Credit Card Classic: 1972 Triumph GT6

1972-triumph-gt6-rear

The Triumph Spitfire/GT6 is a great choice for a first time classic. The parts are dirt cheap and the engine is easy to access because of that flip up clip. Just make sure there isn’t any rust because that would take the project to a whole new level of expertise and expense. This particular 1972 Triumph GT6 looks like a good deal with many new parts, upgraded rims, and an overdrive. $2,900 takes it here on craigslist out of Stevensville Montana.

triumph-gt6-engine-bay

Here is a shot of that engine bay that we always rave about. You can lift the hood and take a seat right on the front tire! Sure makes valve jobs easier, which this one is apparently going to need. Don’t fret though, it should be a good project anyone with some mechanical skill and a shop manual. The seller has already rebuilt the carbs and addressed many of the other common problem areas. While the Spitfire had a four-cylinder, the GT6 was fitted with a more powerful inline-six to help move the extra weight of that roof around.

triumph-gt6-interior

The GT6 is the hardtop version of the diminutive Spitfire, so space is limited inside. If you are a big guy you may want to look elsewhere. These were supposed to be cheap little sports cars and nothing has changed. The foot box can feel cramped and getting in and out of the car can be a challenge for anyone over 6 foot tall. The interior appointments are not exactly high quality either, but everything looks to be in decent condition here.

1972-triumph-gt6-front

The seller does mention some dime-size rust spots in the front fenders so we would recommended an inspection just to make sure there isn’t more of the nasty stuff hiding underneath. This was a body-on-frame design, so rusty floors can be repaired easily as long as the frame is solid. We would want to avoid having to do any metal work here though as that would defeat the whole purpose of a buying a credit card classic.

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Comments

  1. bobcatslim

    This has been on CL for months. It has been steadily decreasing from around $5k. It seemed like a good deal even a while ago!

  2. Dolphin Member

    This could be a bargain for someone who wants a small GT that will cost only a fraction as much as an E-type to maintain and fix.

    Seller says it might need valve guides, so check the compression and also check how it runs and whether it has good power. It will smoke if the guides are worn, but the question is whether it just needs guides or a complete rebuild (mileage is not stated). In addition to the benefit of an open engine bay for doing the work, this is an overhead valve engine, not overhead cam, so you can very easily remove just the head to R&R the valves/guides/seats if the rest of the engine seems OK.

    Like 1
  3. Mark E

    This is a good buy…IF you enjoy working on cars & can do it yourself. A roommate in college had a spitfire and could be found every saturday afternoon and odd weekday evenings working on it…always something to be done…

  4. paul

    Montana, geez, why do they always have to be so far. I would do this in a heart beat. I did have a friend who had one of these back in that time period, & it didn’t take much to tear the rear mounting sections of the chassis to the rear suspension, added torque of the 6 over the Spit’s 4, still the Pannasports always gave these a very cool look & they were so much fun to drive.

  5. ron

    i don’t believe he said it had the o/d tranny. just a higher numerical rear end.(if i understand correctly)

  6. Bryan Cohn

    Buy. This. One. NOW! If the rust is as stated its a buy. Fire up the Discover card and get enough back at years end to pay the sales tax! hahaha

    I always loved the GT6, kind of a poor man’s GT/Tourer. Fast enough to be fun, mainly because of the torque of the 6, great noise from the exhaust and relatively simple to work on. What is not to love? Toss in a small bag, your wife/girlfriend/mistress and head out for a weekend of fall foliage, good wine and great times.

  7. rancho bella

    2900.00………and it ain’t sold?…….what am I missing? Rent a stinkin’ trailer and get the darn thing.

  8. Joe Howell

    A wife, a girlfriend, a mistress and a small bag (short mother-in-law) all stuffed in there with you for the weekend? Wow, everybody must be skinny.

  9. jim s

    this would make a great driver. i too think this should already be sold. does make me wonder but that is what a PI is for. great find

  10. sullivan

    no phone call back no email don’t count on this one. Licensed plates blacked out, most sellers would not have a need to do that. I think it is a scam.

  11. Charles

    I have always loved that body style!

    In my high school days I worked for a service center that specialized in import car repairs. Someone brought one of those cars in with a blown engine. The car was red and in pretty decent condition. The owner abandoned the car due to the towing and labor costs to tear down the engine and diagnose the issues. The engine block was damaged and so was the crankshaft. The oil pump had failed and several bearings spun. At that time parts were expensive and hard to find, so replacing the engine was a major expense.

    The car sat for a couple of years at the garage, then the owner applied for a service lien on the car. One of the mechanics bought it for almost nothing, and we all went to work on it. We transplanted a Chevy 283 V8 into that car, and it was awesome! It took quite a bit of fabricating to squeeze a small block V8 into that tiny space, but when it was done it was a rocket. Since I helped with the install, I was allowed to drive the car a couple of times. What a treat for a 16 Y/O highschooler! Of course my DD was a 1957 BMW Isetta, but that is another story.

  12. Bill

    Watch the rust in the frames, they rust from the inside out. Hard to spot and a devil to fix or replace.

  13. Keruth

    Regular rear is a 3,27,OD rear was 3.63., roto-flex was gone on the Mk3 (swing springs) Hood not clamped down, front bumper nicked (these frames are right behind there!!) Lot to like, more to be checked out here. PPI is a must!
    I’d love to find a good one, but, middle of nowhere. Hey, isn’t there anybody close to this?

  14. ClassicCarFan

    I’m not sure I agree entirely with your write-up. These cars can rust – just as most cars of this vintage will do – but the body is comparatively easy to repair. Because of the fact that the car has a spine frame, the ONLY boxed-in sections of the body are the rockers (sills) so all other body panels/assemblies are single thickness sheet which you can basically access from either side.

    Also, because of the odd production process for these cars (forced on Standard-Triumph at the time when they were first designing the Spitfire/GT6 because they could not rely on Pressed Steel Fisher to build the whole body for them because that company had just been bought by BMC ! ) the body was designed from the start to be built up in separate sub-assemblies in different locations and pieced together. This makes it relatively easy for the current-day restorer to fix up the body part by part. The GT6/Spitfire body is welded together not bolted up like its cousin the Herald/Vitesse but most of the welds are simple spot-welded seams that are easy enough to separate and re-finish.

    Having said all that – I guess I’d still agree that it is always preferable to look for a car that has decent body work to start with. Mechanically these cars are dirt simple and staggeringly easy to work on – especially as mentioned, the flip front make access to the engine, ancillaries, and front wheels and suspension so convenient.

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