I bought my '72 TR6 in the spring of '93. That year I was a senior in high school. My dad who was a British car enthusiast and the one who got me hooked on the little two-seaters, noticed it for sale along the side of a road. The previous owner had done some body work and painted the car, but to my knowledge, no engine work. In order to buy it, I had to sell my dad my '65 MGB. I didn't mind, though, because that TR6 sure had a lot more get-up-and-go to it!
I drove the Triumph for the rest of that school year and the next two years. While I attended community college it was my daily driver. Then one day while driving home from school, the drive shaft fell. After that, it sat in my parent’s garage for the next 14 years! As I finished my Bachelor's and Master's degrees, my dad occasionally had work done on the car. The drive shaft was put back on, and the “frame,” which you could poke a finger through in places, got replaced with a newer rust-free one.
It wasn't until 2008, when I got engaged to be married, that I decided I had to get my TR6 back on the road. I guess when you start making big life choices you look back at your past and take stock of all the good experiences. Driving that car was definitely one. I traded my Pontiac Firebird convertible to a good family friend, who's also a fantastic mechanic, in exchange for his getting the old TR6 back in driving condition by my wedding in the fall. Well, to say the least, Craig Leifheit went above and beyond getting the triumph drivable.
Craig rebuilt the engine, the clutch, the carbs and the brakes, installed all new gas and brake lines and refinished the wheels. Among countless other things, he also installed new carpet, cleaned up the seats, got new tires on and shined her up just in time for my wedding day. It was a great feeling driving that car for the first time in nearly 15 years! Plus, I wasn't worried the old car was gonna break down!
Since then, my dad has passed away and I have a son of my own. He loves the TR6 too! I only drive it three seasons out of the year, but he always wants to at least sit in it and pretend he's driving, he's two. If he isn't already, I know someday my son will be hooked and wanting one of his own. My TR6 has brought me new friendships too. As I'm sure most British sports car owners can attest, you don't see too many of these cars on the road, and when they do people take notice. That's how I met some great guys. Every Thursday night, The Black Sheep Triumph Owner's Club meets and, if we're not working on someone's car over a refreshment or two, we're having conversations about them!