To Save Or Not To Save: 1974 Triumph TR6

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This 1974 TR6 (the seller knows it’s somewhere between 1974 and 1976, but they include a picture of the commission plate that shows it was manufactured in January of 1974) was found by Barn Finds reader Cincy Kid when he was looking for a classic motorcycle. It’s advertised in Milford, Ohio but is actually stored in North Carolina and is for sale here on craigslist for $3,250.

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It’s pretty easy to see that this TR6 has been open to the elements at some point. The seller describes it as a barn find North Carolina car, but I’m guessing either the barn had some pretty serious leaks or the car had been up north at some point. That is the frame rail (TR6’s are body-on-frame construction) you see right where the driver’s feet would normally go.

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There’s a lot of parts in the trunk, including at least two grilles. The one on top is from an earlier car and features a cloisonne emblem, while the lower one is the original type for this car with the stainless strips at top and bottom but a “TR6” decal. Evidence of a poorly prepared repaint in the original Pimento Red color is seen where there is paint peeling on the inner surfaces. The rear surface should actually be satin black.

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So with moisture damage like this, how could this possibly be a good car to work with? Because it is body-on-frame construction, and the frames are pretty robust, if the differential mounts and rear trailing arm mounts are good, and the engine is free, this might actually make sense if the seller is willing to negotiate some on price. I’ve replaced floors and sills on a TR6 before, and while it takes a while to do, it doesn’t take any particular skill as long as you can cut away rusty metal and weld new stuff into place. Replacement panels made on the factory dies are available from specialty parts houses and the four fenders, hood and trunk lid (the most expensive body panels), as well as the rear cowl, don’t look bad at all.

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If the frame is good, the next thing I’d want to do is lever the crankshaft pulley back and forth. If it doesn’t move much, you’re in business, but if it clunks and moves 1/4″, you’re looking at a new block and crankshaft at a minimum, because the thrust washers are in the oil pan and it’s not worth repairing. Yes, I’ve been there. This does look like a decent car to start with, though, especially if you work on the price a bit. If anyone’s really interested, let me know; even if I’m not close to wherever it is in NC, I probably know someone in our Triumph club that would go look at it for you.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Stop it, stop it! Don’t make me buy one of these one of these days. Sigh,,,, looking at this makes old “restoration injuries” ache once again. I restored my 1950 Packard and make no mistake, it’s a big job. Was it worth it? You bet, not many ’50 Packards around. This? IDK. “6’s” aren’t exactly rare, and running rough examples show up from time to time. Clearly, the advertiser knows little about the car, and no mention ( or tag on the back) about overdrive, a “must have” accessory. Personally, this goes in the “not interested” pile, and I’ll wait for a running one.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Howard, if I can help with advice when you decide to take the plunge, I’ll be happy to. I’ve owned a multitude of 6’s, properly restored several and can offer a lot of “not to do’s” :-)

      • Howard A Member

        Thanks, Jamie. Not a question of if, but when for sure. Hopefully, next year. Ah yes, I can see it now. Top down, exhaust “singing” in my ear as I wind down the back roads of Colorado, long scarf tailing behind, an attractive female riding shotgun ( ZZZZZT) daydream ends, back in N.Wis. Dang,,,

    • Bruce

      Howard,
      Not sure what part of the country you are in, but I have 20 TR 6’s in various stages of disrepair. Plus I have every part to put them together. Along with the TR 6’s I have 2 TR 4’s, one of which is a complete running 4A IRS.

      Some one should restore this one, it isn’t in that bad of shape.

      Bruce

      • Howard A Member

        Thanks Bruce. I live in N.Wisconsin ( unfortunately) but hope to move to Colorado next year. Probably go for a running one, as these old bones just couldn’t handle a full restoration.

      • Terry

        Hi Bruce,I am looking for a tr4a or a 6 with overdrive,running preferably,and a good chassis,got one to sell?i am in the UK but collection and shipping is no problem,what part of the US are you,cheers,Terry

      • Bruce

        Terry,
        Send me your email address and I will send you pictures of what is available. I do have a 4A that is running but needs a little work on the body. My email is
        1edge540@live.com

        Bruce

      • Bruce

        Howard,
        My email is listed above. Keep it for when you move to Colorado. There are some beautiful areas there to drive sports cars.

        Bruce

  2. Mike S

    Always happy to see a vintage vehicle brought back to life but the cost vs value in this case isn’t there. That’s a $1K car and not much more. No photos or mention of the frame and that’s a big question. There are many 6’s out there that make this example too costly.

  3. Dolphin Member

    Agree that this isn’t one to buy. There are too many TR6s around to spend too much time dealing this car’s needs. Maybe part it out to avoid the crusher, but that’s all.

  4. Doug Towsley

    http://www.nadaguides.com/Classic-Cars/1974/Triumph/TR6/2-Door-Roadster/Values

    Original retail$4,695 low retail$8,900 mid $16,100 hi retail
    $41,600
    So, NADA guides are not always accurate, Old car price guides book is better but sometimes off, varies by region as well. But point is, these are getting valuable restored.
    I have a 66 TR4A and have been watching the prices on these climb for years. The TR6 is considered the premium model in the Triumph range with the entry car the Spitfire (Spitwads) So, dont know where all these $1000 cars are sitting but you would be hard pressed to find any on the west coast in this condition at $1000-1500. If you advertised one on CL or Feebay you would be bombarded with people trying to get there first.

    Perhaps this one is a tad high for a project but not by much. I just looked on local CL and theres one at $7500 thats in nice shape, and another at $9500 but not perfect,but then they start climbing and next closest is $18,500 and up.

  5. John H Bell

    I’d part it out or make an autocross car. The buyer will probably be on a first-name basis with Moss motors and the Roadster Factory…not to mention a good welder.

  6. Steve

    If the frame is solid, race it in Lemons

  7. Alan (Michigan)

    Too $ for Lemons……

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Having raced in ChumpCar with a TR6 that we built (see my avatar), it’s a challenge :-) I suspect the judges would look favorably on a TR6 budget-wise, though.

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