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Friday, 25 December 2015

All I want for Christmas is - a Triumph TR6

FATHER CHRISTMAS will be cursing my dad this year. It’s always a squeeze getting every last present onto that sleigh – so there’s no way there’s room for a Triumph TR6 too.

All twelve reindeer will be gasping for breath as they struggle to pull 1,100kg of beefy British sports car through the sky behind them on their big festive delivery, and chances are the bearded wonder himself will be reported for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act for making his flying companions haul unreasonably heavy loads. Then there are the logistics of getting a two-seater roadster down a chimney successfully. It’s all that fault of that man who wrote in asking for a TR6 rather than a festive jumper – and that pesky Champion car bloke who encouraged him!

Luckily I don’t think my dad’s expecting the elves to do all the hard work for him – but he has been worryingly thorough in his plans to pick up a bit of classic car heritage to enjoy his retirement in. He’s already worked out, for instance, that plenty of TR6s the Americans bought new are now being repatriated - and that it’s potentially cheaper to buy one of these and have it converted to right-hand-drive than it is to pay a small fortune for a Blighty-spec original.

The thought of a TR6 is an exciting one. Most importantly, he hasn’t done the thing I dread most of all whenever I hear someone thinking about buying an old car – the idea of buying it as an investment.

Classic cars as investments belong in a sad world that forever seems to appear in the glossy supplements you get with Sunday broadsheets. The one where bottles of expensive wine and whiskey gather dust in basements full of delicious liquids destined never to be drunk, toys are unplayed with and carefully tucked away in their boxes and holiday cottages sit unoccupied for months at a time, pricing the locals out of the market. Their owners have no intention of using them for anything other than to make money – and they put the prices up for people who truly enjoy them.

There’s nothing wrong with being clever with your motoring purchases – I know one tale of a chap who bought an E-type when they cheap, enjoyed it until it outvalued his house and then used the proceeds to pay off his mortgage. Smart move, but the word ‘enjoyed’ is the most important word in that sentence. Old cars thrive on being used and enjoyed – there’s nothing sadder than seeing one carted from show to show in a trailer when you know it never does any meaningful miles.

That’s why if a Triumph TR6 does show up anytime soon I’ll insist it gets used on country lanes on sunny afternoons and appears at car shows. Otherwise I’ll have to give Lapland’s finest a ring – they’ll have to come out and take it back. Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

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