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Triumph TR6 - Barn Find: What to Offer?

This posting is coming from an MGA owner who normally lurks on the MGA BBS. So TR6 knowledge is totally alien to me. I have an opportunity to acquire an original, unrestored 69 TR6 that has been sitting in a building in my town for untold years. My question is: what is a fair cash offer to make for the car? The car is a 2 on the scale of 1-5. Body is very good (solid, with no discernable rust); chrome is unpitted but will require replating or replacement; the frame is questionable (I know enough about them to know that the frames are a weak point), the instrument panel is a mess, requiring a total rebuild and all new/rebuilt instruments; top and interior will require total replacement, but top bows are there; engine is there, with most parts (carbs, air filter, generator etc)in the boot. I have searched the Web and searched these archives, but need a 2006 value for the car. It would make a good restoration project, but it will require a total body-off restoration with everything replaced or refurbished. So let me open this can of worms and ask what you guys an gals would offer the owner for a 69 TR6 in the condition described?

That's a tough one to judge without thorough inspection. The biggest problem you mention is the frame. I know fixing one is a real headache. If Tom from Connecticut could chime in here he would have something to say. He was planning on repairing his frame but ended up having to find a new (used) one. There is a company that makes new frames for the TR6 that are somewhere in the $2000.00 to $3000.00. Anybody know what the company is?

If the body is as good as you say then that is worth something. But Tr6's have many spots on the body where rust can hide. If the frame has rotted I would be wondering about the body too.

The engine probably needs a rebuild.

Even if the body is as good as it looks you still will spend alot of money and time on it. With that you need to determine how much you want to pay initially. straight answer here but there are too many variables to put a price on it.

If it was me.. I might offer $1000.00. But that's just me. Someone else may want to pay more or less.

HP Henry Patterson

Hi Henry!
I totally agree about the frame however, being located in North Florida it may be just surface rust. So here is what to look for since I am elbow deep into this thing now..
If you see paint blistering around the corners where the rear deck meets the rear fenders then you can bet that the water ran down either inside the B pillar or the inside wheelwell to the edge of the trunk. Since gravity sucks, it is just a matter of time before it hits the trailing arm of the frame. Take a screw driver and poke the trailing arm tubes from the B pillar to the center plate (cruciform). This is the worst part of the frame.
Since they don't use salt on the road where you are, the tops of the front and rear fenders should be OK as well as under the bumper mounts at the front and rear valences. Check the lower bottom of the front fenders since the air vent drains behind the sheet metal and rots the sills.
If you don't have these problems,engine spins freely then I'm with Henry, offer $1000-$1200. Worst case, if you get cold feet, you can always part the car and get your money back. Here is the link for the new frame:

Tom C

Hi Tom

How's the project going? Did you get the body installed on the new frame yet? Are you going to be ready for next spring?

HP Henry Patterson

Another way of looking at it is you will be into $17,000 before it is a new car again. I agree, $1000 to $2000.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

I'd start at $500 - no way to tell what you are getting.
B Selby


If you are looking at a restoration and you look at any buyer's guide you will note that recommendations are to buy the best car that you can and start from there. In other words, lay out some $$ and get the most complete, rust-free TR6 with the least problems that you can find. I had made a deal on a very good California TR6 that had ratty paint, no soft top or tonneau, no interior except for foam and duct tape and a really bad dash with a totally solid body and frame for $5800 Canadian. After making the deal, the same seller surfaced a '76 driver with many new parts, good body & interior, new tires, etc for only two grand more at $7800. I cancelled the original deal and bought the more expensive car. It arrived at my door in May 2004 and while it had some issues, I turned the key and drove it all summer (4000 miles) with relatively few problems. I have been gradually restoring the car ever since, but driving it on a regular basis. The point is that there are quite a few good TR6's out there for reasonable money and unless you are prepared you work on your dream for 2-3 or more years without ever actually driving it you might consider laying out some of your "restoration" money up front. It may save you some $$ and provide you with some instant gratification by driving your dream. I don't regret laying out the extra $$ at all as I've had an absolute ball driving my '76 since the first day I got it. Good Luck!

1976 - TR6
Bob Evans

The 1969 TR6 has many unique, 1-year-only features (unique steering wheel, "Frankenstein" headrest seats, stamped RO-style wheelcovers, TR250 style vacuum advance/retard, etc.) If all these features are present, in usable/restorable condition, the car is worth a bit more than, say, a 1974 car. It has collector value to a concours freak who wants a rarer 1969 car (or wants the parts for his 1969 car). On the other hand, if these parts have walked away, you will have a devil of a time locating replacements and building an original car, if that matters to you.

The frames can rust to the point where a rear wheel falls off the car, but by that point the body is usually perforated too. If the original sheetmetal is good, the frame can't be too bad, IMO.

Get someone from a local TR club to check the car out with you.

Good Luck, Tom
Tom Marincic

Well...Frank?? What about the car?
HP Henry Patterson

This thread was discussed between 23/09/2006 and 27/09/2006

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