TR Register members made up the over 71,000 attendees that flocked to the NEC in Birmingham for the 35th anniversary year of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show with Discovery. The show was the grand finale not only for the classic motoring season, but also for the TR Register’s year of celebration of 50 years since the launch of the TR6.
The TR Register had a special display of TR6s on show to the thousands of visitors representing many aspects of the model, from the Hillclimb and Sprint Championship car of Jim Johnstone, the TR6 once owned by Simon Cowell, the oldest known surviving TR6 plus some rarities including a supercharged six, one presented in a rare factory colour, Delft Blue and a beautifully restored example in Signal Red.
You can read more about the cars in detail below or watch our video tour:
Show Director Lee Masters said: “We are delighted to have welcomed so many enthusiasts and those in the industry to the show this year, especially in the current climate. Huge thanks as always to the motoring clubs who all put on tremendous displays, all our partners and exhibitors, and our amazing guests who brought the house down on the Live Stage."
Whilst Wheeler Dealers’ star Mike Brewer hosted a wealth of motoring talent on the Discovery Live Stage, there were presentations happening on the TR Register stand as well, with a special presentation to award Jim Johnstone a TR Register Gold Award for long-standing service to the club.
Presenting the award, TR Action Magazine Editor Wayne Scott said, “Jim Johnstone has served as an area coordinator as well as being something of a superstar in motorsport throughout his long career. He began hillclimbing a single seater back in the 1960s and was one of the last competitors at the Bo’ness Hillclimb in Scotland. He has been an avid supporter of the TR Register both on a national scale and locally supporting groups and organising the annual display of TRs at the Newby Hall Show.”
Elsewhere, the TR Register Youth Group put on a fun display within a special area of the show dedicated to the youth groups from various car clubs. The stand included the TR7 2 litre of Youth Leader, Charlie Crawshaw, Wayne Scott’s Grinnall TR8 and two TR6s, one owned by Will Chignell and the other by Ash Turner.
Friday evening at the show plays host to the annual Classic and Sportscar Awards. This year, the TR Register was shortlisted for two awards and was a runner up for TR Action Magazine in the category for “Most Improved Magazine.” But, the award for Event of the Year was scooped by the TR Register's Youth Group, Morris Minor Young Members and MG Car Club Young Members for their superb collaboration in organising TyreFest, the annual event for all car club young member sections.
The judges commended the event not only for its support of the next generation, but also for the collaboration between clubs that is displayed. It’s safe to say that everyone celebrated hard that evening and there were some sore heads manning both the main club stand and the Youth stand the very next day!
This year’s show theme had been embraced by the 300 motoring clubs in attendance with many cars featuring on their own ‘Top Trumps’ card. The TR Register featured in the show’s pack that was distributed to visitors who were tasked with tracking down the club in order to match up their card with the TR6s that the TR Register were displaying. This bit of fun undoubtedly filled the stand with a lot more children, avidly hunting for the car on their pack of cards throughout the show weekend!
Elsewhere in the show the Meguiars stand featured a stunning TR6, there representing the TR Register as winner of the masterclass at the Inter-club Triumph Weekend at Stratford upon Avon earlier in the year. The car’s owner, Venkatramanan Panchapakesan, had previously detailed the build of this car in his blog on the TR Register website. Although it sadly didn’t manage any silverware, the car certainly impressed the crowds with its unique and customisation. Panch’s TR6 looked great and it was fitting that we had a TR6 representing the club in the model’s 50thanniversary year.
The FBHVC Village Green was launched on Friday morning by Wayne Scott, FBHVC Communications Director with a fascinating interview with one of the Heritage Skills Academy apprentices that will be working on a very significant TR2. The short-door TR2 was on display on the Cambridge and Counties Bank stand on the FBHVC Village Green. It was used to train apprentices at Standard Triumph and now, with the support of the bank and their bursary scheme, will be restored by the Heritage engineering apprentices at Bicester Heritage. We covered the story in detail here.
HERO were using one of the Halls at the NEC during the Saturday at the show as a stage on the Rally of the Tests and there were a number of TRs entered: https://heroevents.eu/event-schedule/rac-rally-tests-2019, but only one TR6! That was entered by TR Register member Stephen Sly with his GP as his co-driver, which we hope was handy but not a benefit he required!
Stephen says, “We were car number 70 (UYX 880M), car number 70 and the car has been substantially modified. Engine overboard with a steel crank/flywheel assembly, forged pistons, and Carillo Rods, high-lift camshaft breathing through 3 x 45DCOE Webers, and producing approx. 210bhp. Gearbox is a modified Stag-type casing, the rear axle benefits from and LSD fitted with uprated driveshafts and hubs and the suspension has been uprated and the ride height increased, with knock-on Minilite wheels fired with Dunlop tyres.
I should stress this is a long way from being a showroom/Concours car! But it I set up for tough events like the Rally of the Tests.”
The big TR news of the weekend though happened over on the Silverstone Auctions stand when the ex-works Le Mans TR2 we covered earlier here, sold for a word record breaking £258,750 (inc. buyer’s premium). We wish the new owner, who we believe is based in the US, all the best of enjoyment for their new TR.
Wayne Scott, PR for the TR Register said, “The sale of the 1955 TR2 at the weekend was significant for the club because the previous owner, Jan Pearce, was such an avid supporter of the TR Register. It was quite a nice surprise to everyone at the TR Register that it sold for what it did, but it’s likely the high price was as a result of its un-questionable provenance plus documented and interesting history after leaving the ownership of the factory. That well evidenced history will mean that it will open all sorts of doors for the owner, such as entries to Le Mans Classic, Mille Miglia, Goodwood Revival and other such big-ticket historic events. It’s a true piece of British motoring history and in that respect is priceless.”
Wayne continues, “As for what this result might do for TR values generally, only time will tell, but this car was just so unique and special that we expect the value will be also be a one off, just like the car. However, the exposure and promotion it has given the TR marque amongst buyers in the market place cannot be denied and we hope more people will consider a TR for their next classic car as a result.”
The 2020 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, will take place from 13-15 November. For more information including when tickets go on sale, visit www.necclassicmotorshow.com.
The ‘Six Sixes’ - the cars in detail.
Ray Smith: ATR 60K
This TR6 spent the start of its life in California before returning to the UK, rust - free, but slightly the worse for wear. Subsequently it was given a ground up restoration in the mid - 1990s, converted to right hand drive and fitted with triple 45 DCOE Weber carburettors and a performance engine.
In 1995, the car was owned and enjoyed by Simon Cowell, the famous record producer of X factor fame. In an interview with The Guardian in 2007, Simon was quoted as saying "I purchased an old TR6 and loved that car more than the Porsche!"
The current owner acquired the car in 2016 and fitted it with a private number plate, 'A TR6 OK' and has enjoyed the car with the whole family, hoping to hand it down to daughter Kayleigh one day.
Chris Orson: ANB 435M
Chris purchased ANB 435M from TRGB in November 2014. Originally a French Blue CR car built in ’73, the car had been extensively restored and uprated to the current spec. The main changes under the bonnet included the addition of the Moss supercharger kit, single Holly carb, big bore exhaust, competition clutch and 5 speed conversion accompanied by uprated suspension and brakes. Externally, the car had been repainted to Mimosa Yellow and rolling on new chrome wire spoke wheels. Revington TR completed most of the work around 2007/2008 and It had been dyno tested shortly after the works in 2010 at 208bhp. As Chris Orson’s first ‘classic’ car, he was originally keen to find something as original as possible, but when he came across this example at TRGB, the quality of the work and the stack of bills and receipts made a compelling argument – and that was before Chris drove it!
Alan Wheeler: 1972 TR
This car was built on 26th May 1972 and dispatched on 5th July 1972 to a dealer in Plymouth. First registered on 1st August 1972 as SCO 344L and sold to a Somerset customer. In 1975 the car was bought by an accountant from Bristol. The third owner purchased the car in March 1979 as a PART rebuild project for winter 79/80. This “restoration” began September 1979 when the interior was stripped out and the wings removed. At which point it was decided to go-the-way, remove the body shell, have it stripped and resprayed. The rebuild included shot blasting/hand painting the chassis, coating/plating every component. Only replacing items labelled as beyond repair. Engine, gearbox and final drive were checked and rebuilt as necessary, and restoration was finally completed in August 1982.To compliment the “rebirth” the car was allocated an appropriate registration mark of 1972 TR. The present owner purchased the car from Telford in August 2012, and where possible has resisted the temptation to add such “mods” like electronic ignition or power steering etc. Is regularly maintained by TR specialist and recently underwent a full inspection/service.
Jim Johnstone: AWO 710K
Jim has owned the car since 2014. It was prepared for the HSCC Road Going series approximately 10 years earlier but had not run for the 3 years before he acquired it. It has since been developed for use in hill climbs and sprints. The 6-cylinder engine uses the original Lucas Petrol Injection system and produces 200 BHP at the flywheel with a wide spread of torque. It has a close ratio gearbox, a limited slip diff and up rated suspension. Following an incident at Blyton Park in May 2018, a major rebuild was necessary and the outer steel body panels, except the hard top, were replaced by fiberglass.
Jim began competing in motorsport in 1957 in a very slow special, moving to an Austin-Healey Sprite two years later. It was usual then to drive the same car in all types of event and after running in rallies, autotests and speed events, I opted for speed, including circuit racing. The Sprite was developed in that direction and was followed by a Turner, Healey 3000 and from late 1964, single seaters.
Successes in the TR6 include the 2015 Harewood Seniors’ Challenge (AKA Old Farts Championship), Ilkley & Dist MC Open Speed Championship Rose Bowl in 2015, ’16, ’17 & ’19. JDC 4 Hills & Sprint Championship Headlam Hall Cup for best non-Jaguar in 2019.
David Ferry: NNB 249G
In 2014, the oldest surviving Triumph TR6 returned from half way around the world back to its spiritual home in Warwickshire – the county where it was built more than 51 years ago.
Built on the very first day of production, 19th September 1968, at the Standard Triumph Factory in Coventry, the car was shipped to California for sale to the US market. It was imperative that when the TR6 was launched to the public at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1969, that the factory was ready to ‘hit the ground running’ with delivery into the most important market for Triumph, the USA.
Therefore, a number of cars were put into production way before the world knew they were coming!
The French Blue TR6 was found at Drake’s British Motors, British Columbia, Canada, after the firm’s owner, Len Drake bought the car in 1997.
The bonnet was cut in two pieces some years earlier, in order to open it, after the bonnet release cable snapped!
The current owners are now considering the restoration of this historically significant, now UK registered and road legal TR6 themselves or make them available for someone else to have a go!
Spiro Tanti: HUP 435N
This TR6 is a truly unique colour. It is finished in the largely unknown and very rare, Delft Blue. Delft was never put on the colour charts as an option for the TR6 CR series, but it did appear on a few, HUP 435N being one of 7 RHD originally built.
Out of the seven RHD CR Series built in Delft Blue TR6 This is the only one on the road still in its original Delft Blue colour. There is one however, one LHD Delft Blue on the road and that is CR6671LO which is in Belgium.
It was purchased back in 1997 initially it was never meant to be a full nut and bolt restoration but after 7 years it went back on the road.
In this time the TR6 has been featured in Triumph World Magazine, won car of the show on its first outing and few more trophies thereafter. The TR6 is used often and has covered over 30,000 miles since its restoration.