30 Years Stored: 1971 Triumph GT6

This 1971 Triumph GT6 is one of the better photographed cars we’ve seen in that the pictures show quite clearly how nicely preserved the body panels are. There’s no faking it with this one, as the seller claims the body is perfect and there’s no rust – and it certainly looks that way. The GT6 does have some paint issues, but who cares? I’d honestly drive it just like this once the mechanical bits were sorted. The paint color is pretty great too, with the seller referring to it as “Damson Red.” It is offered for sale by a dealer in California, and you can find the GT6 here on craigslist in La Habra for $9,500.

When you find cars like this, it really does show you what a difference it is to begin with a rust-free example versus a vehicle that’s been left to the elements or driven in winter conditions. The panels just look completely different. No signs of bondo or otherwise being repaired 25 years ago due to the early stages of rust, just an honesty that’s only apparent on cars that haven’t been altered since they left the factory. Am I saying there’s no bondo in this GT6? No way – just that it’s completely obvious when a car like this has had a checkered past. The chrome bumpers still look good, even if the upper overrider is faded. Lenses also present well, as do the glass and original wheel covers.

The interior is tired but largely original. The GT6 is the sort of car you wear, provided you can fit into the cockpit, which certainly adds to the driving experience. The seats still look decent, even if they’re ripped in places, but I’m sure someone is selling upholstery kits for the GT6. The British car hobby is one of the most robust ones out there, so it’s not exactly hard to find parts or help with restoring a car like this – which is the perfect candidate for a cabin refresh while leaving the rest of it alone. The wood dash fascia looks savable too, and the floors show no apparent rust. The seller is adamant you won’t find any rot on this car, and pictures like these seem to back that claim up.

The engine is surprisingly well detailed, despite the fact this is a non-runner. Mileage is said to be just under 71,000 and the GT6 has had only two owners from new. The last owner has owned the car for 40 years, so it’s not traded hands much – which could be a contributing factor to what a wonderful survivor it appears to be. The spare tire well is in incredible condition, and the underside photos present like a new car. Clearly, this has been a dry, western state car since new, and not from a region where it snows with any regularity. GT6s aren’t the most valuable British car you can buy, but this one looks like a winner if you’re seeking a project that doesn’t have a laundry list of cosmetic repairs to sort out.


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  1. Euromoto Member

    Offered by Phil Newey. I’ve been to his place. An odd selection to be sure. Seems like a hobby dealer but on a prime piece of real estate. Most everything he sells is in this condition. Some of his inventory has been for sale for years and never changes.

    Like 3
  2. Summitrunner Member

    I had a ‘73 for years as a daily driver. Fun car. I always thought this earlier body style was the best looking of the GT6’s. (Before the big plastic overriders)

    Like 7
  3. Gary

    Always wanted this or a TR6. Never got either, but I did meet a rather lovely lady around that time, still have her. See, she is not quick flip material, more like a buy and hold.

    Like 11
    • Scott

      I’m not sure this car sports its original paint. These are body on frame construction, and came from the factory with black frames. The engine shot clearly shows the frame painted body color. Also, engines were always black, so this engine has been out and maybe rebuilt.

  4. Cobra Steve

    It might be titled the 1971 but this is a Mark II version which was likely built in 1970. Regardless, the Mark II’s are the most desirable in the GT6 range IMHO.

    If the body is straight and corrosion free, this is a very good price. One could do a rolling restoration after a repaint. Even if the engine requires an overhaul, the simplicity of the pushrod 6 would make it a fun project. Get rid of that awful blue engine block paint. Like the Rolling Stones song, paint it black!

    Like 5
  5. cyclemikey

    The bent and badly riveted-on VIN tag is from a 1971, I’ll give you that. But the car looks like a 1969 GT6+ to me.

    Like 2
    • F J P 13

      U R correct.. I owned a 6+ …

  6. Cobra Steve

    @cyclemonkey I looked at the link to the car for sale and it appears it was built in October of 1970. Definitely a 1970 model but probably sat on a dealer’s lot for a few months prior to the sale. Odd how there was no consistency back in the day for model year designations.

    Like 1
    • JagManBill

      October 70 would be a 71 model year car. Which would be a square-tail body. As others have said, don’t really have a problem with it. I’ve got a 73 Spit that was hit hard in the right side. Found a rust-free 79 body in a wrecking yard and bought it for $450 (inc the hard top) and just rebodied the 73 (wrecking yard wouldn’t sell me the whole car, so I just bought the body). And to be a pain…I painted the chassis black with a Mallard Green paint code on the door…and repainted the whole car red.

      Like 1
  7. JMB#7

    Great cars. Looked at many, drove many, but ended up with a TR4A. Asking price seems fair.

    Like 1
  8. Cobra Steve

    While I do not profess to be an expert, I believe the GT6 and Spitfire shared the same frame with the exception of the front turrets which had the engine mounts attached. This would make sense for reasons of economy of scale. Triumph could fabricate a few hundred frames at a time for use on both variants.

    Cars I have seen (and I will have to double check the original brochures) seem to have the frame in the engine bay area painted the same color as the body. When I disassembled my 1972 GT6, this was definitely the case. When we lifted the body off the frame, the area where the body was touching the frame still had black paint on the frame.

    My two cents for what it is worth.

    Like 1
  9. John

    Absolutely love these little cars. If I could afford two I’d have a cool pair of shoes!

    Like 1
  10. 19sixty5 Member

    It’s been a long time since I have seen a GT6 with the original wheel covers! I like the 5 lug design covering the 4 lug wheels.

    Like 2
  11. DRV

    That’s an OD repaint….Over Dirt.

  12. D Palmer

    Unless you are NBA forward tall fitting in a Spitfire or GT6 shouldn’t be an issue. My dad had a ’63 Spitfire that he restored. I’m 6-4 and could easily sit in it and didn’t even have to have the seat all the way back. I personally have a ’72 MGB-GT and have plenty of leg and head room.

  13. Jeffrey

    I have it on good authority that the new owner plans to do a vinyl wrap, if possible, to keep the, uh, “patina” intact while getting his wife to be willing to be seen in the car. And that’s after he gets it running.

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