Triumph TR6

Last Saturday, a New Jersey based band we like (April Mae & the June Bugs) was playing in Riegelsville.  We first saw them do the opening act for Wanda Jackson not quite two years ago, and went to see them a couple of months ago, doing a solo act.  So, we went to see them again.  They’re a mix of rockabilly and swing, with a little roots rock thrown in for kicks.  All three were there, crammed into a corner of the pub room.  When we pulled into the parking lot, we saw the Boogie Bus was there, and knew they had arrived.

That was ~ 6pm.  They weren’t due to play until 8:00.  Dave (aka “Catfish”) likes to work the crowd while he’s setting up, as does April.  During a break between sets, I asked April if she’d let me see her gloves up close.  It’s a really bizarre question to ask someone who doesn’t know you from Adam, but she was happy to let me see them, hold one for closer examination, check out how she had hand sewn on the metal finger nails, and even showed me where she’d worn a hole through the index finger of one of them.  We never did meet their bassist.  He’s not into working the crowd, and I wasn’t about to barge up to him to introduce myself.

What does any of this have to do with a Triumph TR6?

It was while we were between our appetizer and main courses that I went outside to sit on the patio between the pub room side door and the parking lot for a cigarette break.  A guy pulls up in a classic TR6, and backs into a spot that only a car that size, or a motocycle, could fit.  I was mesmerized by the car.  We see a few MG B models around here, but not many Triumphs.  I looked up at the driver as he was walking across the lot, being followed by his female passenger.  It was obvious he saw me staring at his car.  So, I said “Nice Triumph!” and asked  “TR6, right?  Is that the original color?”

Indeed it is.  He indicated that it’s “Saffron,” not the color he would have chosen when it was new, but when one came up for sale ~30 years ago, it was his idea of a dream car when he was a kid, so he bought it.  The guy driving it’s a Brit.  It’s really mustard yellow, not saffron, but that’s what Triumph called it at the time.  It beats magenta.  I thought it was perhaps a late ’60s vehicle, but didn’t ask what year it was.

Later, I looked it up online.  That “Saffron” color was introduced on the TR6 in the early ’70s.  It always ticks me off when I’m more than a couple of years off guessing a model year, but at least I was within five.  *shrug*

Here’s a good article about it, if any of you are as interested in cars as I am:  http://www.classicandsportscar.com/news/csc-features/triumph-tr6-who-needs-rarity-when-youre-having-this-much-fun

My dad bought a used ’72 Rover 3500 in a dark green color, when we lived there in the mid-’70s.  It was a small passenger sedan with a 3.5 liter 8-cylinder engine, that could really move on the highways.  That was impossible to do in the West End, but once you got outside of London, you could let ‘er rip.  I was always fascinated by British cars.  A neighbor of ours at the time drove a Lotus Europa.  It was a nice looker, but spent way too much time in the shop for repairs, imo.

Anyway, I’m fascinated by cars in general, and classic European sports cars in particular.  I’d never buy a sports car; they practically scream “Pull me over, officer!” even if the cop only wants a closer look at it, rather  than to write a ticket for whatever.  I once owned a Buick, which my dad bought for me when I was in college, so he didn’t have to shuttle me back and forth for holiday, January, and summer breaks.  Ever since, I have never owned anything but Swedish cars.  They have great safety records, and are super reliable.

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