TR6 Painting Guide

by Ken Streeter,
with input from Joe Flake, Bob Lang, Jerry Lloyd, Patrick McMullen, Mark Pelham, Joe Simcoe, and Mark Townsend

Introduction:

This page is intended to serve as a paint originality guide for the Triumph TR6. Hopefully, this guide will help you find an original TR6 color for painting your car, and help you determine which portions of the car should be painted what color.

The information here has been collected from many different sources, possibly with varying levels of accuracy. An effort has been made to be as accurate as possible, but nothing can be guaranteed. When painting your car, don't take this as the "be all and end all" for TR6 originality, but just one possible resource.

Currently, this article is still in the form of a rough draft. If you are aware of any errors in this page, please notify me, Ken Streeter, so that I can fix this TR6 Painting Guide!

Body Colors:

The TR6 was painted in a variety of different colors over its 8-year production. The color codes for the TR6 were classified according to general shades, according to the last digit in the code. The table below lists the body color shade codes. Note that the shades are very widely ranging indeed, leaving some colors to not clearly belong in any of the major shades, and thus seeming mis-classified. (In this writer's opinion, Saffron, Topaz, and Magenta are good examples of this!)

The color codes for your car can be found on the commission number plate, which is on the inner fender, under the hood on 1969 cars, and in the driver's door jamb on 1970-1976 cars. This plate, assuming it hasn't been replaced, tell you the original body and trim colors for your car -- this may be the only way to find out, if your car has been repainted a number of times before you bought it!

TR6 BODY COLOR SHADES

Shade ID:
(last digit of color code)
General Shade:
1 Black
2 Shades of Red
3 Shades of Brown
4 Shades of Yellow
(some of these tend towards orange)
5 Shades of Green
6 Shades of Blue
7 Shades of Purple
9 White

However, each specific color code does represent a single color, which was relatively unchanged throughout the production history of the TR6. The below table attempts to describe what colors were appropriate for each year. A scanned TR6 paint chart is available online. (Note that this chart does not include all of the TR6 factory colors.)

TR6 BODY AND TRIM COLOR CODES

Color Code: Color Name: Years Used: Modern Matches:
11 Black (Trim) 1969-1976 DuPont 99
12 Matador Red (Trim) 1969-1971
13 Light Tan (Trim) 1969
17 Damson 1969-1972 DuPont 8511
19 White 1969-1976 DuPont 43182
23 Sienna 1970-1973 DuPont 8729
25 Conifer Green (Triumph Racing Green) 1969-1970
27 Shadow Blue (Trim) 1969-1975
32 Signal Red 1969-1971
33 New Tan (Trim, looks like Peanut Brittle) 1970-1974
34 Jasmine 1969-1972 DuPont 8453
54 Saffron 1971-1972 DuPont 35250
55 Laurel (Green) 1969-1971
56 Royal Blue 1969-1971 DuPont 8455
63 Chestnut (Trim, a dark reddish brown) 1973-1975
64 Mimosa Yellow 1973-1976 (mid-76 replaced by Inca Yellow) DuPont 43018
65 Emerald Green 1972-1974 DuPont 35253
72 Pimento Red 1972-1976 DuPont 35252
74 Beige (Trim, a light mottled tan) 1975-1976
75 British Racing Green 1975-1976 DuPont 43912
82 Carmine Red 1973-1976 DuPont 43019
83 (some charts show 73) Maple 1974-1976 DuPont 43403
84 Topaz 1975-1976 DuPont 43915
85 Java 1975-1976 DuPont 43914
92 Magenta 1973-1974 DuPont 43020
93 Russet Brown 1976 -- replaced Maple around April '76, also on MGs
94 Inca (Yellow) 1976 -- replaced Mimosa mid-year, also on MGs DuPont 44880
96 Sapphire Blue 1972-1974 DuPont 35251
106 Mallard (Blue/Green) 1973-1974 DuPont 43180
126 French Blue 1973-1976 -- replaced by Tahiti blue mid-'76 DuPont 43021
136 Delft Blue 1975-1976 -- replaced by Tahiti blue mid-'76 DuPont 43913
146 Tahiti Blue -- only on late '76 models, also on MGs 1976

If you are trying to repaint your TR6 the original factory color, it may be nearly as effective to get a color match from the paint on vehicle as it would be to match to one of the original paint codes. The problem is often finding a suitable section of the car that has the original paint color on it. One good place to get a sample, if you are doing a complete restoration, is the top of the bulkhead underneath the top vinyl/foam dashboard crash pad. This area will have generally always been covered, and is generally only repainted in complete restorations, so you may be able to find original paint here that has not been discolored by the sun, even if your car has been repainted numerous times. If you are trying to closely match to paint already on the car (for instance, if you aren't repainting the entire car, but only one panel), you will *need* to match to paint already on the car, as the paint will have undoubtedly faded with time.

However you match to a color, it would be very wise to mix up a small batch first, and try it out on a test panel to be sure that it is the color you want before you buy enough paint for the whole car. Whether the color is "factory original" or not, make sure it is a color you like -- it's your car!

Body Painting:

On the TR6, all of the body panels are painted the primary body color, including the engine compartment, bulkhead under and behind the dashboard, the floors, interior of doors, area inside the trunk, light recesses, etc. (Basically, the whole body, stripped, was painted body color.)

On 1969-1976 (all) TR6s, the rear valence inside of the "body ridges" was then painted semi-flat black, including the rear of the trunk (boot) lid. This paint was also applied over body color. On 1970-1976 TR6s, the windshield surround was painted semi-flat black, instead of body color as on the 1969 TR6.

Initially, the TR6 factory hardtops were supplied in gloss black only, but were supplied in body color starting somewhere around 1972. Hardtops were initially given black headlining, the off-white, and finally beige to follow.

On 1969-1976 (all) TR6s, undercoating was applied in all four wheel wells, over body color. This undercoating (stone guard rubber) was also applied to the rocker panel area from the front wheel well to the rear wheel well. The undercoating was a semi-flat black in color, and was not painted -- the material itself is semi-flat black throughout.

Triumphs of this period were painted with enamel paint at the factory, often with very thick paint jobs, although some areas received very little or no paint, especially the tops of the inner fenders where the outer fenders bolt on, and also the valence panels under the bumpers. Runs were common on the front inner wheel houses and under the bonnet. Light orange peel was normal and not considered a serious paint fault.

If you have an "original" color and trim combination that is not catalogued, let us know -- it was not uncommon for special order combinations to appear, especially in the last couple of years of production.

Badges

Striping / Decals -- A stripe kit for the TR6 was available from the factory as an extra cost option. To see what this looked like, take a look at Bob Lang's 1974 TR6. This kit was made by 3M, and is still available from The Roadster Factory.

Pinstriping -- Pinstripes were not applied at the factory. Some dealers, particularly in the USA, applied pinstripes on the TR6, but there was no factory specification for this. For the greatest "accuracy" it would be best to leave pinstripes off your TR6 when repainting it.

Frame:

Don't know for sure what was done here, but whole frame on my car seems to be a semi-gloss black.

What color were bumper mounts???

Interior:

Engine Compartment:

The engine compartment on the TR6 was all painted body color at the factory, before the engine and most of the other components were installed. (??? Was any of the frame in here painted body color???) Each specific component in the engine compartment was painted separately before installation. Accordingly, many different colors of paint will be needed here for an accurate restoration!

TR6 ENGINE COMPARTMENT COMPONENT COLORS

Component: "Observed" Color Modern Matches:
	
	This section will end up being awfully complicated...

	Valve Cover (1969-1976) painted silver.  (which variety, which
        years?)

	Engine block ???
	Exhaust Manifold?
	Intake Manifold?
	Brake Booster?
	Body Number Plate?
	Radiator?
	Radiator Stays?
	Frame in engine compartment?
	Wiper Motor?
	Oil Filter Cover?


     Brake booster - gloss black
     Wiper motor housing - dark grey Hammerite
     Intake mainfold - bare aluminum casting
     Exhaust mainfold - silver
     valve cover and air intake shroud - "warm silver" (Ford Argent or
Duplicolor T229)
     valve cover oil cap, later TR6s - also "warm silver"
     radiator overflow bottle cap - bare aluminum
     

	Brake master cylinder -- unclear, bare aluminum (early cars?),
or that odd transparent gold tone (late cars?)

	Body number plate -- one painted, and one unpainted.  Why?
  Why are the numbers different?

Wheels:

The wheels on the TR6 are a special case from much of the rest of the car.
	1969-1972	Silver wheels, black centers
	1973-1976	Silver wheels, silver centers
	???		Silver wheels, grey centers???
	???		grey wheels, grey centers???