NCtim
NCtim New Reader
1/31/11 4:36 p.m.

Alright guys,

I need your advice and encouragement.

I'm building a new garage and it needs a sports car parked in it. I've always wanted to find my old '69 Pimento Red TR6 that I rebuilt from the frame up. Factory wire wheels and bone-stock, except for the Abarth exhaust and hand-striped double pinstripe down the accent line.

I'm also looking at Alfas. They're reasonable, I can get a/c, and . . . I don't know ?

You guys tell me. Modern or vintage. I love vintage and the TRs are fun and easy to work on. There isn't much more power to get out of them unless you do an engine swap.

Alfas have a little caché as well as modern amenities like heat and A/C. It's also just got a little 4-banger struggling away under the hood.

What say you?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
1/31/11 6:18 p.m.

Both .

I'd make sure that the TR6 isn't mandated by rose tinted glasses and would probably look at both and make my decision based on which one you like more now.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
2/1/11 5:13 a.m.

Go test drive one of each.

Whichever one makes your heart sing, pursue it.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
2/1/11 6:02 a.m.

My Uncle got into a position where he could afford a nicely restored TR6. He had it a few years and sold it, becoming frustrated with it's incessant need for constant tinkering. He replaced it with a BMW roadster.

Rose colored glasses, indeed. Ask yourself what your intent is for the car. Is it mostly for driving, or also for garage hobby work?

I wouldn't expect much from the a/c system in an Alfa. They are ok, but not great. You have to remember that the Alfa was designed in the 1960s so the a/c system (while nicely integrated on modern ones) is an afterthought.

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
2/1/11 8:05 a.m.

I second the AC comment in Alfas. I've had a bunch of 'em, and well, their AC systems never really worked well. I mean you could get it blowing cold for maybe a few seconds, and then it was back to luke warm. And that was with a new one. The dealer could never get it right either.

The last straw was on a trip to Road Atlanta...I was crusing down 75 early one morning and the freon let loose inside the car. i had to roll down the window and stick my head out to get to the side of the road. I'm sure it was amusing to all that were around, but not so much for me. After I got home I ripped everything out of the car that even looked like AC!

rl48mini
rl48mini New Reader
2/1/11 9:47 a.m.

I like the Triumph but haven't spent any time in Alfas so, no help there. You also might want to expand your search to include the early RX-7's and 240-Z's. They both have quite a few nice creature comforts and will cruise forever without complaint, they also are very much 'throwbacks' to the classics that inspired them.

Raze
Raze Dork
2/1/11 3:31 p.m.

Please tell me your garage build is on Garage Journal

Then I would say as everyone else, BOTH. I mean why have one flavor when you can have a bunch?

lasttr
lasttr New Reader
2/1/11 3:47 p.m.

I love my TR6, but I've always admired those Alfas. And my neighbor seems to drive his '90 Alfa while I work on my '73 TR6. I would say to shop around, and be flexible. If your mind isn't dead set on one model, pick the best car you find, even if it isn't either a Triumph or an Alfa.

TR8owner
TR8owner New Reader
2/1/11 4:03 p.m.

My brother has an immaculate 73 TR6 that he's tricked out with triple webers and engine mods. He's probably got about 175 bhp or more and seems to need a lot less tinkering than when stock. There is also now a triple SU kit available if you don't want to spring for the webers. He's also done some suspension mods but other than the upgraded wheels you'd think the car was stock when parked. He drove from Toronto to New Mexico and back in the car with no issues. The twin Stromberg TR6 engine was always way under tuned so reliabilty is never an issue if you do a few performance mods.

I always tell my brother that if I didn't own a TR8 then I'd want his TR6. :-)

I'm totally biased towards British classics so really don't know much about Alpha's from experience. My best friend had a 1969 GTV. Really lovely car but it was actually more finicky than any of his British classics.

lasttr
lasttr New Reader
2/1/11 5:10 p.m.

And I would be negligent not to point out that a TR8 would be an excellent choice of a modern-vintage car! And though mine isn't so equipped, I understand some have decent AC.

wcelliot
wcelliot HalfDork
2/1/11 9:04 p.m.

I own a TR6 and really don't like it. (Wife's car.) Makes some really nice noises but that's about it. It's a reliable driver though. I'd much prefer either an Alfa or TR8.

NCtim
NCtim New Reader
2/7/11 7:46 p.m.

In reply to Raze:

Oh man! I may be in trouble here.

NCtim
NCtim New Reader
2/7/11 7:55 p.m.

In reply to lasttr:

Well, I remember when the TR7 came out. I had a 57 Healy 100 6, a 58 MGA, and a 69 Midget at the time. All beautifully shaped and curvy. Pardon my opinion, I thought TR7s looked like doorstops. (you know what they say about opinions and a*hles) I'm not sure a V8 under the hood would change my opinion now. I love the curves and the convertible top. I guess I should give up on a/c idea and go with the heart.

NCtim
NCtim New Reader
2/7/11 7:58 p.m.

In reply to TR8owner:

I'd love to see it and find out how he got 175 hp out of that engine! BTW, my 69 TR6 was as reliable a car as was wife's Toyota after I restored it.

TR8owner
TR8owner New Reader
2/7/11 8:50 p.m.

In reply to NCtim:

175 guestimated reliable bhp from a TR6 is not hard. He's running a higher compression, ported head, 3/4 cam, triple webers, headers, etc.

I don't know all the particulars, but I could ask my brother if you're interested in the details.

lasttr
lasttr New Reader
2/8/11 12:26 a.m.

NCtim,

When I bought my first MGA in 1966, people told me that my low curvy nine-year-old car would never be a classic like those angular MGTCs and TDs. Times change. I love 'em all. I wish I could add one of those "old-fashioned" MGTDs or TFs to my collection. Just like my MGA and my TR6, my TR8's top goes down when the rain stops, and that V8 under the hood is very seductive.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
2/8/11 9:46 a.m.

You either want a lower power British/European sports car or a grunty Corvette. I grew up thinking a sports car had to be British then I looked at the 2 litre Fiat Spider and it had most of what you seem to want. It had what I wanted: sufficient power, good looks and interstate cruisability. Modern A/C is available for them. The initial cost won't deter you and risiing values will make you feel good. Bigger block European and British cars get too expensive to reach the performance levels of a common low end Corvette which should be on your list. Cheers Ron

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