Our Cars: New Garage Find 1969 TR6

There’s a new garage find in our household! How it got there is a long story, but this 1969 Triumph TR6 is a real beauty; not quite perfect but perfectly wonderful to drive and have fun with. Sometimes you folks like to hear about our new acquisitions, so I figured I’d tell you the story behind this one that I brought home just yesterday and how it came to be ours!

I’ve been a member of the Triumph Club of the Carolinas since 1987, and have been an officer more than not over that period. I’m also a member of the Vintage Triumph Register, 6-Pack and various other car clubs, and thoroughly recommend them; you may come for the cars but you stay for the people! I was contacted in early May by a fellow TCOC member who had an issue with his car and was also trying to sell it due to a rapidly approaching move. I tried my best to diagnose it by email and thought at first it might just be a stuck clutch plate or a simple hydraulic fix, but unfortunately it turned out to be the dreaded broken cross-shaft pin, a common failure for TRs that leaves them without a functional clutch. It’s not a hard thing to fix, but it does entail pulling the transmission, which in a TR2-TR6 is done through the interior and takes a while. I was traveling for my job so I wasn’t able to come over and help him, and he wanted the car gone quickly.

I suggested that he take some pictures and write up some ad copy for me to look over; meanwhile he sent me the pictures you are seeing here. Both my and my wife’s heart stopped beating for a moment as we have a TR6 that is off the road at the moment and miss it dearly, and this car was stunning. Of course, I was sure it would be out of our reach anyway. And yes, I know the front spoiler isn’t correct for a 1969, but I would have put it on anyway because I like the look so much.

To make a very long story short, when the gentleman heard my wife was interested in the car (HER TR6, take note…yes, I’m very lucky…) he lowered the price to a very reasonable level we couldn’t quite afford but did anyway (you will see at least one of my other Triumphs for sale on this site shortly as a result) and I brought the car and a load of parts and documentation home Friday after getting back from my business trip. And for you anoraks, the steering wheel is from a later car as well. I like it that way.

She/he (we’re arguing about that) starts on the first cylinder and purrs, and the clutch fix should only take me a weekend — I can’t wait! In addition to a bunch of spare parts, a lot of which were new, the seller and his wife were kind enough to include her beautiful picnic basket and the leather straps to attach it with, complete with Union Jack liner.

Cristina is going to let me share the driving until I get my own 1973 TR6 back on the road later this year (it’s the next car for me to tackle once we finish wiring the shop). So what do you think of this garage find “project” that isn’t really a project? And note that the nicest things can happen through belonging to a car club — join your local or national club today!

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  1. Josh Mortensen Josh Mortensen Staff

    Very cool Jamie! I’m super jealous! Thanks for sharing

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks, Josh!!! We are so pumped about this one!

  2. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Jamie (and, Cristina), that is such a gorgeous car! Congratulations on a find that most of us dream about – finding a vehicle in that condition, wow!
    Now, about that even trade with an ’86 Stanza wagon that we talked about.. (crickets)..

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks Scotty, but I think I’ll pass on the trade for now. 🙂

  3. Steve R

    Congratulations. I hope your wife and you enjoy it.

    Steve R

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks, Steve!

  4. Neal

    A beautiful find! Enjoy.
    That’s one of my favorite roadsters, and it’s in such nice shape.
    I’m starting to notice more details on different makes and models and years by following Barnfinds; is it usual for the windshield frame to be black or otherwise different from the body color? I don’t recall noticing that before.. nice effect either way, especially balancing the black front spoiler and the typical black rear panel.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Early cars should be body color ala TR250. 1973? on are satin black. Good eye and thank you!

      • Andrew S Mace

        The black satin frames started with the 1970 model year (also on Spitfire and GT6)!

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        Thanks, Andy!

  5. Rock On

    Nice ride Jamie, I wouldn’t have noticed the spoiler or steering wheel unless you pointed them out. Don’t worry what other people think, just enjoy the car.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thank you! Anyone that knows me knows that I will enjoy any Triumph stock or otherwise!

  6. angliagt

    Nice score! Didn’t the ’69’s have a ridge on the rear
    fender tops?
    I didn’t know that you’re in NC.I’m in Roanoke.
    Here’s a picture of my TR6 that I sold a few years back.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      I think that was just the very early 69’s, but I might be wrong. And I am in Pittsboro. Why did you sell your TR6? Looks like a nice one!

      • angliagt

        I had to part with one car – kept the ’67 MGB GT.
        I had both of them stored at my Mom’s house.
        She has Parkinson’s,& ended up selling her house
        & moving into assisted living.
        Best thing I did was sell it to a guy in Sacramento,
        so I didn’t see it driving around,& having regrets.
        If you get to Roanoke,please get ahold of me.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        Love to, Anglia! I certainly understand about losing the TR6, and yes, it’s a VERY good idea to sell it to someone far, far away. I know that one from personal experience.

  7. kem jones

    Glad to hear that you’re adding to your Triumph collection I have just found a collection of Triumph 2000 roadsters .This one has been of the road since 1966 . along with parts from 3 more roadsters.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Terrific! Be sure and share pictures as you put them back together!

  8. Poptheclutch

    Nice find Jamie. As I never been into much anything of imports let alone TR6s
    Until I started reading BF.but I have noticed the wheels and tires look huge
    On those small cars.they must ride and handle pretty good.cool looking car!😎

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks! They are a lot of fun :-)

  9. Kiwi Glen

    Fantastic find – interesting that you wife called dibs my wife has done the same with our Vitesse

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      She already has a Herald :-)

  10. Beatnik Bedouin

    Great score, Jamie! Wishing you both many happy miles in the TR6.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thank you!

  11. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    What a great story, especially about a project that will likely take only a weekend. At that point it looks like Jamie & Cristina will have a lovely TR6 that might not need anything but driving. That’s the kind of “project” I think we’d all like to fall into.

    Like Jamie said, join a club and maybe that could also happen to the rest of us.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks, Dolphin! I really do feel strongly about joining clubs, even if you aren’t an “active” member. I’ve gotten TONS of information from other members and it’s nice when I can actually give some of that back.

  12. Mountainwoodie

    Now THATS the wqy buy a project! Almost done. Beautiful car …really really sweet.

    I once had a boss on a construction job one summer who drove a brand new one….probably the summer of 1971 or 2. British racing green ….man that guy had it going on….worst of all he was just a couple of years older than me at the time!

    Youthful envy but it stoked a flame I still have burning. A Tr 6 or better yet a 250…

    …I’ll bet you’re walking on cloud 6!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Cloud 6! Love it! Maybe a vanity license plate…hmmmm….

  13. Andy

    Great car and great story! True car guys (like the seller) want their cherished vehicles to go to a good home. Glad the TR was lucky to find the right one.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thank you!

  14. jdjonesdr

    Pays to be in the loop. Well done.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Just lucky this time, but thanks!

  15. Steve

    Great story and a lovely TR6. Now if an Italia should happen to come up for sale…….

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Steve, there is at least one and possibly two Italias for sale right now. I’m not selling mine, though!

  16. Howard A Member

    Sounds good. Proof positive, the “being in the right place at the right time” gets the prize. Sure is clean. No mention( again) of O/D and wires, both deal killers for me. The “dreaded” broken cross shaft, which I’m not too sure what that is, (is that the throw out fork?) and if it is common, further makes me glad I didn’t buy a TR6. I don’t think any less of the car, it’s just, in my current situation, I have no means of repairing a deal like that, and with shops charging just south of $100/hr. that’s not an option either. Always enjoy owners stories.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks for the kind words Howard. It doesn’t have overdrive (yet), but I have one ready to install. The cross shaft is what the throw out fork is mounted to — there is a hardened pin that secures it and that’s what has broken. Inexpensive part but it does require pulling the transmission to fix. However, you don’t need anything special to remove it as the tranny comes out through the interior (and has an aluminum case, so it’s actually lighter than the smaller but cast iron Spit tranny). As far as the wires go, you can knock out the studs, put on longer ones and put whatever wheels on it you would like. It’s not like an MGB where you have to replace the whole rear axle.

  17. ccrvtt

    Jealous. Jealous. Jealous. But lots of admiration for pursuing your passion. In this case your commitment has yielded a real gem.

    Drive. Enjoy. Repeat.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thank you! I plan on driving it (when Cristina lets me have the keys :-))

  18. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great find! Congrats! I rolled one back in the day, BRG. I will never forget that story. Enjoy and best of luck, she is a looker.

    • Neal

      Well, Lieniedude, what was the story? Did you duck down into the cockpit? I’m sure that flimsy windshield frame didn’t protect you.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Hi Neal, I left the cockpit and ended up in a barb wire fence. My back still looks like some one scrapped me with a metal rake. Yes, I am so happy to be here.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        We’re glad you are here too!

      • Neal

        Sounds like an arrow escape.

  19. Glen Lochte

    My friends were getting muscle cars at the time. I loved my ‘69 TR6 even with weaknesses. Carb diaphragms, rockers wore into slotted holes on round shaft, clutch replaced through inside as you described. The biggest problem was when a pothole deformed/tore the lower A-frame bushing away from the main car frame. I still miss it. This one look really nice.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks, Glen!

  20. Robert Thomas

    I love the color! And the exhaust note of these cars is sweet. Enjoy!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Could not agree more on the exhaust note! Thanks, Robert!

  21. Grizz

    I’ve had a TR6 now for over 35 years, easy to work on, plenty of parts suppliers. I look forward to every spring, to fire it up and listen to that great exhaust. Puts a smile on my face every time. Nice find.

    • Mike Cobb

      I love to see on stories on Barn Finds about nice TR6 cars that have been cared for. I bought mine new in 1975 and it has been with me since then. I really enjoy weekend driving with the top down. My Mustang daily driver is great, but my TR
      will always be my special car. I expect my family to keep it when, someday, I am
      no longer driving.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks to both of you for the kind comments!

  22. Fiete T.

    TR6…the only affordable vintage British convert I want…

  23. Patrick J-P

    Congratulations !!! Nice one ! Here we have two siblings; almost twins, one on each side of the Atlantic ! My 1969 TR6 PI, I bought in 1989 when I was a student during my early 20ies. It is the European 152bhp version with the Lucas fuel injection. It is motoring, not transportation ! It is quite potent, noisy and a pleasure to drive. I longed for a TR5 PI but for a student they were out of reach. I shall not part with my TR6, it carries too many fond memories. I remember nice but frantic driving on small twisty country roads. I remember a few countersteers which surprisingly went naturally. I remember driving flat out on the highway. I remember loosing the clutch hydraulics in the middle of the night, Place de la Concorde in Paris, restarting it in 2nd gear and driving it home whilst passing each and every lights… I remember the injection pump vapour lock during hot summers. I remember racing a friend red TR6 PI across Paris city centre… we did stop at reds lights but tires were fuming. I remember driving it top down through downpour without getting wet and stoping energetically under gas station car ports to erect the soft top. I remember epic drives gone top down from Paris to Aberdeen. I remember the involved clutch and gear change, the overdrive on 2nd, 3rd and top. I remember the loud note waking up the neighbors when getting home late at night. These were the TR6 days… Times have changed, too much police and speed checks now. It is fairly easy to repair and maintain in top condition. It is unfortunate that the people who restored it in the UK _ TR Bitz off Warrington _ did a very poor and nasty job and presented a hefty bill for it way way above estimate. They vandalised my car as they did replace many good original parts with aftermarket parts. They replaced the dashboard with a shiny non stock item which has no provision for the warning switch and the two red lights. They painted the windshield frame satin black although for this year car it is meant to be old English white as the rest of the bodywork, they painted the back of the car satin black without applying any primer whereas it should be painted old English white as the rest then the satin black applied on top, they applied under seal without even steam cleaning underneath and removing old underseal _ I scraped the new underseal in front of them with a flat screwdriver just to verify… some dust fell off… The white paint is nice and was polished but it is pure deception as the job was cosmetic only… sad. I got a few others since but I do love my TR6 !

    PS: Impossible to post a picture… if anyone can post for me please send me an e-mail at pjphilippe@hotmail.com

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      I’m glad you love it so much! Thanks for sharing your stories and I hope your car is eventually the way you’d like it to be!

  24. JMB#7

    Great car, and great story. Enjoy it. I like all Triumphs, but it was the TR6 that first drew me to the Triumph brand.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      My first was a TR4A, but my 6s have been my favorites…well, okay, except for the Italia!

  25. David Miraglia

    One of my favorite Triumphs, always loved the TR6 along with the MGB, Fiat Spider and Alpha Romeo Spyder. Love those classic top down low tech roadsters as a alternate to my Ferrari and Porsche lust.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      TDLT (Top Down Low Tech)…maybe another idea for a vanity plate…thanks!

  26. David J David J

    Way to go, Jamie! There’s nothing like a new ride to get the excitement factors flowing at a high level again.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks, David! Now to sell a few — maybe someone else will get their excitement from those!

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