly wish they drove a ‘Vette but are too timid to admit it to themselves.

      “Ugly”, “Plastic”, “Terrible seats”, “Showy”, “Cheap”, “Gold chains & Members Only jackets”, etc. It’s easier to criticize than to accept your guilty pleasures.

      I personally like luggage racks on Corvettes, especially C3 & C4 convertibles. I had them on my MGBs, too. Very useful for long trips.

      Ultimately we’re all prejudiced in some way or another, but the bias against luggage racks on Corvettes is a mystery.

      Like 6
    • Kevin Harper

      I know nothing of the corvette community, but in the Italian car community they are derided particularly on the 2 seat convertibles. They cause water leaks and rust, make the trunk difficult to clean are just rarely used and they overload the trunk springs.

      Like 3
      • ccrvtt

        C3 & C4 Corvettes don’t have trunklids and they’re made of plastic so rust is a minor issue.

        Just another reason to love Corvettes.

        And hate Italian cars.

        Just kidding… Would trade my C6 for a 328GTS in a heartbeat, but can’t find any takers.

        Like 1
  3. ATL_Jeff

    BIN is $1650! This is literally around the corner from me and I’ve always wanted a TR6. My wife just yelled ‘NO WAY’ from across the room. Too many half finished projects. Damn. I should probably finish one of them.

    Like 12
  4. Eric

    If you are planning to restore 1 … buy 2 !

    Like 3
  5. PDXBryan

    TR-6s are cool but it’ll always be TR-4s for me!

    Like 2
  6. Tim

    Oh boy! So much temptation and pain in one posting!

    I’ve owned/traded nearly 10 of these things now, so know some of the pitfalls. In fact I have two for sale if anyone’s interested! :-)

    Let’s start with that body. The rockers rusted out and holes in the back of the rear fenders points to the TR6’s nemesis. You can bet there’s way more of that to come. Inner rear fenders will be perforated, the flitch panel at the B-Pillar will also be rotten. Trunk floor probably gone too, and rear valence. Further forward, battery tray will probably be perforated and if it’s sat in Georgia weather for 20 years, the drains under the windshield will be blocked and rusty. No mention of the floor, but they suffer too. Both Trunk and Hood may be rusty along their edges and doors in the bottom. Much depends on how well the elements were kept out.

    That’s just the body. Frames don’t tend to rust at the front due to oil leaks, but shock mounts/trunions can shear off because they dry out, and the eyes on the front of the frame get bashed in. Accidents can bend everything up front and in my experience US cars don’t tend to get straightened properly due to their commodity value 20 years ago. At the back, the swinging arm mounts commonly rot out and given the other rust I would think it highly likely on this one. Patch panels are available if you can weld.

    Transmission, if truly an O/D unit is worth having. Might make the entire car worth buying if it actually works. Engine could be seized, and might have rear Crankshaft thrust-washer endfloat problems. Would need to yank on the Crankshaft to find out. Not expensive to fix if it hasn’t damaged the block. Diffs leak and dry out as do Spicer joints, sliding half shaft joints wear and lever arm dampers wear out. None of this is insurmountable or expensive if not gone too far, but can add up if it’s all happened.

    The interior will be as crispy as anything! The seat rubbers may have sagged, the seat foams will be dust and the vinyl panels all round very dry and brittle. They won’t survive being used for long. That will cost you $1500 to replace at minimum. The top may be shot too. Carpets will undoubtedly be rotten, depending mostly on whether it was stored with the top up and watertight, or whether the floors are intact. The dash will be delaminated and glove box toast. What is going on with that dash surround and dash? Vinyl or leather? Certainly not original, and hiding what? No heater controls, so no heater?

    Electrical may be OK once the grounding problems are sorted, but this is 50 year old Lucas! Looms are cheapish, but you usually have many attempted repairs to work around before you can even determine if it’s needed.

    Overall, parts are readily available, with some exceptions. Most is mechanically easy to work on if you have any experience, and rust is the ultimate enemy turning a might-have into a basket case. If you want parts this might be worth it, but you might just end up with more parts that also need refurbishing, rather than anything better than you already have. This really needs to be gone over with a fine tooth comb, even at this price.

    Like 19
    • Patrick Bloem

      Interior is totally wonky. Should have a wood dashboard. Dash pad top & bottom is recovered. Center dash support is missing. Carpets, door cards, window & door handles are aftermarket. The overdrive is worth the price but may need rebuilding. I have a 73 that I picked up with a seized engine but loosed it up with trans fluid/marvel mystery oil cocktail. Frame is the BIG gamble but there are repair parts or a RATCO replacement. OH, and a shame the hood release cable broke and the “fix” was to cut a hole in the hood, brutal. All in all though, the price is worth the parts.

      Like 2
  7. Vegaman Dan

    Very worth it and it will disappear quickly. I know I’d be pulling money out of savings and heading out with my trailer if it was within 1-2 states from me.

    Like 1
  8. Grizz

    I have owned a 6 for 40 years, easy to work on, parts are available and fun to drive. This old girl will need lots of work to get it ship shape but most can be done by someone with limited mechanical ability. Frame and trailing arm attachment points are prone to rusting. The motors and driveline seem to be well made and will take lots of abuse. Great machines if you like to tinker.

    Like 2
  9. Rich

    I sold my last of 3 TR6s 2 years ago, and they are fantastic fun cars, and easy to work on. All parts are available and inexpensive. When I see one like this, I think, yeah, it would be so cool to get it running and driving, and just drive it ugly. But as others have pointed out, there are pitfalls on TR6s that mostly originate from the R-U-S-T. They can be patched up, but rust is rust unfortunately. Good Luck!

    Like 0
  10. Chris Cline

    I have loved the TR6 since it was first released and I was stationed in Germany. Could take the Ferry over to the UK and bring one back for $2495. I have also been a mechanic for 55 years. If you buy this be prepared to use some elbow grease and long hours to bring this back to life. I can tell you right off the bat you will want to rewire the electrical system at the age of the vehicle. ’72 is the best year because safety bumpers and heavy smog emissions were not introduced until 1973.

    Like 0
  11. ATL_Jeff

    I’m crying. They dropped the Buy it Now to $1,250. If only I had some covered long term parking! I’m sure it has issues but they are basically giving it away.

    Like 0

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