Triumph TR6


Triumph's brutal TR6 roadster made no sense but was entirely logical.

It doesn’t seem possible. But it’s true. My first car was a Triumph TR6. It made no sense. And it was perfectly logical.

Call it a 17 year old’s stupidity. Call it a twisted romance motored by the yellow Stag my uncle owned and which was the car that took us to Santa Pod one summer.

But before I even scored my driving test, in 1984, I paid £750 to a forty-something recent divorcee, for a rusted red TR6. It never ran properly. But it sat there in a mate’s dad’s yard, a permanent reminder of what might have been.

Me and said mate took it out for an illicit run a couple of times. It misfired horrendously. It blatting loudly and ridiculously from an exhaust peppered with oxide and punctured liberally. I never even told my mum and dad. They’ll never read this. I’m safe now.

I’m not sure, or can’t remember, why on earth at the time that it seemed like a good idea. I just wanted it. And that’s the nub of it. You buy cars, or at least you should, based on desire rather than practicality.

It was something about the brutal stance. Something about that big old engine, that weirdly Leyland rear end. You hardly see them on the streets these days. Is that because of the corrosion?

If every decision you made in life was made in this carnal spirit, how much more interesting the world would look. I failed my driving test. The car sat there, non-running, rusting a little more every day. I took off out on the road. Put the energy I had brought to bear on the dream of that car to a dream of being a traveller. Put the car thing on hold for a few years. That decision paid for a lot of plane tickets, though I never saw any of the hard-earned £750 back from the TR6.

For all I know the rusted hulk is still sitting there in that Essex yard.

Let us never talk of these things again.