Triumph Buyer’s Guides
Basic Considerations When Contemplating a Triumph
by Arthur Kelly
If you are looking for a Triumph, here are some basic ideas:
- Body work is more expensive than mechanical work. So you want as rust free a car as possible. If the car has already been restored check for bondo and painted over rust with a magnet. Also get it up on a lift and check for frame rust. The more rust you find the less it is worth, the more work you will have to do, and possibly you might not want to buy it. Places to look are wherever two pieces of metal come together or wherever water can accumulate. Use a flashlight and a screwdriver to scrape away undercoating etc.
- Mechanically, the car should be sound or you must know what needs to be done. Check engine for compression, smoke and general condition. If the car is driveable, take it for a ride. Check for clutch operation, shifting, and ride handling.
- Do some research! Here’s how:
- join a local TR club. Nice people and much expertise. A list of VTR Chapters is online .
- go to the library or a bookstore and get some books on Triumphs. Bill Piggott’s book “Original Triumph TR” is a good one for general TR2-TR6 info and history but there are others.
- Get on the “triumph list”. For details of the list and how to get on it, see the Triumph Mailing List page.
- How much you should pay for the car depends on the condition. Go to a bookstore – Barnes and Noble has magazines which give prices and conditions for cars. There is one magazine which gives the car, year, model and 1 thru 6 numbers to describe the condition. It then gives a price for each number.
- Remember the old addage “Marry in haste – repent at leisure” You are about to do something similar to a marriage. First decide what you want to use the car for i.e. daily driver, occasional use, restore to”concours” – whatever. Then decide how much you want to work on it to get it to that use. Of course you must consider your mechanical abilities and/or how much you want to pay someone else to do the work. The cars are out there, look on finding the one for you as a quest and be patient.
That’s a start. Remember it’s your money and time. Generally, unless you’re really more interested in restoration than driving, you would be best served by not buying a car which is “in parts”. Most people want a Triumph that can be driven and enjoyed while