Started on May 9 by wildsm

1973 Triumph TR-6

What a difference 30 years makes It took 30 years to take the second photo so I guess another year to write this letter isn’t too bad. I am the second owner of my 1973 TR-6 that has been in the family since August of 1977. I bought the car, with the help of my father the summer after my sophomore year at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. The original owner was a young 2nd Lieutenant, fresh out of West Point and stationed at nearby Ft. Riley. He has purchased the car new from Rallye Motors in Paramus New Jersey on March 7, 1974 and drove it half way across the country to his assignment at Ft. Riley. By the summer of 1977 he had put 31,000 miles on the TR and I think the Kansas heat and humidity finally got the best of him and as fortune would have it, I became the second owner of this pimento red beauty. The TR-6 became my daily driver for my next 2 years of college and about 3 years thereafter as I started my career. The car spent a bit of time in the elements and my college/early work life budget/priorities did not leave much in the way of any idle cash for maintenance and the TR fell into disrepair. Not running and taking up the one garage stall I had available, I had finally had enough after the winter of 1983. My new Honda had set outside its last winter. The TR had to go. My father and both of my brothers had all commented to me on occasion “… if you aren’t going to do anything with that Triumph, I’d take it …”. So that spring I put forth the challenge to all three of them: the first one that shows up with a car trailer and hauls it off can have it. To my astonishment, my dad and an auto mechanic friend of his showed up a couple of weeks later and hauled it off. They got it running and a second friend that owned a body shop cleaned up the dings, dents and a bit of rust and re-sprayed it with a fresh coat of (aghh) pimento red. I signed the title back over to him and for the next 10 years the TR-6 would be my father’s property. He drove it about once a year in parades and such and the car became a 13’ table upon which he stacked cardboard boxes, tools, furniture, etc. Having a similar garage space issue, he was through with the TR by about 1993 and told me I could pay him what he had in it and get it out of his garage or else he was going to sell it to a local school teacher that he claimed wanted it. Not to let the TR slip away, I forked over a king’s ransom to my dad and, barely running, the car was once again mine. A new set of Weber DGV’s went on the summer of 1993 and then back into long term storage as my career took my family and me to Switzerland and later to England. We returned to the states at the end of the 1990’s and dusted off and tuned up, the TR once again became my daily driver for a short spell until a bit of water leaking from the cooling system into the crankcase cause another trip into storage until a rebuild could be arranged. As fortune (or misfortune) might have it, I took an opportunity to become CEO of a firm in my old college town at the beginning of the new century. Over the last several years the TR got the necessary rebuild along with numerous other mechanical and cosmetic makeovers. In many ways, I think it is probably better now than when it rolled of the assembly line August 24, 1973 in Coventry. Fast forward to May 2009. I had the TR all spiffed up for an upcoming car show in KC and on a nice bright sunny morning, I talked my daughter into going with me to the apartment building I had lived 30 years prior to snap a new photo. We got the TR lined up as close as we could to the same spot where an old girlfriend had taken the original photo a month before my graduation from KSU in the spring of 1979. The trees are bigger, a pick-up sits in the spot occupied by the Datsun Z-car you can faintly see in the background of the original and yours truly managed to gain weight and loose hair in about the same proportion over those thirty years. But hey, some things really do improve with age and I think my TR-6 is one of them!

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Comments
lucia
May 10, 2010, 7:42 a.m.

alway wanted a tr-6..a very good ride. looks good.......nice color red........shane

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