To most TR traditionalists this is where the TR tale ended, the final flourishing of the theme before the TR7 betrayed an outstanding tradition. In the mid-Sixties, the TR line was on a roll and the TR6 continued the upward momentum, outselling all earlier models. It was a natural progression from the original TR2; the body evolved from the TR4/5, the power unit from the TR5.
Crisply styled, with chisel-chin good looks and carrying over the 2.5-liter six-cylinder engine of the TR5, the TR6 in early fuel-injected form heaved you along with 152 galloping horses. This was as hairy chested as the TR got, and a handful too, with some critics carping that, like the big Healeys, its power outstripped its poise. But that just made it more fun to drive.
There is an obvious difference between the TR4/5 and the later TR6, restyled by Karmann; sharper, cleaner lines not only looked more modern, but also gave more luggage space. The chopped off tail was an aerodynamic aid.
Wider wheels were a TR6 feature, as was the antiroll bar at the front.
One-piece hardtop was available as an option, and more practical than the two-piece job seen on earlier models.
Some 78,000 TR6s went to the US even though emission regulations emasculated it.
Virtually all bulges, like the TR5’s hood “power bulge” and cowled headlights, have been ironed out.
Revised injection metering and reprofiled camshaft reduced power from 1973; US carburetor versions were more sluggish and thirstier.
The cockpit was more spacious than earlier TRs, providing excellent driving position from comfortable seats. Big, wide-opening doors gave easy access to the TR6, a long cry from the tiny doors of the TR2 and 3.
The TR6’s good looks, and a long production run, made this model the biggest selling of all TR models. British sales stopped in February 1975, but continued in the US until July 1976. The US model may have been slower than the UK model by 12 mph (19 km/h), but 10 times as many TR6s were exported as remained in Britain.
The first engines, as on this 1972 car, produced 152 bhp, but public pressure for something more well mannered resulted in a 125 bhp version in 1973. Americans had to make do with just over 100 bhp and no fuel injection.
Steering wheel size was reduced at the time of other mid-model changes in 1973.
The interior is still traditional but more refined than earlier TRs. Yet with its big dials, wooden dash, and short-throw gear knob, its character is still truly sporty.
The TR6’s squared-off tail was longer than earlier TRs. Even so, there was only space in the trunk for a set of golf clubs and an overnight bag.
Deep-throated burble is still a TR6 come-on.
The TR6 was launched just after the 1968 merger of Leyland and BMC, which produced Triumph motors. Hence the badge on the side of the TR6’s bodywork.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL Triumph TR6 (1969–76)
BODY STYLE Two-seat convertible.
CONSTRUCTION Ladder-type chassis with integral steel body.
ENGINE Inline six-cylinder, 2498cc, fuelinjection (carburetors in US).
POWER OUTPUT 152 bhp at 5500 rpm (1969–1973), 125 bhp at 5250 rpm (1973–1975), 104 bhp at 4500 rpm (US).
TRANSMISSION Manual four-speed with optional overdrive on third and top.
SUSPENSION Independent by coil springs all around; wishbones at front, swing-axles & semi-trailing arms at rear.
BRAKES Front: discs; Rear: drums.
MAXIMUM SPEED 119 mph (191 km/h, 150 bhp), 107 mph (172 km/h, US)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 8.2 sec (150 bhp); 9.0 sec (125 bhp); 10.6 sec (104 bhp)
0–100 MPH (0–161 KM/H) 29 sec
A.F.C. 25 mpg (8.8 km/l)