1970 Triumph TR6 ‘Recommissioned Barn Find’
The TR series Triumphs stand as iconic British sports cars that are well known and loved by enthusiasts all over the world. It started back in 1952 when the Triumph 20TS, a prototype sports car which later became known as the TR1, was shown at the London Motor Show. Reactions were mixed, however, Triumph thought they were on to a good thing and the prototype evolved into the TR2 that was subsequently shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 1953. Triumph built over 8,500 of these 1991cc 4 cylinder sports cars from 1953 – 1955 and the rest they say was history. The model evolved into the TR3 (produced from 1955 – 1962), the TR4 (built from 1961 – 1965), the TR4A (built from 1965 – 1967), the TR5 (built from 1967 – 1968) and ultimately the TR6 (1969 – 1976). Subsequent TR models were interesting cars but it’s fair to say the evolution of the TR2 finished at the TR6.
Perhaps the most interesting and certainly the rarest of all of the TR production cars is the TR5 with only 2947 cars built. The most significant change from the TR4 was the introduction of a 6 cylinder 2.5 litre fuel injected engine that boasted an impressive 150 bhp that could propel the car from 0 – 50 mph (80 km/hr) in just over six seconds and a top speed of just under 120 mph (200 km/hr). But perhaps the most sought after of the Triumph TR series is the TR6. Whilst ‘very similar’ to its predecessor mechanically the TR6 offered a fresh look and everyone loved the car’s design which featured the ageless Kamm tail. Triumph built an astonishing 91,850 TR6’s in eight years of production from 1968 through until 1976. Interestingly though only 13,701 cars were built with the Lucas fuel injection (essentially TR5 spec) making the TR6 in the preferred higher performance specification comparatively rare.
This was by far the most popular of the TR series cars built back then and the popularity of this quintessential British sports car remains incredibly strong today.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a rather unique Australian delivered, factory right hand drive Triumph TR6 PI. The car is a typical ‘barn find’ and fortunately it was well kept, though gathering plenty of dust stored amongst old furniture in a shed on a property on the outskirts of Melbourne. According to the Victorian Club Permit books on file the car was last driven on the road in July 2012, though its last owner reports to have regularly started the car since, but perhaps not for a few years! The car has just been acquired by Oldtimer Australia and it only required ‘sympathetic recommissioning’. That job was entrusted to Brisbane based Triumph specialists Greg Tunstall Mechanical.
This Triumph TR6 has come from a very long term owner who acquired the car back in October 1979. So that’s 38 years of continuous ownership! It is understood he was the car’s third owner. The first noted owner was a Mr Richard Altson from Hawthorn (Melbourne) in Victoria. Alston sold the car to a Mr Stamatis (Tom) Zagadakis from South Yarra (Melbourne), Victoria in December 1976.
The car is most likely to have carried its current Victorian registration IPA 925 for most of its life through until today! Our research suggests the plate IPA 925 was issued in 1974. Prior to that the car was understood to have had a personal plate fitted.
The Heritage Certificate on file confirms that this car is a factory right hand drive example that was sold new to Australia. Its chassis number, engine number and body number all match and the car was originally royal blue with a light blue interior, as the car is today.
When the car was acquired in 1979 and it required a general ‘tidy up’. This work was done quickly and the car was soon being enjoyed as a weekend driver. In 38 years of ownership it is understood that the car would have been lucky to have travelled 5,000 miles . . . and perhaps only 500 of those miles were travelled in the last 30 years!
Today this TR6 is best described as a ‘nice driver’. The car starts very easily and the engine sounds ‘on song’. In fact the engine is really strong and the car goes like a rocket! The car pulls very strongly through the rev range and the car changes gear, handles and stops as expected. The clutch is quite heavy suggesting it may well have been upgraded at some stage. There is a ‘clunk’ coming through drive train that is noticeable with an abrupt take off. The engine bay is relatively clean and there is no sign of any significant oil leaks.
The paint on the car is ‘serviceable and it may well be original, save for some repainted panels and touch ups here and there. The right rear quarter panel may well have been replaced at some stage as there is some evidence of red paint showing through. There are wear marks all over the car, though the paint does have quite a good depth of colour and from say a meter it looks good. The biggest flaw in the paint is on the left side of the boot which has some cracking and crow’s feet evident. Structurally the car looks really good. All of the exterior trim, chrome, badges are generally in good original condition. The wire wheels are clean and are shod with new Pirelli tyres.
Inside the cockpit everything looks to be very original. The seats, door cards, centre console, dash, timber veneer and the instruments & controls present really well with just the right amount of patina. The car has a soft top, which may also be original, and it shows a few repairs here and there though it is most certainly serviceable. There is also a tonneau cover that is in excellent condition.
This TR6 is probably too good to restore, though that would be an option. Alternatively, iron out a few bugs that inherently surface once a barn find is recommissioned and just drive it ‘as is’. Without too much effort the car could easily be improved a little bit at a time to take it to the next level. The choice is yours!
Today the odometer reads 39,429 miles, though its long term owner notes the odometer was not working for many years. The total estimated mileage is around 45,000 miles.
The car has a thick history file with registration documents and receipts going back to the early 1970’s. There is also an owner’s manual, wheel nut spanner, new jack kit (not TR6) as well as two boxes of old and new spare parts (see photos).
- Triumph TR6
- 39,429 miles