Quality Control? Ugh!


I have read with interest of the difficulties experienced-by C.R. with regard to his new TR6. I thought that perhaps he might take comfort, and other readers derive amazed entertainment, from my experiences with a new GT6.

From July 1972 to July 1973 I was the proud owner of o completely reliable and quite faultless GT6 which cost me all of 62p in repairs. East July, I thought how marvellous it would be to have a brand new :one, with its modifications, new tyres and year's warranty; plus the added luxury of overdrive and Sundym glass.

I forewent the pleasure of the "M" registration to be sure of securing a model before the works, and my own holidays. On the appointed day, the gleaming vehicle arrived, and having dismissed the salesman with a cheque, I went cagily out to try it.

Of course, within a few hundred yards I discovered that the overdrive had failed. Naturally by that time the factory had closed for holiday and no replacement overdrive was available anywhere. Laycocks were very helpful, and themselves provided the necessary item. It seems that a gasket had been omitted, and a lack of oil had caused pump failure.

By this time, I had noticed a beautifully finished dent on the nose. Attention to this, twice, left filler marks and a paint line across the bonnet. At last the whole bonnet has been resprayed, but the filler marks remain. The total lack of paint on certain parts of the inside doors and flaking off splashy welds, was remarkable to sec. Triumph agreed that 27 hours (as a third attempt to improve matters) he spent on the paint and bodywork, which is now much better. The car now has been undersealed—so at least the bottom is covered with something. But, there is still a fish-hook barb of metal sticking out of the gutter, ready to lacerate an unwary finger.

My summer holiday presented its problems. An engine speed of 5,000 r.p.m. threw the fan belt off: I refitted it to lose it again, and this time discovered run-put on the crankshaft pulley and an ;tic of fan marks -across the radiator. It was necessary to tip a local worthy 50p to rip his wife's tights apart so that I could lash the pulleys' up and drive 50 miles to Harrogate—the Ripon dealers hieing uninterested since it was lunch time, and they had one anyway.

The vibration between 60-70 m.p.h. was phenomenal. Wheel balancing was to no avail. The foreman and executive director of the, suppliers road-tested the car and both were literally travel-sick. The fan belt also -came off! A trip back to Coventry showed that a G800 had been pressed off-centre! The brake pedal also wobbled gracefully up and down—run out on the discs-.

Let it not he said that an overdrive improves fuel consumption. The previous GT6 without overdrive never returned less than 25 m.p.g. This one, however, rarely gave more than 25 m.p.g. However, replacement of a torn rubber .carburetter diaphragm might improve this!!!

I grant that I am 5 ft. 11 in., and thus like the seat well back, but the seat belts, at full adjustment, still fall off my shoulder (although I believe they have been shortened). The stress is taken Sideways by the mounting, not forwards. They cannot be fastened or released with one hand. In short, they are not up to safety standards.

The 1973 -GT6 suspension mods. call for a reversal of tyre pressures. These, on delivery, were back to front. The firm did better the next time, and altered the pressures diagonally! Of course, doubtless by coincidence, in the first couple of weeks a nail went through a tyre running tit incorrect pressure at 70 m.p.h. on the M1.

Little things go without saying, like a mark in the seat trim, paint chipped off the ash-tray, headlamp alignment incorrect, scratches in the paintwork, trim clips dropping off, the heater valve not working, the n/s steering bellows torn and oozing oil, the tools packed on top of the spare wheel so a hole in the bag and paint _scraped off the wheel, paint runs like strips of toothpaste, the exhaust too low, oil leaks back and front, paint chips under the rear chrome trim, suspension noises, empty dashpots, and so on.

The vehicle has now achieved 4,000miles after about six weeks off the road. On its second trip back to the dealer (when the factory rep, was first called in) there were no less than thirty faults.

The dealer has offered a very helpful service, including loan Car, but a state of affairs like this reflects appallingly upon factory quality control. Lest anyone suggest this to be an isolated me briefly indicate the difficulties experienced by one friend who, over the last three years, purchased two Spitfires and a Toledo. The alternators on both Spitfires failed on the day of delivery. The vehicles had to be abandoned, one was buried by a snowplough. The valve gear of the Toledo fractured at 5,000 miles a valve dropped into a cylinder to he driven by the piston into the cylinder head. I had A Volvo then, it was marvellous.

I do hope that you might be able to use the substance of this letter. It has been written quite Objectively with no exaggeration. I realise, of course, that there are rogue cars from every factory, and unfortunate Coincidences can occur, but it would be interesting to know the overall picture as regards.

Triumph of Coventry.

Sheffield.L. Carrick-Smith