Motorcycles are what usually come to mind when the name ‘Triumph’ is mentioned. But along with bicycles, the British brand also made cars, many of which competed with MG’s sporty roadsters. And if you’re looking for a classic convertible sports car, many of its products are still fairly affordable. This week’s Bring a Trailer bargain is one of those cars: a Triumph TR6.
The Triumph TR6 is one of the “best British sports cars,” says Automobile
The Triumph TR6 is the penultimate entry in the company’s TR roadster series, which started in the early 1950s, Silodrome reports. Strictly speaking, the TR6 is essentially an updated TR4/TR5, but with a body styled by Karmann, the firm behind the Karmann Ghia, Petrolicious reports.
When Triumph launched the TR6 in 1969, it was already somewhat outdated, Automobile reports. The Triumph TR6 has a body-on-frame design, while the contemporary MG MGB is a unibody design. And many of its mechanical components were carry-overs from earlier TRs, Hemmings reports. However, there are several good reasons why Automobile considers it one of the “best British sports cars” to buy.
The 1969 Triumph TR6 has 4-wheel independent suspension, something of a rarity in those days. As a result, it has agile handling, further enhanced by an upgraded anti-roll bar, Hemmings reports. Plus, modern tires notably improve the TR6, Bring a Trailer reports.
And while US models don have mechanical fuel injection, the carbureted 2.5-liter six-cylinder engine makes 104 hp and 143 lb-ft, AutoExpress reports. The roadster also has front disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, an optional limited-slip differential, and a full-synchromesh 4-speed manual. It’s worth pointing out that the MGB’s 1st gear lacks synchros.
The Triumph TR6 isn’t terribly spacious, but it does have a few luxury touches. The cabin has a walnut-veneer dashboard, leather-wrapped steering, and leather seats.
The 1974 Triumph TR6 on Bring a Trailer
The Triumph TR6 currently listed on Bring a Trailer is a 1974 model, which is towards the end of the roadster’s production. By this point, Triumph had tweaked the engine and exhaust for emissions purposes, dropping output to 101 hp and 128 lb-ft, Hemmings reports. This car, though, doesn’t have the standard 1974 rubber bumpers—instead, it has the earlier chrome ones.
Admittedly, this 1974 Triumph TR6 isn’t perfect. It rides on 2003-era tires, there’s a paint flaw in the hood, and the dimmer rheostat doesn’t adjust. However, the seats and interior door panel were reupholstered in tan leather. And there’s a Triumph-branded audio system with USB and AUX inputs. There was a chip in the windshield, but it’s been repaired. Plus, the engine was refreshed with several new parts.
The current owner had the heater control valve and starter replaced this month. The head gasket, piston rings, valve guides, and bearings were replaced in 2015. Bring a Trailer previously withdrew this TR6 due to a low oil pressure issue. However, that problem has since been rectified.
What makes this roadster a bargain buy?
As of this writing, this 1974 Triumph TR6 is listed on Bring a Trailer at $7000 with three days left in the auction. Given its condition, that’s a lower-than-average price.
TR6s hover in the $10,000-$20,000 range on Bring a Trailer. And good- to excellent-condition examples range from $13k to $24k, Hagerty reports. While the TR6, like many classic British roadsters, isn’t as reliable as, say, a Miata, it’s a fairly straightforward car to maintain, Hagerty reports. Triumph also made a lot of TR6s, and parts availability is good.
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