Overview While Roadster Salon has been Nationally recognized as the leading restorer of Italian convertibles in North America, our foray into British cars has only been in recent. We've discovered the following for Triumph and MG convertibles is strong, and the British crowd is even larger and just as enthusiastic as the Italian car devotees. Don't worry Italiani's---there's no shortage of love for pasta around here. But vintage British convertibles are certainly an alternative to Italian classics for some buyers, and have a unique appeal all their own.While a bit less sophisiticated than their Italian counterparts, this is a plus for customers who choose to do their own repairs.
There is clearly a hierarchy in British sports car fandom, with Aston Martin and Jaguar E types currently enjoying their position on the top wrung. Classics like the Austin Healy and Triumph TR6 are not far behind as more affordable options. Classic MG's are quite popular too. The TR6 in particular has a huge following. Although many of these lovely cars have fallen victim to rust devils, the few solid chassis that remain have become quite valuable. Certain model years like the 72-74 vintage are highly regarded--reflected by NADA prime values approaching $50K! VIN NUMBER IS CC81709U PRICE JUST REDUCED! Roadster Salon currently has seven other TR6 convertibles in stock ready for restoration with low miles from 1971-1975. Colors include BRG, Magenta, French Blue, Red, Orange and Yellow.Rare overdrive versions available too! Ask your salesperson for details History and Restoration Strategy
This particular example was a dry chassis from Utah that a customer had started restoring several years ago. The car had also spent time on the West Coast. Upon arrival at our shop, we noted work had already begun on the interior. The paint was original and rust free, but a little tired. Rubber gaskets needed to be replaced, and although running well, the car required our golden touch. From a mechanical standpoint, we were impressed. Many of the more expensive basics had been covered. Initially, we were undecided how far to take this particular car. For example, "Avanzato" level Fiat spiders represent our mid-range price approach and start at about $40K. The "Avanzato" restoration is the least expensive full cosmetic and mechanical rebuild in our program. Our quandry was that many customers would have been satisfied with the car as it stood--looking like a classic example of a solid "driver". The problem with the restoration of any vehicle is that the number of man hours and materials needed to do the job properly can easily exceed the value of the car. For example, even at a nominal labor rate of $100 per hour, a shop can easily spend 500-600 man hours restoring a single car. High-end projects can reach double that time, with some companies charging over $150 per hour for their services. Consequently, there is always a question of time versus return that must be considered with every project. Ambitious folks who buy cars in need of restoration with the intent on doing most of the work themselves have become our best customers. It is easy to get overwhelmed by projects where expertise and resources quickly go beyond the most dedicated enthusiasts.
The model year, condition and potential of this TR6 made a proper restoration easy to justify.Put simply, the better the starting point---the better the outcome. The bones were excellent, miles low and previous service history known. Over $6000 in recent receipts were provided by the previous owner. The entire sub structure was amazingly clean for a 40 year old car. All considered, we decided to take a conservative approach to the restoration to keep the price in line with the better examples in the market. To keep the overall budget within a comfortable range, our strategy was to prioritize the paint and mechanical aspects of the project, and limit time with the interior. This was relatively easy, because the previous owner had already made headway there. We added fresh burled walnut to the dash, along with new carpets, insulation and other cosmetic details. Mechanical and Driving Impressions Engine was dry with no leaks. Our service technicians checked compression, rebuilt the carbs and tuned the motor. Fuel delivery and tank were checked and cleaned. Wear components like brakes and suspension members were freshened. Clutch had been done by previous owner. Rear end checked for leaks and re-sealed. Cooling system also checked and freshened. Budget was kept in check by limiting time with electrical system, but all gauges work and car starts without complaint or hesitation. Some electrical upgrades are available, but would be at an additional charge.
The driving experience was pleasant. The character of a six-cylinder British engine is very different from an Italian twin cam. We can certainly understand the appeal. A TR6 is a fun drive. Very few vintage cars can match its combination of performance and relative ease of upkeep. These are simple cars with huge upside if kept in top condition. During our test loop, the car was well behaved, and showed no signs of irritability. Acceleration, braking and handling exceeded our expectations. Solid Car!
Cosmetic comments The nice thing about driving a professionally restored classic is not having to worry about the basics. Paint, interior and mechanical are all well done, and ready to enjoy. In all candor, we probably went a bit overboard on the paint. The car was fully dis-assembled and stripped prior to the re-spray in the original color. Prep time, material and finish work was comparable to $10-12K job. Really well done.
Market Report The following data was taken from NADA classic car guide, which shows values in the $42-$46K range for a top quality car that is driven and shown. This does not include premium values for 100 point show cars that are transported and not driven on the street. Trends for this model are consistently higher, with 72-74 versions showing particular strength. Our asking price is below the current market for comparable '72 TR6 models, not the higher restoration cost.