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Triumph TR6 - What to look out for when buying a TR-6

I am thinking about trying to buy a stalled project that has sat in a barn for the last few years. I have no previous knowledge of TR-6's so don't know what the typical traps are. Is there any particular place to look for rust? That is one thing I don't want to get into. I am not a body man, but am OK with mechanical stuff. What is a project car worth? It ran when parked. The bumpers have been removed, and some sanding on the body was done. This has some surface rust, but no rust thru that I can see. I'm not sure if I want to get involved with a TR-6, but I have a MGA, and don't need another of those. It seems like the TR-6 would be a more modern car, and also could be driven year around. I like the idea of roll up windows, and a 6 cylinder engine. Any advice is appreciated. Thank You.
Ed Bell

Hi Ed,
The main things to look for are covered in this site
It's a pretty good general overview ...

Charlie B.

Thanks for the information. It's just what I was looking for. (It's a small world. I used to work with a guy from the Kitchener area.) Ed
Ed Bell

The link that Charlie B. provided is definately a good starting point.

This point they mention here:

"The top of rear deck at the seams between the deck panels and fenders. Even slight bubbling of the paint in this area may be indicative of more serious rust deeper within the seams."

Can be easily checked by opening the trunk area and pulling back the cardboard panels, if they aren't already, and running your hand way up there so you can feel the deck and fender seams from underneath.

Good luck and let us know what you find.

HP Henry Patterson

Looking for rust, the worst I found that I had to be dealt with was rear fenders above the wrap around taillight assembly, there is a small shelf, collects dirt, then just stays wet and eventually rusted inside to out.
But don't be put off by rust to much, remember this is a hand assembled car and all the fenders can be unbolted and new ones, available from multiple sources, can be replaced. The panels to check are those that require welding skills. Again, welding can be fun too, once you try it.

Walter Dobbins


I agree with everything said so far, but must stress that you be very anal in checking out the frame. As they do not say but should, "beauty is more than skin deep!". I have seen SEVERAL "100% restored" TR6's with frames that you could read a newspaper through.

Body pieces and parts are fairly straight-forward and can (and should) be replaced with the body still on the frame. Frame repairs usually require a frame off approach.

Get it on a lift, start tapping the frame members with the handle of a screw driver or an awl. Use the business end if the frame is not freshly painted. Rusty patches will be readily apparent by the change in sound. The worst spots I have seen are the trailing arm brackets and the rear extentions that support the rear of the body. I am sure there are more problem areas? If the owner balks at you taking this hard a look at the frame, move on, no matter how nice the car appears.
Take a hard look at the differential mounts. In addition to the poor basic design, many of these have been damaged by street racer wannabees that have been a bit careless.

Older frames (pre -72?) did not have the stiffeners installed at the front lower 'A' arm brackets by the factory. A gusset kit is available to strengthen these areas.

Also check the welds on the cruciform plates to the frame, I have heard of several failures of these welds, but have never seen one.

Sorry, I did not mean this to come out like a lecture, but I have been the bearer of bad news for a few friends after they bought a TR without getting dirty. We were able to salvage the cars, but not after considerable expense in time and money and they also suffered a huge loss in creditability on the home-front.

Good luck, be careful, ask questions and poke around in places that cannot be seen easily.


Where are you in OR? PTOA - Portland Triumph Owners Association has quite a few TR6 owners, and I'm sure they would help steer you towards a car you will be happy with. When I got ready to look for mine, spending some time with a local guy that has seen 'em inside & out helped more than anything.
In most all cases, if you see rust bubbling through, it usually starts from the inside and works out. Don't make the mistake thinking you can sand off a bit of surface rust and repaint. Usually won't happen.
What are you looking for condition-wise? I might even be able to steer you into one!
Good luck, and happy hunting!
Rod Nichols

The car I am considering is owned by a co-worker of mine. I have only seen it from a distance in the barn. His son started to work on it years ago, and gave up. He said he might be ready to get rid of it now. I don't know what he might think it is worth. I am not looking for a major restoration project. If it is too far gone for me, I will pass on it. Being unfamiliar with the TR-6 I thought this BBS would give me some hints of what to avoid. AND IT HAS! Many thanks to all who have given of their knowledge. Now I have to make a close up and personal examination of the car and decide if it is for me. I think I will wait for the weather to improve, as it is in an unheated barn. Thanks again for all the good advice. Ed
Ed Bell

As I was searching through the archives for some other info, I found this: WARNING!!!! These pictures are very graphic! Use caution when viewing!
They do show exactly what to look for on the body and frame.
Rod Nichols

Wow! Information Overload! These sites certainly give the needed information on what to look out for. I'm not sure I want to get involved with a car that has so many potential problems. I know that when you get into a marginal project, the cost keeps going up every time you turn around. I am just looking for something to work on in my spare time, not a full blown major project,(read, "EXPENSIVE"). I will have to look very closly at the car in question, and decide just how much it is worth to me in time and money. Thanks again to all who gave of their knowledge. Ed
Ed Bell

What to look for when buying a TR6? Look to the Western US or Len Drake who buys W. US cars to get a rust-free TR. Len, at has good cars and in the States also "appears" to have nice TR6's on occasion. It's a great way to start - sans rust; everything else is fixable. Before that, get an understanding wife or a divorce, then a good line of credit. Quit golf & start buying tools; build a garage or find an accommodating buddy who has one. That being said, all the above advice from Rod,Charlie B, Henry, Walter and Don is good but I had a very rusty TR4A and that project was a nightmare for the guy who did it. Ironically, a good friend of my TR buddy, Steve ('74 TR6) bought my restored TR4 and loves it! I gave him my Leyland TR4 workshop manual as it belonged with the car. That's the TR brotherhood for ya. Finally, utilize this website as you will not find a more knowledgeable and helpful bunch on the planet. Good luck with your TR6 search.

1976 - TR6
Bob Evans

Ed, These are worse case senarios they are talking and are usually rust belt cars. I've had TR6s for over 20 years and had some problems but remember they're over 30 years old. Most any thing that age has simmilar problems even MGs. If it's not lived on the coast and has reasonable care it should be OK but do check it out. We've given everything you need to know so you can do a good inspection. Parts for these are easy to get though.

This thread was discussed between 29/12/2005 and 05/01/2006

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This thread is from the archive. The Live Triumph TR6 BBS is active now.