1 2
bikesnrovers New Reader
9/18/08 11:43 a.m.

So you do have the bug! I am sorry! It could be worse you could have spent the last 27 years in the bike biz!

I feel you pain on shreading tires... two one-week old race tubulars + one broken beer bottle + fifteen minutes before the start of your race = PANIC!

Hmmm, maybe racing cars wouldn't be all that expensive...

wetpossum New Reader
9/18/08 5:26 p.m.

I turned down a Merc 450 SLC that hadn't run since about 1990. Perfect body, but the mechanicals, interior, and paint were shot. I gave it to a friend instead and I think he's going to turn it into a race car project.


MadScientistMatt HalfDork
9/20/08 4:12 p.m.

A Citroen DS would definitely scare me off, even in good condition. A lot of weird and complex mechanical systems, and I have no idea where I'd find parts for it or a buyer.

Rupunzell New Reader
9/21/08 9:54 a.m.

early Maserati Bi-Turbos do have problems indeed, but the later ones with Bosch EFI are fine and really a far better car than most would believe or ever know. Here is another example of how a car's reputation created early in it's introduction has become "fixed" into the car culture. Unless one has actually owned one, taken one apart and studied it's design, understand it's engineering, production and materials used in great depth, the vast majority of car folks simply make judgment based on looks and reputation.

Rupunzell New Reader
9/21/08 10:01 a.m.

That Citroen DS/ID/SM/CX series of cars are still among the most sophisticated cars ever put into to production. As complex as they are, these cars are very reliable if properly cared for. Like anything mechanical, they wear out, develop problems and etc. These cars have very, very few designed in problems or short comings. The quality of build and materials is very high. The bodies are riveted together rather than spot welds. Few appreciate their design excellence in any way at all due to how different they are compared to any "normal" car. I had one years ago as a daily driver, commuter and would own one again today. It is one of the nicest riding and handling cars of it's kind. Like French food, some Americans simply don't understand and don't always apreciate what they have to offer.

Rupunzell New Reader
9/21/08 10:15 a.m.

What car would I refuse if given to me.. Most anything from British Leyland. After taking apart two Triumph's and watching other car folks deal with their British cars, I'm so un-impressed with much of the design, engineering, build quality and production methods. Just recently there were two stories of a TR6 loosing it's rear wheel due to a failed rear hub which caused the car two crash into a open field. The hub's design and production is seriously flawed from the very start. The other is a TR6 where the front axle broke off causing the wheel to fly off again. Another serious design problem with this car.

Yesterday, while putting our TR6 front brake rotor and hub assembly together, the four 3/8"x24 bolts that hold the brake rotor to the hub stripped out at just over 35 ft/lbs of torque. To my shock and amazement, the wheel flange hub is made of cast iron... This was discovered when the holes were resized with a hand reamer as part of the repair process. The hand reamer had no problem at all cutting the cast iron using very little pressure. This is just one of the discouraging discoveries one makes when trying to put one of these back together after taking everything apart and doing a close evaluation of how it's really made.

The only British car exception would be Lotus. Like these, very, very much.

Others, most anything from Detroit and Early Japanese cars (pre-80's) would be on my list of stay far, far away.

Rupunzell New Reader
9/22/08 10:23 a.m.

I don't own the TR6 or the TR3, it's owned by another member of this house hold. I just got inducted into working on them. IMO, the TR3 is a better car than the TR6. The TR3 is the more honest design of the two and it's design, build and engineering is reasonable. Given the technology, production methods and materials used in the car industry of the time, the TR3 is quite reasonable and it's got loads of British charm and personality. It's performance is limited by the reality of when it was built and designed and intended use. Of the TR series, it looks like the solid rear axle TR4 would be the best of that series.

When BL introduced the TR6, they tried extend what was basically a design from the post war days to Standard Motor. Adding a independent rear suspension (full of problems), a straight six, body by Karmann and the usual Brit car interior touches. While the marketing and reputation was built on Triumph's winning races in SCCA and glowing reviews by some members of the automotive media, the hard reality of this car is quite different than the facade of a track champion. If Triumph was forced to use only original Triumph parts as supplied and designed, the race cars would not be reliable enough to be a successful race car. I learned much about this from reading Kas Kastners books, from the Triumph community and from my own experience with these cars. After taking apart the TR3 down to the frame and later the TR6 down to every last nut and bolt, I have a pretty good idea of what really goes into this car. The problems are know within the Triumph community and just about anyone who is willing enough to hear and understand the real problems with the TR6 and take them seriously.

My motivation for being so vocal about the problems with these cars is give the Classic Car Community a reality check of what these car really are and not see these cars beyond their reputation and myth of durability and "how good they are". Problem areas like rear hubs or front axles that fail which could easily result in serious injury and damage to the car should be considered and addressed. Front suspension A arm mounts that break off, rear differential mounts that fail, frames that rust from the inside out which can result in structural failures and more should all be taken seriously by TR owners and not live in under the denial of a shiny coat of paint and spiffy interior. Part of the problem of denial rest on the current automotive media for not truthfully and accurately telling the entire reality of these cars. Instead, they worry more about offending their British car readership and selling more magazines.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
9/22/08 1:19 p.m.

Rupunzell, you have a knack for making a point forcefully, but even a point made well doesn't necessarily make it right.

Fact is with any classic car, there are problem areas, and those problems are probably going to be exacerbated by years of use and misuse. It's true no matter what country or company the car originally came from.

Any car from that era can rust badly, often times with disastrous consequences Consider the BMW 2002s well-known propensity for rotted shock towers. Or 240Zs, which rusted pretty much everywhere. Or Fiats, which rusted so badly some were recalled before they were ever sold.

And design failures/weak points? Not exactly a TR exclusive, either. You point to two anecdotal incidents of TR hub failure, without thinking of the hundreds of thousands of cars built using the same design that have covered millions of miles over decades without a problem.

If you think a Lotus is going to win awards for good, durable design, well..... a Lotus has many virtues, but robust design is generally not among them.

All classics were built with old technology, using old materials, to old designs, and there WILL be problem areas. For that matter, old has nothing to do with it, really. There's plenty of new cars with well-known and documented weak points.

The reality is that as classic car owners we have a responsibility to ourselves and everyone else on the road to know the cars weak points and make sure they're up to snuff. You show me a TR with a failed hub, and I'll show you a TR that was probably long overdue for a close inspection.

wlkelley3 Reader
9/22/08 6:02 p.m.

Score for Tim.

Guess Rupunzell hasn't really been around Lotus's much, cool cars but not top quality. Still want one though. Like Tim stated any classic is only as good as it's maintained.

Rupunzell New Reader
9/22/08 6:06 p.m.


It sounds like you lack the real world engineering experience and education to understand why and how mechanical parts are designed. Have you ever done an engineering analysis of why a TR6 rear hub could fail? Do you understand why the part was designed the way it was designed, why which specific materials were used and why the design will fail under current real world conditions?

I think you need to do some serious technical research into what the specific problems are with the TR6 rear hub and a number of other design problem with the TR6 before laying judgment on what I have to say. This applies not only to Triumphs, but to any car I write about. Until you completely understand the problems from a mechanical, design and production engineering point of view, you simply not going to understand where I'm coming from.

This topic has already been discussed in depth on the 6-pack forum and others. There are a number of current aftermarket replacement TR6 rear hubs for very, very good reasons.

Indeed, vintage car have their limitations based on when they were designed, production methods used, materials used, but that does not excuse the reality of a problem design that is a safety issue.

What I take issue with is the denial that there are serious problems and the lack of responsibility within the automotive media to bring these problems to the level of seriousness they should be taken with.

It does not matter who builds the car, the problems and specific problem areas that are serious enough should be taken as a life or death matter. It might be nice to live in the fantasy of what things might be, until the seriousness of the problem comes hitting back one day.

Being responsible journalist also means a responsibility to reveal the in-depth truth of the topic that is being written about and not simply perpetuating what might be simply wrong or false. I read each issue of CMS and note the factual errors and rate the articles based on what is fact vs reputation and myth. It's not been pretty.

In the end, all of what I have written means little to those who simply don't comprehend or understand what I have written. It can be easily seen as nothing more than just another "opinion" and not much more until the day comes when the reader is faced with discovering the same reality of what I had written.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
9/22/08 6:51 p.m.

Well, again, you make your point well, but that doesn't make it right. You may think I'm too too dumb to understand you, but I'm not too dumb to understand that a questionable hub design does not mean a Triumph is a bad car any more than a bad head gasket design means Subarus are bad cars, or glass transmissions means Saab 900s are bad cars. I don't think there's a car ever made that doesn't have at least one or two known trouble spots. Give them 40 years to manifest, and these flaws get downright ugly.

So what if there are improved rear hubs for TRs? Whoopty-do. All it means is that somebody figured out how to improve on a nearly 50-year-old design. Good for them. Good for us. Somebody's figured out how to fix all sorts of other classic car problems too. Again, good for them. Good for us.

I know you're a Fiat fan, are you suggesting they're somehow immune to these sorts of problems?

And I'm pretty sure I'd put my understanding of Triumph's design, engineering and production decisions up against yours. I've wrenched on a few of them myself.

As for how Classic addresses design flaws, it really doesn't sound like you've been reading all that closely, given how much time and energy the magazine expends explaining how to deal with classic car flaws in smart and safe way.

And with that, I'm done. I'm beginning to suspect you're just trolling.

blackrabbit New Reader
9/22/08 7:31 p.m.

AMEN Tim, I think your on the money. some folks just like to voice opinions just to entice someone into arguing with them.. frustratingly that was the one thing i saw none of here while i was "lurking" before signing up. and i liked it!! Thanks for a good site/forum...

P.S. if your messing w/vintage cars of any type becuase they are "brilliantly engineered" then your doing this for the wrong reason ;]

mattmacklind SuperDork
9/22/08 8:51 p.m.

So, the message I'm taking is that the TR6 is roughly the design equivalent of the 1992 Ford Explorer. I'm shocked to say the least.

I for one will be writing my congressman, and demanding an investigation into this "vintage car" obsession. How do we protect the children from the affordable, fun and sporty looking TR6? Could our vintage cars be killing people in our very own communities? How can we combat the "big business/special interest" vintage car lobby that threatens to conceal the dangerous truth? And what about those secret British Leyland memos regarding hub design and "fly-apart" technology, implemented to save pennies and preserve labor relations at the expense of operator safety? More during a special report at 10.

Rupunzell New Reader
9/23/08 12:11 a.m.

Follow this link:






If you want to know more about me, search my name, "Bernice" on X web. http://www.network54.com/Forum/12159/

There is nothing more that I could contribute here for it is not appreciated.

KaptKaos Reader
9/23/08 10:46 a.m.

Good plan Bernice. Take your ball and go home. That always works out well.

Your opinion is valid, but its still your opinion. Maybe the curmudgeons over at Xweb are used to your approach, but it doesn't seem to work well here.

Reminds me of a movie quote: "There are two ways to do things; my way and the right way. And they're both the same."

Your opinions and methods may be borne out by your experience, but that's your experience. That doesn't mean you get to force it down people's throats as fact. You can play "I told you so" all day long, but people generally avoid dealing with people that do that.

I hope you keep posting, because you have good information to share.

racerdave600 Reader
9/23/08 11:01 a.m.

I've resisted commenting on this, but I would like to make a few observations. First, I had most of the failures above on my old TR4A, plus a few more not listed. One of the main causes not addressed are the issues caused by modern tires. Modern rubber is better than race rubber was when these were new, and as such, place a lot more stress on the axles, hubs, and all suspension components.

These cars were designed first and foremost to be commuters, not out of the box race cars. When they were new, items such as these were addressed by race teams, and even now are looked at by vintage racers and addressed before you hit the track. No matter what type of car you race, you need to magnflux your hubs and axles on a periodic basis, and I would add, on spirited street driven cars as well. I've seen failures on Mustangs, a host of GM cars, BMWs, VWs, you name it. With fatigue and stress, all cars can have failures here. Sure TRs may suffer a bit more than most, but if your car is that old, you need to make it a point to look after these areas.

I loved my old TR4, but I'd never want it as a daily driver again. But as a weekend car, I think I could stay on top of the issues with a little care.

And I'm not taking a shot at you Rupunzell, but I've owned a dozen or so X's and love them too, but they also have a few issues of their own, all cars do.

Brett Melancon
Brett Melancon New Reader
9/23/08 12:30 p.m.

This does not need to become an "us vs them" argument. I have had British sports cars and have had Italian. I love them both and know that each marque has design flaws, that is actually part of the character of the marque. The perception that Japanese cars are trouble free (as false as it is) helps to make them a little less exciting. I doubt that anyone can argue that different marques bring things to the table that we can all love. The Italians were doing all aluminum engines with OHC while the British were still being powered with glorified tractor engines. That doesn't mean the BMC cars were bad, just more resourceful. If they were not good in some respects, they would not have been preserved to the extent that they have. How many Pinto/Vega owners clubs are out there these days singing the praises of the design excellence they possess.

We should all get along and play nicely. I don't mind seeing more British stuff, after all, there IS more of them out there than us. Think of it this way, it makes the X1/9 a little more unique and special that there are not a million of them out on the roads.

That is all...

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
9/23/08 12:53 p.m.

Well said, Brett.

jdmae92 New Reader
9/23/08 1:04 p.m.

In response to the original question, I don't know of any classic car I would turn down, even if all it was good for was to have in my driveway to look at.

Ian F
Ian F Reader
9/24/08 10:37 a.m.

Rupunzell, perhaps you should try contributing something worth being appreciated.

Whining about the design and engineering deficiencies of a Triumph will get a "well.. DUH!" response from most of us who own one. You're stating this like you've stumbled across some sort of epiphany.

You desire for a Lotus blows your credibility out of the water. Chapman was the KING of design deficiencies and "eh... that's good enough... it only has to hold together for one race" engineering. And more that a few Lotus parts were taken from the Triumph parts bin.

Do some research on the history and demise of British Leyland and you'll get your answer to why the rear hub of a TR6 may fail.

gblawson New Reader
10/5/08 2:28 a.m.

A 'Stag'... would just have to pass no matter what shape (sic) it was!!!! (just like the buyers when they first came on the market )

1 2
Our Preferred Partners