Welcome to the bowtie6.com blog!
Several years ago, I started a static page website with the intent of documenting the restoration of bowtie6, my 1972 Triumph TR6. As content grew, I found the website to be hard to keep up, so I decided to switch to this blog format.
The first version of bowtie6 consisted of a complete frame-off restoration and subsequent rebuild, featuring a 3.4 liter fuel-injected V6 from a 1994 Camaro and matching 5-speed gearbox. This was all adapted to the original Triumph TR6 frame, which was in excellent shape. Every bolt was replaced with grade-8 fasteners or stainless (depending on use) and every part was replaced with factory original, or best modern replacement.
The body was then meticulously gone through, repaired where needed and prepped for paint. Then the car was sprayed with DuPont base/clear in 99.99% pure red, wet sanded and buffed to a show-quality finish. A new interior was then installed along with a new bespoke canvas soft top custom made in the UK. I also had in my possession one of those coveted factory hardtops which was also fully restored. Needless to say, the amount of time and resources spent was obscene. There were no corners cut…
That entire effort took 3 years to complete and would have never happened without the help of my cousin Jim Thompson who is a master machinist, an absolute master of the English wheel, wizard at TIG welding and expert bodywork craftsman. Every bit of the fabrication on bowtie6 was done at Jim’s shop in Greenville, South Carolina. All the details of the original build can still be found at my original static website by clicking HERE for the original site content.
The result of all the hard work was most impressive and I even managed to have my car featured in two magazines: Triumph World Magazine in the UK ran a two-part series and Auto Restorer Magazine here in the USA ran a three issue story. Finally, bowtie6 won the “Best in Class” award for the Triumph TR6 class at the prestigious Euro Auto Festival in 2009 at the grounds of the BMW Assembly Plant in Greer, South Carolina. The following photo was taken on that glorious day (and the plaque too!)…
I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the much-improved package, until the original Triumph frame – which had been strongly reinforced – gave up the ghost. Sadly, the thin gauge steel of the original frame was no match to the power of the V6, and as a result it failed.
The solution to the frame failure was the creation of a stronger foundation: a new, scratch built frame. Since we would start from a blank slate, we decided to reinvent the suspension and upgrade the V6 engine to a more modern, brand new Ecotec 2.4 liter inline four and matching five-speed gearbox. This engine/gearbox came from a Pontiac Solstice. Losing 2 cylinders was a no-brainer: the Ecotec’s engine computer can be tuned, it is an all alloy engine (lighter than the V6) and delivers much more power.
Here is a short list of the many changes made in bowtie6 version 2.0:
- The Ecotec uses a “fly by wire” throttle system. This means there is not cable between the throttle body and the throttle pedal. Instead, the throttle butterfly is 100% controlled by the ECM.
- The Ecotec is all aluminum offering a much lighter package up front and as a result, better weight distribution.
- Front suspension with true coilovers. Gone are the days of using a spring compressor and extremely “heavy” steering effort. Front suspension now feels as if it had power steering.
- The rear suspension is a much stronger solid axle, with 3.80 gear and full PosiTraction. This car really hooks up now!
- As stated before, the Ecotec’s ECM is fully programmable using HPTuners. The old ECM on the V6 was of an older design and did not allow tuning.
- Tilt steering – yes, a first for a TR6! bowtie6 now has a fully adjustable tilt steering column.
- New aluminum fuel tank. A new tank has been made with a separate staging tank containing the new high-pressure fuel pump. The new setup now offers a total capacity of about 15 gallons. This yields a very serious driving range
This is just a scratch on the surface of the story of bowtie6! Please, take the time to read all the articles on this blog.
2016 is a special year: I am celebrating a decade of owning and enjoying my amazing ride. Purists scorn my TR6 but I just smile back in their faces. My TR6 has never failed, not a drop of oil leaks, I don’t carry a trunk full of spare parts and all I have to do is point and shoot. Try to do that with an “original” TR6.
There is plenty of info here about bowtie6 as well as my other projects. Don’t be a stranger! Questions and comments are always welcome too! You can reach me at: info at bowtie6 dot com.
– the road goes on forever and the party never ends…