Over the weekend of 15/16th June 2019, a stunning display of Triumph TR6s gathered on hallowed ground in Osnabrück, Germany. The event, hosted by TR Register Deutschland, celebrated 50 years of the Triumph TR6 and saw TR6s congregating from all over Europe and the UK to commemorate the anniversary at the home of the coach building firm that designed the car, the famous Karmann GbH company.
The site of the old factory is now owned by Volkswagen and is the location of the VW heritage centre. Karmann are probably best known of course for their design of the Karmann Ghia. Up until their bankruptcy in 2009, they were the largest independent car maker in Germany. Back in 1969, when the TR6 was announced they were preferred by Triumph to bring the new TR6 to the market because not only could they turn around the TR6 in super-quick time, but they also could manufacture the tooling to make production an instant possibility.
TR Register International Representative, Mick Forey gives his account of the weekend below but a full report will appear in TR Action Issue 315 released at the end of July.
Saturday started with scenic drive to Volkswagen Osnabrück to visit the Volkswagen Classic collection on the site of the former Karmann facilities, which were purchased by Volkswagen in 2009. We were given a warm welcome by the City of Osnabruck and VW officials. The collection contains a large array of prototypes, styling models, first and last production cars covering Karmann, VW and Porsche, plus anything that Karmann had been involved in, including a TR6. A tour of the production plant was not possible as they are working on a new model, not announced yet.
We parked in Osnabruck for a wander round and found lunch and then an ice cream, perfect. Lovely town twinned with our home town of Derby. Clean and graffiti free, unlike Derby.
In the evening we gathered in the bar for a reception, dinner and a party for 320 people. The International contingent represented 40% of the total participation from 9 counties. Awards were given out: longest drive to the event: Dave and Maria Lewis from Spain, 2,103 km (1,314 mi) from Albatera near Alicante, Spain. Furthest visitors: 3rd place: Denver Colorado, 2nd place: San Diego, California, and an outstanding 1st place: Melbourne, Australia, very impressive. Other countries represented were Belgium, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands and the UK. The UK was the largest International contingent with 40 TRs. Awards were also given to two TR Register Deutschland members who had bought their cars from new and drove them to the event.
The first guest of honour was our own Derek Graham, TR6 Registrar, who along with Timon Ibrügger and Karl Ritter told the story of the TR6 from inception to end of production, with lots of examples of early photographs and drawings. However, the most memorable part of the evening was the standing ovation for Mr. Wilhelm Schwebe (TR6 Design Group Manager of Karmann). The 91 year old Mr Schwebe, who was guest of honour together with his wife, was moved to tears, as the standing ovation lasted several minutes. Derek showed some of his working and tooling drawings. Wilhelm also worked on many other equally famous cars.A cake was cut and consumed to celebrate the 50 years of the TR6. The party continued until the small hours.
Sunday gave us another scenic drive through beautiful countryside to the Melle car museum, an eclectic collection of all sorts of vehicles from a 1890's Peugeot all the way through to a Sinclair C5. The museum prides itself on that all vehicles are roadworthy and get used regularly for events and shows. The Peugeot has done the London-Brighton run a number of times.The star car was, of course, a TR4, or were we biased. Numerous German makes of cars that most people have never heard of. The museum has some very knowledgeable volunteers, who exuded enthusiasm and pride in what they do. Its was a real treat.
The TR6 Day event closed with a meal in the museum courtyard and lots of fond farewells.
Photos by Karl Ritter & Anne Whitehead