I know its hard to admit but the British invented the Sports Car. When American troops after World War II started to drive early sports cars like the MGTD a love affair started with British roadsters. In 1953 when Triumph first started sending the brash TR2 to the USA another love affair started with Triumph Sports Cars. The formula was simple. Ground hugging suspension, superb engine sounds, little or no creature comforts and bull dog like toughness that became a Triumph trademark. More and better TR’s would follow like the TR3,TR4 and the TR250. By 1968 the TR’s needed and update. British Leyland called on German design studio Karmann to do a hurry up restyle of the TR250 thus creating the TR6 for model year 1969. The TR6 was everything a brazen brutal sports car should be. Quick, agile, creaky, leaky and unforgiving. With its lusty wonderful sounding 2.5 liter six cylinder engine it made sounds that would make a Ferrari blush.
The Karmann restyle was crisp and he-man like. Interiors were typical English with a wood dash and full gauges. The TR6 sat low slung on it’s independent rear suspension and its four speed transmission shifted with a resounding thunk. As vehicle comforts improved in the 1970′s the TR6 made no excuses for its leaky top and buckboard ride. As Car and Driver Magazine said in a 1976 road test “It is the last of the hairy chested British roadsters“ Triumph made over 90,000 TR6′s from 1969-1976. It was replaced with the “Shape of things to come” tepid TR7 door stop. When production of the TR6 ended it was the last of its kind. A true sports car in the true sense of the term. Unforgiving, blunt and a drivers car. Having owned a red 1969 TR6 I can say that you either loved it or hated it. Mine was upgraded with Weber Carbs, Ansa four pipe exhaust, Pacesetter header, 72 spoke chrome wire wheels, roll bar and suspension mods. It was my favorite ride on a warm summer evening and it made the most glorious sounds. Despite the reputation for being ahhh ummm British my TR6 never let me down in fact gave me 9 years of thrilling service. The TR6 was full of greatness and flaws but it never went away from its mission. A bold hairy chested sports car. The last of its kind and that’s why Carlisle Johnny has named crowned it The Best Sports Car Of All Time.
Check out this classic Triumph TV commercial