Last of the great classic British sports cars, 1972 Triumph TR6

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Triumph
The TR6 is a quick and capable sports car

Without dispute, the sports car craze in the United States started after World War II serviceman brought back British roadsters when they returned home.

For decades to follow, British sports cars defined what a sports car was. The cars from MG, Triumph, Austin Healey and Jaguar were what people thought of when they dreamed about them.

triumph

In the late 1960s, things began to change. The British were now faced with cars from Japan that offered more performance and more reliability for less money. The car that started the end for the great British sports car industry was the Datsun 240Z.

The TR6 was Triumph’s last iteration of the classic British roadster concept. It is basically a TR4A with a body redesign by Karmann of Germany and was powered by a 2.5-liter inline 6-cylinder engine.

The Pick of the Day is a 1972 Triumph TR6, a desirable model as it was built before the massive rubber bumper guards were added to meet DOT regs. Another thumbs up for this car is that it has the factory electric overdrive transmission for more-relaxed highway cruising.

triumph

These were the fastest of the classic small British sports cars and were as successful on the track as in the showroom. Sadly, this did not help the British car industry as Triumph decided to follow the TR6 with the far-less-successful TR7.

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From behind the wheel, a TR6 in good shape is a bit of a revelation. The car offers strong performance and can be used as a daily driver. They are relatively inexpensive as well as simple to maintain, and fit any driver 6-foot tall or under with ease.

These cars went up a bit in value over the past few years although they’ve declined to the point where today you can buy an excellent example in the $20,000 range.

According to the St. Louis dealer advertising the Triumph on ClassicCars.com, this TR6 has undergone extensive work, including a steering rack rebuild, brake booster rebuild, new master cylinder, new brake calipers, upgraded drilled and slotted front brake discs, all new neoprene bushings, powder-coated undercarriage and suspension parts.

Also, a 100-amp alternator upgrade, rear differential mounting reinforcement kit, new seals and bearings in differential, a rear suspension camber adjustment kit, new wiring harness, a Moss Motors leather kit for the seats, new wool carpets and new plating on all chrome parts.

triumph

There are lots of TR6s available for sale, often in the 10k price range, but a car with all of this work done, and with overdrive, puts it in another league entirely.

The asking price of $24,900 could represent a great deal if the car is as nice as it is described.

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To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I had one just like this one, same year, same color. i really enjoyed it, loads of torque. I see this one has the rear axle reinforcement and camber kit that mine needed as they will wear the rear tires badly without them. I became a single father while I owned it and had to trade it in on a station wagon.

  2. Looking to buy a TR6 or TR250 also trying to find a complete set of dayton direct bolt on wire wheels for my 1997 BMW Z3. Thanks Bruce.

  3. Always liked these. Stepdad had a ’74 Spitfire bought new; as it was the age of really affordable American muscle, and I started with a ’67 Impala SS, running with friends who had things like, oh, a ’70 SuperBee, a ’66 Charger (both 383s), ’68 Firebird with a 455, several GTOs from ’64 to ’70, a Stage 1 boadtail Riviera, coupla 340 Dusters, well, we found the diminutive, Ferguson tractor powered Spit quite risible.
    A favorite jape for us was, during the pre stepdad stage during visits to my mom, lift the rear of the Spit by hand as high as possible so that the swingaxle would allow the rear tires to drop to the end of suspension travel, then set it gently on the sidewalls. This simulated the popular air shock stance, as well as stimulating some blood pressure.
    But the TR6 was a whole different story, and more than once I wished for the money to have one; and that exhaust note, in the Thrush/Cherry Bomb/straightpipe era was just rippin’ exotic. Wish I could have this one, it’s the same maroon as my ’67 SS.

  4. Just a shame after spending all that money that the car does not have the trademark and distinctive redline tyres (Michelin xas I believe). I own a 73 and got rid of the massive bumper overriders. Sure, it left a couple of holes but looks sooo much better! I agree with the comment regarding Morgan cars. Is there anything more British and eccentric? Phil Australia

  5. Far less successful TR7? I own a TR6 and love it, but the TR7 far outsold the TR6 and was, I believe, the most successful Triumph if all time. Granted, it didn’t stand the test of time (so far), but in it’s day…

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