Robert Black's 1976 TR6

In the fall of 1974 I began high school. One of my teachers had a very sharp, brand new, bright red sports car parked in the front row of the parking lot every day. It was a convertible, had a wooden dash, red stripe tires and had British flag decals on the rear quarters with "TR6" on them. I dreamt of having one of those cars two years later when I turned 16 and got my driver's license but there was no way my parents could afford to pay over $6000.00 for a teenager's first car. So, I tucked away the memory of my first automotive love in the back of my mind. Fast forward to 2006 and I was recovering from several major surgeries and some huge GI problems. I thought, I almost died from this and never even sat in a TR6, much less owned one. I hadn't even seen one on the road in many years. Someone had suggested looking on eBay for classic cars. I had never looked at eBay and the thought of buying a car online was silly to me. How stupid to buy a car w/o seeing and driving it first! But, I had nothing better to do but sit at the computer or watch TV all day since I was still recovering from surgery, so why not browse? And, there she was... A 1976 TR6, pristine, no rust, only two owners from new, pimento red, O/D, 52K documented miles on the odometer, red stripe Michelins, wooden dash, Union Jack decals...the EXACT CAR I would've chosen had I had the means in March of 1976. She was located in Pensacola, FL about 260 miles from home. I called the owner and he was willing to let me see and drive the car but the eBay auction was going to run its course, he was unwilling to end it early but did disclose the reserve price. I packed my somewhat reluctant wife in my truck, borrowed a trailer from a neighbor and got a cashier's check from the bank & we headed to Pensacola. The car was in need of servicing and some very minor repairs but it was 100% original right down to the radio and shifter knob and it ran and drove well. I could hardly contain my excitement as we returned to the owner's shop. Keeping my poker face intact, I said well, it's ok but it needs a new convertible top and carpet and a major service with all new belts and hoses...and that is all going to be about $2.5K...will you take $10.5K for it right now? He bit like a big old striped bass and I loaded the TR6 with the help of his employees. He apologized before leaving but said he couldn't stand to watch it leave. He explained that his wife had recently had quadruplets and they needed a bigger home, so the man toys had to go. He gave me a folder with a treasure trove of receipts dating back to the car's first oil change at Troncolli Motors in Atlanta, GA, where the car was sold new. He also gave me a box with a brand new carpet set in it from Victoria British, which my brother installed at his upholstery shop. He also had all of the car's books and two sets of original keys. The 52K miles on the clock were a fact and she has 56K today. She resides in my garage under a flannel cover with a battery tender attached and only comes out for parades and nice Sunday drives. I waited over thirty years for my Triumph TR6 and she gets thumbs up every time I take her out for a drive. I named her Petula after the British 1960's pop singer Petula Clark (Downtown). Surely you remember her songs if you're from that era. If the rain will clear tomorrow, I'll take her out for a Sunday drive with the top down. Time to put it back up soon since cooler weather is approaching and time to get up a parts list to do maintenance and repairs and perhaps an upgrade during the coming winter months. Keeping her on the road!