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On The Road With Johnny B, Gem or Junk Part 2, ...1969 Triumph TR6 …First Love


As many of you know my first vehicle was a 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Convertible. Purchased for at the time a Princely Sum of $500.00, that was saved after a summer of washing pots and dishes in a steamy hot pizzeria kitchen.


As important as that 48 Chevy Ragtop was in my lifetime journey “Along Life’s Highway” and Ole Crusty Cars I truly adored it but wasn’t my First Love. The Triumph TR6 was and till today is still my fave Collectible Car.


Fueled by Car and Driver, David E Davis, Road & Track and my Father’s friend purchasing a new Emerald Green TR6 in 1974 I was Hooked, Smitten and in Love. Something about the TR6 was so different from every other vehicle my Muscle Car loving mates drove.


The TR6 is a Classic British Roadster. Creaky, Quirky, Temperamental, Responsive, Glorious Sounding and as Car and Driver described it “Last of the Hairy Chested British Sports Cars” The Romantic thing that made the Triumph TR6 so Perfect were its Imperfections. Much like a Beautiful Woman you Love it is her Flaws that make her Flawless.


Oddly to find my very own “First Love” aka Triumph TR6 took more than 25 years from my first TR6 sighting and “Smitten-ness”. It was my Mom who spotted my soon to be red 1969 TR6 parked in a driveway with no license plates on it. After her telling me “Don’t be an Idiot, go knock on the door” I put on my big boy pants and after many attempts finally found someone home in the house that looked like Tobacco Road. After some Hemming & Hawing I struck up a deal with the Gent who looked like Grizzly Adams fresh from Rehab for $1800. I put in a battery, plates from another car (ya did that back in the day) and drove my newly purchased TR6 home, top down. Little did I know that was only the beginning of the TR6 adventure…


From day one the TR6 was always a Runner. Oh sure it had ummmm a lot of Britishness, that I upgraded with Weber Carburetors, Header, Oil Cooler, Ansa 4 Pipe Exhaust, Polyurethane Bushings, Spin On Oil Filter, Upgraded Electrical, Wider Tires, 72 Spoke Chrome Wire Wheels, Roll Bar, the Dreaded Rear Frame Repair, Head Gasket, Asst Hydraulics, Stainless Brake Hoses and Whew!! a lot more than I can remember…


The body and floors were oddly solid but still were tethered and worn. Paint was handled by a body guru named Leroy Brown (no he wasn’t Bad Bad), front bumper removed, Cobra Nerf Bars and front spoiler installed. I redid the interior, top, rear trunk rack and asst Sundries.


Fun Facts: (1) ..Most of the Parts and Sundries were purchased at Import Carlisle. Thus introducing me to that amazing show, swap meet and a lifetime of friends including Lynn who became so Smitten by my TR6 that she purchased one of her own, that she still owns. She both thanks me and curses at the same time. Only a TR6 owner will understand that comment. 


(2) My TR6 introduced me to writing my own blabber. Needing an Events Director and Writers for the Newsletter the Long Island Triumph Assc elected me for the jobs. By elected that meant I missed a meeting and was ahhhh elected, I didn’t know I was even nominated. No worries it opened up my world to grand adventures, friendships, creativity and I still write On The Road With Johnny B till today. 


(3) My TR6 introduced me to true automotive joy. Imagine if you can. You have the top down on your TR6, it is a perfect dawn or dusk, you are on a country road, the symphony of the lusty inline 6 engine is whirling under the hood, the bellowing of the exhaust is behind you, the whoosh of the Weber Carbs sucking air and fuel fill the air and it is so Melodious you don’t need any music. Pure Joy of driving a TR6.


So now a few questions remain…


What happened to the TR6?...  To be honest as my Mom would say “I’m a Dumb Dillhead” Needing money for a home purchase (that fell thru ugh) I sold it to a local man who made me “An offer I couldn’t refuse” Him and my Ole TR6 were never seen again. I have never Automotive-ly recovered. I guess you never get over losing your First Love.



Gem or Junk?... My Long Lost First Love 1969 Triumph TR6 was indeed a Gem !!


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