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Triumph GT6

Triumph GT6 Published: 4th Jan 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph GT6
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With its long forward-hinged bonnet and a shapely sculptured fastback style, this ‘Spitfire on steroids’ makes more than a passable take on Browns Lane’s best – the E-type – yet is just easy to run as its smaller brother Spitfire. What’s more, the GT6 is a rarer yet equally practical alternative to the MGB GT but a lot smoother, if smaller.

Driving

Not only is the GT6 notably quicker than the smaller Spitfire, it’s also very comfortable and refined with a higher level of trim, although it’s a tight two-seater let alone a 2+2 (a little requested option). Comparisons with the MGB GT are inevitable. Fierce in-house rivals they may have been, then and now, but, in fact, the GT6 is an entirely different animal to the MGB and so appeals to a different type of enthusiast. Devoid of the raffish charm of an MG there is little argument but, the Triumph is the smaller, smoother, sweeter and considerably swifter coupé (and a very fine mover if the TR6 engine is retrofitted as many have been), although the handling isn’t as friendly, especially pre Mk3s – which are best all rounders and fine GTs if overdrive is fitted. Many sport a roll back sunroof; popular when contemporary it makes the GT6 both a passable quasi convertible while retaining hatchback handiness. Overdrive is a boon and almost a must have.

Values

Until fairly recently, GT6 and Spitfire values were pretty much even-stevens but now you can find this GT appreciably dearer with top-notch ones sitting around £14-£16,000 mark and good ones regularly breaking into five figures – TR6 money really. In the main, the earlier Mk1/Mk2 versions are worth a touch more although condition is the main factor not specific model.

Timeline

1966 Mk1 launched, based upon the Spitfire but enclosed in a fastback body taken from Le Mans Spitfire racers. Power comes from a stock Triumph 2000 95bhp straight six

1968 Mk2 surfaces. Bumper height raised to please US laws but the most important rethink was adopting the more stable, safer Vitesse Mk2 set up. TR5- cylinder head gives 104bhp

1969 Revamped Mk2s gain a standard heater, plus heated rear window, while late 1969 cars receive reclining seats and a flat spoke steering wheel

1970 Mk3 identified by a Stag-like rear end, heralding yet another suspension revamp; this time that simpler, cheaper swing spring rear design that was also employed on the MkIV Spitfire is used for ’73

Best models

MK3


Regarded as the best of the lot Stag like tail improves looks and has signals plushest cabin while ’73 models have best rear suspension

MK1/2


One for the purest, especially Mk1 and values reflect this. Handling is very dodgy if you’re not used to old Triumphs but can be improved easily

Sunroofs


You seek many with a fabric foldback roof and it’s worth having, providing a convertible-like experience. Avoid 1970’s glass port hole-type though

Top five faults

Rust

Chassis rots, suspension pickup points (especially the rear) and outriggers floor and even the roof, by the top of the windscreen, although parts replacements are available as are complete new chassis frames if you feel a rebuild can justify the cost but a real bonus if already done so.

Engine

Excessive crankshaft end float is the major concern. Check for movement at the crank pulley as an aid works the clutch pedal. Repair work means an engine strip down. Cylinder heads known to crack (post ’68 mostly).

Transmission

Gearbox and couplings take pounding. If overdrive is retro fitted, is the wrong rear axle ratio now used; better for cruising than pace?

Running gear

At the front, trunnions can seize and even result in a wheel falling off! In the same area, check the wishbone bushes, drop links, ball joints etc.

Rear suspension

Check for weak dampers and worn transverse springs, which may have been updated over the years. Post ’72 use cheaper, simpler MkIV set up but it works well.



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