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TR-6's. Love'm? Hate'm?

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  • parmparm Posts: 723
    edited March 2011
    Been submersed in the TR6 culture for the last few weeks. There's quite a loyal and knowledgable contingent out there for these cars and I've been learning quite a bit. In terms of a purchase decision, it essentially boils down to this. Do you want a factory stock, no excuses correct car? OR, do you go the modified route? And, let me tell you, there's a very respectable and well-thought of group who favor the latter - even though I know this group here is quick to dismiss them.

    I'm torn as to which way to go. Obviously, a car can be original only once. And, in theory, you would think the market would put TR6's that are as pure as the driven snow up on a pedestal. But, there's a reason why guys modify these things. They upgrade the suspension bits and pieces, drop in a 5-speed (a pretty common upgrade), install an electronic ignition, put in a stronger differential, a better cooling system and fiddle with the engine and wheels/tires because doing so makes these cars drive/ride MUCH better - not to mention reducing the oil puddes on your garage floor and minimizing your risk of being left stranded by the side of the road. And, what's wrong with that???

    Specifically, I have a line on a very original, 43,000 mile 1974 TR6 who the 2nd owner has owned for the past 26 years and has babied. The paint is original, the seats are original and they look great. While there have been replacements (ie., carpeting, convertible top, some engine bits), they have been done to factory correct standards. Ok, but how long can one maintain a car like this and still drive it? Eventually, its going to reach the fork in the road (stock vs. modified) with respect to how its restored - at which point I might be better off to go ahead and get one that's been modified in a quality way.

    Don't mean to make this longer than necessary, but in weighing the pros and cons above, it occured to me that a 10 year old (or so) Honda S2000 might be something I should consider as a viable alternative. Here's a great example of what I'm talking about - an original 15,000 mile, 2001 model Silver one for $15,500. For that price, you could buy a very decent, but not great (whether its stock or modified), TR6. Plus, you get awesome performance, modern reliability and some creature comforts (leather, nice stereo & A/C) to boot.

    Would LOVE to get some feedback on these issues. And, what about $15,500 for this low mileage and very original S2000??? It's offered by a dealer, so naturally I'm expecting a "gasp". But, keep in mind how original it is and its low miles.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,561
    My BIL has a 1st year model S2000 (one of the first in the US), that is probably even nicer. Absolutely looks like new. Stored winters, almost never sees rain, perfectly maintained. Not sure the miles, but they are low. I drove it when he first got it, and it is a very fun car.

    But, apples to cantaloupes here. Do you want an old "classic" to putz with, show, etc? Or a newish car to use? A TR-6 would compare to a an MGB, Alfa, etc. An S2000 to a Miata, maybe a late Alfa, etc.

    Anyway, my opinion on the originality issue is, if the car is a time warp absolutely authentic museum piece, I would try to keep it that way, especially if you won't be driving it much. But beyond that, I think it only matters if it is a rare/valuable car, unless you plan to get into the "cult of originality".

    since this is a TR-6, not a Hemi 'cuda, Personally I would do the under the skin upgrades to make it a better car (tranny, suspension, cooling, reliablity stuff), but keep the looks stock (as in, no cheesy wheels).

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,561
    oh yeah, forgot 1 point.

    Do stuff that can be reversed easily if you want, and keep the old parts!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Your apples to cantaloupes point is well taken. Honestly, that's a tough one for me to answer. If I had an S2000, I'd probaby drive it more such as to work, etc. The TR6 would definitely be used to "putz" around with. Don't know which I would enjoy more.

    In the event I would lean toward the Honda, I don't suppose you know if your brother in law would be interested in selling, would he?????? I'm serious.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    From what I understand, the S2000 is kind of a 4-wheel motorcyle, high-revving, low torque, sounds like the opposite of the TR-6. What do you like?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    edited March 2011
    I have no problem at all with invisible up-grades to a TR6, but not the boy racer stuff--this is a British car after all. In the same way that you don't put fuzzy dice on a Benz or rally lights on a Cadillac, you don't put oversize chrome alloys on a TR6, nor do you pinstripe it with scrollwork, or put on nerf bars, or body cladding. It's simply blasphemous.

    The Honda S2000 requires an entirely different kind of driving than a TR6. The S2000 has little low end torque and to enjoy the car you have to keep it "on cam" constantly. If you don't like attentive, high-revving, frequent shifting driving, then you won't be happy with the S2000. What I mean is, if you are a lazy shifter, this car will torment you. It's like driving a Japanese superbike vs. a Harley. The Harley owner would find the Japanese bike maddening, and the Japanese owner would find the Harley barbaric.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,561
    Not for sale now, and I told him long ago that I had rights of first refusal! Still mad I did not buy his Integra (gsr? whatever the hot rod model was, in a 4 door) when I had the chance.

    Though he does occasionally get a bug for a 911 turbo or a Cobra kit car, but for now, I suspect he is keeping the Honda for a while.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
    If someone were to put a lot of pizzazz junk on a Healey 3000 or an XK-120 that would be bad but a TR6 just isn't that kind of car. Even back in the day bigger wheels roll bars and extra lights and other boy-racer stuff were commonly added on. It's easy to make the TR6 into a better performing sand better looking car so I say go for it.

    I think Shifty's analysis of the S2000 vs TR6 is entirely correct but he left off one thing. I can still squeeze into a TR6 but there's no way I can squeeze my carcass into the little Honda. That may or may not be relevant to your situation.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,561
    I seem to recall fitting fine in the Honda. My BIL is a beefy guy, not quite as tall as I am (6') and he never complains. Probably not a good idea if you are very "broad of beam" though!

    Nothing like a Miata. That, I didn't fit in at all.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    edited March 2011
    TR6s will be worth more serious money in 5 (easily $30K +), since we have comparable big jumps in value for the MGBs and Porsche 914s---- so these add-ons will only serve to devalue the car considerably. Even today, a stock TR6 will bring more money than a pimped-out one.

    The argument that people used to modify these cars might have been true, but then people used to put V-8 engines in old Ferraris, chop and slam Ford woodies, and make Chevy Nomads into gassers.

    It...it....PAINS me to see TR6s modified externally, not because the mods are tasteless (which is, after all, subjective opinion) but because it announces that the person doing it is a-historical. It is, in an innocent way, a kind of cultural ignorance to a snob like me.

    To illuminate---have you ever seen a dashing couple dressed in Gatsy-era clothing while driving a 1940s car? This is a-historical. Think of a Civil War enacter wearing a WW I helmet.

    I think with some classic cars, your ownership is a kind of stewardship.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
    edited March 2011
    Pre-'74 TR6s might see some increase in value but they just don't have the panache of an MG-B or a 914 IMO. They're more analogous to 240/260Zs which had much better performance and were highly desired when new yet have languished in value.

    I wouldn't hesitate to modify a post '74 car to my liking; surely those are unlikely to appreciate much.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Well we can have a side bet on that---a traditional British sports car with a big six and classic styling? C'mon, It's got EVERYTHING going for it. It's definitely going skywards now that the Healeys are all bought up and restored. Geez, even MGAs are busting $30K and the TR is more car than that.

    Now's the time to buy an early TR6. You won't be able to touch 'em in 5-10 years.

    You may be right about the rubber-bumper cars, though--they will always languish behind their chromed brothers.
  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,856
    But... I came of car buying age in the '70s..... and, I'd put the TR-6 above either the MGB or the 914 in collectibility...

    I have a lot more appreciation for the 914 now, than I did then, but I think I'm in the minority... If I were ranking them, it would be TR-6, 914, MGB...

    But, if I had to go buy a car from that era with my own money, it would be a 240/260/280Z (2-seater only).

    I've got nothing against mechanical upgrades...or, even better wheels, as long as they are close to stock size... Not too fond of oversized wheels, roll bars and big rally car driving lights on the TR-6.

    I'm not a snob, like Shifty, so I don't think owners owe the rest of us anything, when it comes to modifying their own cars.. But, that doesn't mean we can't make fun of them. :)

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    If doing something right makes one a snob, count me in. :P
  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,856
    I was only repeating what you said... lol..

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Yes I know, and I'm proud of it. All modified TR6s are welcome but they go to the back row.
  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,856
    We really need our winking emotorcons back... ;-)

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    edited March 2011
    So many TR6s, so few time:
    image

    I WANT THE STRIPES TO GO THIS WAY...NO, WAIT.....THAT WAY!

    image

    I REALLY WANTED A MUSTANG BUT....

    image

    I'LL JUST WELD THIS CHROME COFFEE TABLE TO THE FRONT, AND THEN.....
    image

    OH WHAT A GREAT COLOR FOR A BRITISH SPORTS CAR---AND I JUST LOVE WHAT YOU DID WITH THOSE WHEELS!!

    image

    THE LITTLE KNOWN TRIUMPH /SHELBY GT-350
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379


    I WANT THE STRIPES TO GO THIS WAY...NO, WAIT.....THAT WAY!


    I don't like them either but I'm pretty sure those were factory OEM or dealer added. You have to remember it was the 70s, good taste was out!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    " In the same way that you don't put fuzzy dice on a Benz or rally lights on a Cadillac"

    You don't spend much time in urban areas, do you???...wink, wink...
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