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Triumph TR6 - Good deal on 1 '73?

I've been interested in buying a TR6 and have seen a lot of cars. Yesterday I saw a 73 with Overdrive for sale. It only has 25K miles, the car seemed to support the milage - absolutely NO rust on the car or the frame. In fact the frame was in unbelievable shape, it looked like it recently came out of the factory. It was a Texas car up until 1998 which probably explains it. The interior was in very good shape too - still had the fuzzy seals around the door, and everything else looked good. I've seen a lot of TR6's and this was the best interior and frame I'd seen.

The owner showed me receipts for a recent engine, brake, and clutch rebuild - $5,500 USD. The car drove great.

Ok, so what is my problem? The paint job was below average - overspray, bad touch-up jobs, wavey paint, etc. The owner is asking $10,900 USD. Had the paint been in good shape I would have bought the car yesterday. But I don't know if I want to buy it and then have to spend $4-5K on a better paint job. I know I can drive it for a few years then paint it. But I'm not sure I want to do that. So, do you think $10,900 is a good deal for this car?

BTW, the current owner has the complete history of the car - he is the 8th owner (I realize that is a lot) and has a 1" stack of receipts from previous owners.

If it is as described, yes, it is a good deal. No matter how you approach it, if you want a really, really nice car, you end up paying for it one way or another.

You can pay up front or you can pay, or do it yourself, later. If you buy a car that is in as good shape as you describe and all it needs is a paint job, it is probably a decent deal. You could buy a car for $6 or 7,000, but you would probably then have to plan on getting some major engine work and some major body work and some major paint work to get it up to what you are talking about.

I went the other way. $7,000 for the car, and then around $2,000 to get the rear axles replaced and a bunch of other work. 2 1/2 years later, I have the motor out for a rebuild. The paint job is very good, but I just spent the better part of 3 weekends working on some fairly mild rust on the floorboards and cleaning and then painting the frame with POR-15; I still have 3 or 4 hours of work left. If my time isn't worth anything, I will have around $12,000 in the car. If my time is worth anything, financially your deal would probably be better.

But, and here's the big but, I had an absolute ball over the last 3 or 4 weekends, which is something you cannot put a price on. I am beginning to understand why so many old car owners have such a strong attachment to their cars.

JL Bryan

I wish I was so lucky to afford that car. I just picked a 74 on Wednesday for $2800. The good news: Car comes with new fenders, inner and outer rockers and a ton of parts. The tub, trunk,doors and top are in great shape. Bad news, I just found all the usual rust spots in the frame, the motor hasn't turned over yet (battery is dead), brakes and slave cylinder need repair. So much for buying on Ebay. I trailered the car home and now the radiator core is leaking. My biggest decision is whether to make this car a driver or put the time in and really restore it. I would like to sell it and find a car Pique described. At this point, paint is the last thing on my mind.
Tom C

You could have gone the other route. My wife bought her '75 new (I still cringe when I think about that day*) and it has had the body off twice for major rebuilding. A whole lot easier to redo everything without that body in the way! The engine with 75k on it has yet to be refreshed but it still carries 125 #'s across all 6 and has never leaked a drop of oil. Rear seal was done twice only beacuse the tranny was out for clutch work.

Costs to date: (US dollars)

Purchase price: $3500 (1975)
first rejuvination: $3000 (1989)
second: $4500 (2005)
stuff in between $1800 (30 years)

Above costs are for parts only, all labor (except welding in some new panels this year) by me. I have repainted it twice.

I have not brought all the costs forward to todays prices. Although I did read somewhere that if you adjusted the purchase price with the consumer price index, the car would cost $28k today. Guess what I am saying is that $11k ain't a bad price even if it needs a new paint job.

* I cringe because we had not been married 6 months, lived in Alaska and she bought the car while visiting family in Indiana. Just what every Alaskan needs in 4 feet of snow, a TR6!

"The owner showed me receipts for a recent engine, brake, and clutch rebuild - $5,500 USD. The car drove great. "
Well there is 5 grand you just saved. What was done on the engine though?...a rebuild...which includes...?
If all you are worried about is a paint job ( the rest of the car is sound) then 11 grand is a good price. Besides, you can beat him down a little because you have to do a paint job.
Examine the 1" stack of receipts to see if there is a chronological order of date and mileage. I question an 8 owner 25K car. You might also want to run a magnet over the car. Even a bad paint job can hide problems.
Pique, I surely do not want to take any enthusiasm away from you. This does sound like a good deal but you know looks can be deceiving. If you know of someone you could take with you who will give you an unbiased examination (some one without the TR6 bug like you and the rest of us:) of the car then you will know for sure it is a good deal. Lets face it, we have not seen the car. Your description does sound good for this car.
Good luck and please let us know your final results.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

A useable 6 for $5500 ????????????????? I'll have it , they are a bit more than that over here !
s marshall first question would have been...If the car has 25,000 miles on it why was the engine rebuilt? Was it 25,000 since rebuild? Just be careful that the wavy paint and overspray isn't covering up something bad. I assume the frame was bare and not covered in undercoat. I'm not trying to rain on your parade but I want to give you things to think about and maybe take a second closer look before you spend nearly 11 grand. Unless you know the seller cautious.

For reference I spent 6000.00 (US) for a TR6 that had bad paint and needed engine rebuilt. I spent 5000.00 to rebuild the engine, do the body work and a local painter to lay on the paint. I did all the work myself except the sraying of the paint. If I farmed any of the other stuff out it would have been significantly more. The interior had already been done but I had to replace the wood dash because the guy before me cracked the wood.

It was well worth the effort because the car came from the south and is very solid. When you remove all fenders as I did you really find out how good/bad everything is. Mine was excellent. Frame very solid.

So, solid is where it's at. If you find a car that's rust free and needs mechanical work and paint...that's an ideal project and the end result will be worth plenty.

Let us know how it works out.

HP Henry Patterson above response supports what Rick Crawford is saying just in different words. Just be careful.

When I was looking at mine before I bought it the PO let me spend a lot of time with the car checking it out. He even let me pull the trunk liner panels out so I could stick my hand way up to the tops of the rear fenders from inside the car. It's the tops of the rear fenders around the seams that are rust prone. Mine felt smooth as a babies butt. That was the clincher. But I still never really knew until I got it apart. I also did the magnet test around the car.

Rick.. glad to see you're back on the BB regularly. I guess it's that time of season.


HP Henry Patterson

Come on folks.
As we all know paint is paint. These cars are all judged by the underwear (frame). If it is as good as you say grab it and don't look back. You can put a skin on that body any time at your economic convenience.

An American politician from Oklahoma was running for office. He had a commercial of him walking through a pasture on beautiful sunny day, looking up at the beautiful blue sky.

His opponent ran the following reply. "Anybody that would walk through a pasture looking up at the sky can not be fit to run our state" Needless to say he lost.

My bottom line. I have two issues, I would never trust the OD reading, on a Triumph, Second, 8 owners and only 25K especially on a Texas car. Just leave some room for doubt.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with the others... a TR6 engine and clutch should NOT require a rebuild after only 25,000 miles. And with 8 DPO's, I'd bet the title to my '71 that it's 125,000, not 25,000.
Jim Vandenberg

This thread was discussed between 19/09/2005 and 20/09/2005

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