Tuesday, February 10, 2015

5k: Fastback To Happiness: 1970 Triumph GT6+ Mk II

 In the early 60's Triumph commissioned Turin born designer Giovanni Michelotti to create a fastback shape for their perky little Spitfire convertible.  The resulting concept was sexy, stunning, and slippery -- attributes which helped it a factory backed Spitfire GT6 to win its class in the 1965 24 Hrs of LeMans.  Today, a nice running GT6 doesn't cost much to own and a low wreck-to-whip ratio means you should buy the best one you can find...like this 1970 Triumph GT6+ currently bidding for $7,651 here on eBay with reserve-not-met, located in San Diego, CA with 2 days to go.

Michelotti was the designer for the BMW 1600/2002 New Class, most of Triumphs 60's cars, and number of full sized trucks for DAF & Scammell before he hit the big time and starting working for Italian firms like Ferrari, Lancia and Maserati.  The GT6 is a well proportioned car from any angle and rare enough that you'll be chased down by all sorts of wackos (who want to know if it is a Ferrari..seriously, ask any GT6 owner, they'll have all kinds of stories).

You aren't going to have much luck getting away from those wackos in a straight line, because the GT6 is powered by Triumph's over-head valve inline-6 that displaces 2.0 liters and puts out 104 horsepower. The GT6 isn't a fast car in today's overpowered minivan traffic, but it was fast in comparison to the small displacement inline-4 powered Triumphs, Austins and MGs of the day.

Fortunately, you'll be able to put some distance on the paparazzi in the turns because the  2,000 lb 2-seater will handle nicely in the turns...well...at least it feels like it handles well.  The GT6 offers a thrilling old school driving experience with lots of mechanical thrashiness, wonky swing-spring rear end dynamic camber changes (watch out Ralph Nader!), and you can reach your arm out the window and touch the pavement. 

See a cooler blue classic? tips@dailyturismo.com
Updated per user comments on Mk II nomenclature!!


  1. These are overdue to get expensive. If this was near me it would be mine.

  2. This is actually a GT6 MkII rather than III. The MkIII got the same, later spitfire styling.

    Not sure what the chrome reinforcements around the bonnet latches are. The dash and center support - not sure if that's contact paper or in good shape. It appears to be an upholstery job away from quite nice. Rimmer Bros and Newton Commercial both have kits that will get things looking much sharper in either vinyl or leather -

    One could also fit some lightly modified early Miata seats in a pinch for probably 1/4 the cost of a proper seat rebuild...

    If I were bringing it home, I'd source a d-type or j-type overdrive for fitment.

  3. That thing is gorgeous.

    1. Agreed. One of those usually convertible classics that looks like a million bucks in hard-top configuration.

  4. Yeah, these are pretty. Never been in one, so I can't say if I fit.

    When I see that underhood pic I can't help think 'someone, somewhere has put a BMW S54 in one of these, right?'

  5. Okay, this car's cute, but I think this one just sold me on the need to find an old clown-shoe.

    I want Dakar Yellow, but that means an S52US car, the later S54 cars got a horrible yellow.

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  7. This ones already expensive. It's an Mk2 which I don't think has a swing axle, the Mk1's did. Each year sort of has its pluses an minuses. These Mk2's have the rubber doughnuts to replace, while the early cars had worse handling, but looked a little nicer. The later Mk3's are the best handling, but the ugliest. The 1970 is considered the best year over all. The 2.0 6cyl is a torquey engine that provides relaxed cruising and good pull up hills.

  8. Er, these were referred to as the GT6+.

    Yes, the Mk2/+ models had the rotoflex donuts.

    Engine swap links, you say? http://www.triumphspitfire.com/engineswaplinks.html

    1. Those look pretty cool! Sadly, I don't see any bolt on swaps or anything that just needs a kit or something. If something like that existed, these would be must haves.

    2. Balls -no, the 'bolt in' option for a spitfire was a bonnet swap and GT6 engine. You could go 2.0L -> 2.5L with a TR6 engine in a GT6, but I gather the extra weight in front from the TR6 mill rendered that upgrade okay at best. Any swaps beyond that get you into some custom engine mounts, driveshaft, and likely a larger radiator.

    3. Sadly, none of these engines are even remotely known for reliability, so these beautiful machines will probably end up mixing with a lot of oxygen.

  9. MrkWong: here is what it is like to have a s52 in a Triumph..
    If you are looking for a clown shoe in Dakar, better get on it, they have nearly doubled in cost since I sold mine 7years ago....

  10. My Buddy had a regular spitfire the motor threw a rod so he looked high and low for another motor without much luck,one day he saw another spitfire broke down on the freeway it was still there that night he got his trailer and poached the car so now he had plenty of spare pats good ole midnight auto supply to the rescue.


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