Barn-Stored For 28 Years: 1973 Triumph GT6 Mk III

In 1989, the person who owned this 1973 Triumph GT6 Mk III parked it in the upstairs section of a wooden barn. It sat largely forgotten and surrounded by furniture and bric-a-brac until it was unearthed in 2017. Remarkably, the Triumph had survived its ordeal in excellent order, and it has been carefully returned to a roadworthy state. The time has come for it to find a new home, so it has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The Triumph is located in Bethesda, Maryland, and the asking price has been set at $21,000. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Jay L for locating the GT6 for us.

When I see a classic like this Triumph, it always makes me wonder why it was parked in the first place. It wasn’t because there were significant mechanical issues, because getting the car to a roadworthy state appears to have been a straightforward proposition. It also can’t have been due to major rust problems or accident damage because the body and paint have remained untouched since the vehicle emerged in 2017. The closer you look at this Triumph, the more the mystery deepens. The Pimento Red paint that the GT6 wears is said to be original, and even though it is showing its age a bit, the car remains very presentable as an original survivor. The paint does hold a pleasant shine, while the panels are free from dings and dents. One of the greatest dangers with these classics is “Ye Olde Rust.” However, there are no problems here. The floors and panels are all clean, and the underside shows nothing more than some surface corrosion. The glass and trim remain very acceptable for a survivor-grade classic, and there are no issues with the original wheels. As part of the revival process, a full set of rubber seals and weather strips was purchased. Most of these have been fitted, but there are still a few pieces for the buyer to tackle themselves.

Apart from a fresh carpet set and seat foam, the rest of the Triumph’s interior is claimed to be original. If this is true, then its condition is extremely impressive. This is an interior that would seem to need nothing, and it has remained entirely unmolested. The seats and door trims look good, while there are no issues with the dash pads or the steering wheel. For me, it is the warm glow of the timber dash that really makes this interior. It also gives it the feel of a classic British sports car. There is no evidence of delamination and no signs of any lifting finish. It is also nice to note that the original British Leyland AM/FM radio remains intact. This interior doesn’t just present well because the owner states that everything works as it should.

The GT6 is a numbers-matching classic that features its 1,998cc 6-cylinder engine, backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. With only 79hp on tap, the GT6 was very typical of British sports cars of the era. Driving satisfaction was derived more from handling prowess, and overall vehicle feel than it was from outright acceleration. The saving grace was the fact that the GT6 tipped the scales at a mere 1,903lbs. That allowed that little engine to push the Triumph from 0-60mph in around 10 seconds. After nearly three decades of inactivity, the vehicle needed some work to return it to a roadworthy state. The cylinder head was pulled, tested, and some new valves were fitted. Every rubber component and belt was replaced, as were the tires, the fluids, and the battery. The braking system was rebuilt with all new parts, while the clutch hydraulics received similar treatment. The suspension was overhauled, and adjustable shocks were fitted on all corners. The result of all of this hard work is a classic Triumph that is said to run and drive perfectly.

The past twelve months have provided many challenges for all of us, and the classic car scene was not exempt from this. Many classic brands and models have taken a significant hit in value, and only now are we starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for most of them. The Triumph GT6 Mk III is a notable exception to that rule. That isn’t because it fell and has failed to rise but for completely the opposite reason. There hasn’t been so much as a blip on its radar, with values rising at an incredible rate throughout 2020. A rise of over 20% across the board means that pristine examples are now regularly selling for more than $30,000. This one isn’t pristine, but given its overall condition, I believe that the asking price to be quite realistic. If a classic British sports car is in your dreams, then maybe you need to look at this one a bit more closely.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Beautiful car for those that prefer a fixed head over a convertible top. Nice lines and under appreciated. 21K well spent.

    Like 5
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Very nice car. The GT6 was the only later generation Triumph I really liked. Good power, nice to look at, all the early design bugs worked out.

    Like 7
  3. Bultaco

    The redesign of the rear body on the later Spitfire and GT6 was really successful. It completely modernized the look of the car without changing the character or lines. Fantastic!

    Like 5
  4. Francisco

    Poor man’s XKE.

    Like 1
    • tompdx Member

      True! When I was a poor college student and no one would loan me the $6k I wanted to buy a ’74 2+2 E-type (the cheapest of them), I bought a 67 GT6 for $1200 with my money.

      Like 2
  5. Paul

    Wonderful. For far less than the cost of rehabilitating the sad Saab Sonett V4 also listed on Barn Finds this week, here’s a running, driving, refurbished barn find that was never abused. Buy and enjoy. I want it. ;)

    Like 4
  6. John

    I absolutely love these cars, but I’m 6’3″

    Like 3
    • TouringFordor

      I’m 6’3″ and had one of these for years. My height wasn’t an issue. My girth might be a problem now, though…

      Like 8
      • JB

        I smiled at your comment because I can relate😊.

    • xrotaryguy

      I’m 6’1 and I barely had headroom in my spitfire with the soft top up. I had to tilt my head sideways to avoid messing my hair (oh no!) at speeds below 30 mph. Above 30 mph, the top bubbled up a bit so I could sit up straight.

      The hard top was out of the question.

  7. James C Simpson

    The car originally sold for about $3200.00 . This is a testimony to the inflation since that time. Yet, to UPDATE all the tinker toy parts that were never meant to last this long, it would currently cost OVER 21,000.00 just to do it.
    So, still a good deal! But, compared to todays cars for similar money- it would probably be better to strip a Tesla, and put this body on it- if you really wanted a testimony to the design, and have a viable, modern buggy.
    This will be the Retro Rod of the future- as our memorabilia is updated to electric slot-car technology.

    • Skorzeny

      Really? A Tesla? I just threw up in my mouth.

      Like 9
  8. chrlsful

    from what I hear U can fit right in, I do at 5 ft 11 inches.

    Now here’s an example of what I request from all sellers. Oem, updated, in #4 condition (on the car market’s 5 pt scale) offered at a fair price (not sure what that is as I do not research/keep up w/these Y/M/M). Like the MGB GT a nice lill ‘fast back’ (a styling usa copy? yes but as good or better than copied) great example for any1 who’s driven such, or seeks to do so.

    Now the Q is…would U ‘make it ur own”? After a yr’s DD (or near being DD) I’d have researched frnt discs, 5 speed/ele OD, 6 Keihins, performance tires, etc. Made a budget, tool inventory, check the market, and finally made some decisions. Wkends – SCCA would serve as a test track to each change, nxt decision making effort. It’s fun to play in motor sports !

    • JMB#7

      Points well taken. But my opinion is the GT6 beats the MGB GT hands down. Much more fun, and this is the best generation to actually drive. At 6′ 2″ I fit in it fine.

      Like 1
  9. Eric B

    Lovely. Fantastic rear end. That’s what he said? I would put minilites on it, but the steelies look great too

    Like 3
    • Pete Starkey

      That sounds like my wife !

      Like 2
  10. Mario Langsten

    I am the one that purchased this car from the barn it was stored in and brought it back to life. Most of the mechanical work was done by me, but I am like someone above, very tall, so after getting it sorted I let it move on.

    Mario L.

    Like 7
  11. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I have never seen one priced this high, but then the nes we usually see here are not in this fine condition.

    Hagerty has a #2 Excellent condition value of $21,700, so this seems to be fairly priced. Always room to haggle.

    Like 3
  12. FastEddie/OldEddie: pick one

    No need to research front discs, as they were standard, right from the start, on Spits & GT6s. I drive hard, and always found them to be very good. Too bad it’s so hard to get them up to Canada. Bought an Ebay car from Tx, 9 months ago, and there it sits. All these fabulous deals, and cannot get anything up here.

    Like 2
  13. DRV

    Unloved for years, it’s good to them appreciate. It’s the only Triumph I would have, but a BGT is another consideration.
    This is the nicest one I’ve seen, and haven’t even seen one in 30 years.

  14. Cdice

    Believe ’73s were detuned from 95hp to 79hp due to pollution controls.

  15. Bill McCoskey

    I live in the general area, and when I had my restoration shop I specialized in Triumphs. If someone is a serious buyer and would like me to check the car out, just let me know.

    Like 3
  16. britcarguy

    I wonder if one of the new rubber seals that was installed was on the hatch which doesn’t sit right. Continuing problem with aftermarket seals.

    • Mario Langsten

      Yes, rear hatch seal is too tall, will not compress to allow lid to sit flush. Tries several aftermarket pieces with no luck of a good fit.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Mario,

        I’ve had a similar problem before. May I suggest you take a hair dryer & heat up a section at a time and pound it down into place with a rubber hammer.

        Like 2
  17. Kevin Kendall

    Great little cars,know where a 70 GT6 is with a tree growing out of it,of course it’s toast

    Like 1
    • Pete Starkey

      Hope its hardwood , worth more than the poor GT6 , Isnt that a crime !

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