A few years ago, I wrote a piece about a 1970 Triumph GT6+ that I bought in the summer of ’76, just after I graduated high school—how it was the first and easily the worst car I’ve ever owned, and how the rust, metal fatigue, and electrical issues (headlights dying at night and wipers dying in the rain) verified that everything bad you’ve ever heard about British cars is true. The experience was so negative that it waved me off British cars for 37 years, until I bought a dead ’74 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special in 2013, a decision for which I still have no defense.
Read the full column on Hagerty.com:
It's interesting to research the value curve of our cars, they drop drastically the first years than slowly continue their gradual descent to a point determined by their innate desirability, after some time they appreciate in value depending upon several factors such as that type of car having appeared in movies or their success in vintage road racing, etc. The collector auctions show us that any restored car will be able to find a buyer, the question is how much money and energy will be required to bring a vehicle to it's best.
Someone needs to do some research, as the information presented in this article about model names, rear suspension configurations, and the "VIN stamped into the frame" is well separated from reality!
I had a MK III same problems! It was a rusted heap back in the early 80's. I still think of that car - I'm not really sure of the reason? It was the worst car that I had ever owned!!! But, I did learn a lot about auto mechanics, not by choice, but out of necessity!
Yes, I had a 73 gt6 mark3 and the rear had one transverse leaf spring. The half shafts were also U joints in 73 while in 72 (and earlier?) used round black rubber donuts that came compressed with a band around them for ease in installation. I remember that well as a friend of mine removed the band on his 72 gt6 replacements before installing. We spend quite some time struggling with the installation that with the band removed!
I had to laugh about the "Crowbar to the head" method of auto repair. On my 1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500 I had to replace the leaf spring that travels across the back of the car to the wheels. It had to be carefully lowered by hand onto four bolts under a removable cover behind the seats. My fingers still hurt from that experience but I got it done and the car is still on the road (for now).
Very cool story. I would not be surprised if that is your frame.
In 1976 when I got my driver’s license one of the first cars I looked at while shopping for my first car was a British Racing green TR6. It was already rusty even though it was only three years old so I walked away. Over the next decade I looked at two others, but they weren’t quite right so I didn’t buy either one.
The first car I ended up buying was a 1973 Mercury Capri with a 2600 cc V6 and a 4 speed, a fun car. I owned the Capri until I bought a new 1981 Mazda RX7.
Yes, I too often have dreams about the Capri. The dreams are always about the same, I either get the car out of storage or stumble across it somewhere and get it running again, often to spectacular results.
Going back to the TR6’s. I always had a thing for them and always wanted one. Whenever I actually would go and look at them they were never quite right. One day though, while driving my visiting brother and sister in law around the valley where we built our new house, I stumbled upon one for sale in a front yard. It was a rust free 1976 with 43k miles, original interior, top and paint. The owners had it and their house for sale so they could move to a house boat in Long Island, all the way across the country. After watching it go unsold for a month or two I offered $5,300, a bit more than half his original asking price.
I’ve now owned the car 25 years. Anybody interested in seeing the car can go to YouTube and search for “TR6 wonderful sounds” and the video should come up. It’s the Yellow car.
Really gotta wonder if that MkII rear suspension wasn't the same thing under my cousin's Spitfire. After a long Memorial Day weekend camping trip where 4 of us (2 guys, 2 girls, my head out the zip out rear window for 3 days) went to the beach, my cousin flipped the car on a freeway ramp. We had "field repaired" the U joints in the middle of the night on a back road when we realized they were coming undone from the differential. It's amazing what you can do with a pair of pliers if you're determined. That was 100 miles from home. After dropping us off Tom had a local garage weld the flanges together. Later that night the windshield was accommodating enough to hold his head (mostly) off of the asphalt when the car went upside down. He bears a scar to this day, 48 years later. Never did decide if it was the U joints or the bottle of Boone's Farm (probably both) which upended that car.