No, Alex, You Can’t! 1970 Triumph GT6+

My son-in-law Alex loves Triumph GT6s, especially the early 1966 to 1970 “round tail” cars. Of those, while each year has it’s favorites, the later GT6+ is considered by many the ultimate GT6. This one is being auctioned here on eBay, and even with five bids the current winning one is only $1,500. Alex, I hate to tell you, but it’s too far away from us in North Billerica, Massachusetts, despite the fact that it would look great next to your 1970 Spitfire.

The seller tells us that there is some patching needed, and it shows on the floors and sills. They however aren’t that bad, and localized repair panels might do the job. It’s nice to see all the 1970-specific lights in place as well. The car was originally blue, which I happen to think sets off the lines nicely (and yes, Alex’s Spitfire will be blue when it’s finished as well).

Many folks think of the GT6 as a mini E-Type Jaguar. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it does have pretty lines, doesn’t it!

You can see some of the floor damage here. Honestly, I’d at least look at repairing rather than replacing here, although panels are available. You’ll end up replacing all of the interior, but thankfully literally everything you need is available. Heck, I probably have all the interior parts you need in my shop (with the exception of the gleaming or satin wooden dashboard of your choice).

GT6s use a 1998 cc version of the venerable Triumph inline six (essentially a smaller version of the TR6 2498 cc six). The engines are typically remarkably smooth, and we’re told this one runs well by someone who has been collecting and driving GT6s for 43 years. The transmission and rear end are in place and usable as well. So which one of you is going to buy this car and save my family from yet another Triumph ending up at home? Please, please tell me you are buying this car in the comments?

Note:  the seller also has a second 1970 GT6+ on auction here on eBay.

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Comments

  1. Bill

    I came close to buying one of these in the early 70’s. When I could fit into it. This one seems entirely restorable for not a lot of money. Neat car!

  2. Jeff Lavery Staff

    That’s about an hour’s drive for me, Jamie, if you need further persuasion.

    Obviously, these aren’t my scene, but I do like the round tail lights – makes for a more visually interesting design.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Jeff, you’re not helping… :-) Actually, the seller has a second 1970 GT6+ up as well…sigh.

      It’s not a good sign (or maybe it is) that I already have a message in to the seller on his answering machine…

  3. TriPowerVette

    The first car I learned to drive a manual transmission in was a 1963 Ford Falcon, with a three-on-the-tree. My best friend at the time, Dane Guard, taught me what he could, but said that I needed to drive a ‘stick on the floor’. One day, he came over and said “Get in. We’re going to Morgensen Motors (the Triumph, MG dealer at the time), and we’re going to test drive a GT6!”

    Anyway, it was only the second time I had driven a manual transmission, and the first for a 4-on-the-floor. I stalled it several times, due partially to my inexperience, and mostly due to the absolute lack of low-end torque.

    Once under way, I remember it was a ball to drive. It handled like a slot car. It felt like a coupe version of my go-kart.

    Now you’ve done it. I’m smiling.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Glad to bring a smile to your face! The lack of low end torque can be solved by finding one with overdrive and the 3.89:1 rear end (rather than the non-overdrive 3.27:1). I’m waiting for Alex to call me…

      • Andrew S. Mace Member

        I suppose “lack of low-end torque” is a matter of perspective? It’s not something I ever noticed over the six years and probably 70,000 miles I drove my ’70. It served as a commuter, a long-distance tourer, a rallye car AND a moderately successful Solo II car, and it did all of them quite well. (NOTE: This was approximately 1976-81.) Perhaps the fact that I’d worked my way up from Triumph 10 to Heralds to a Mk3 Spitfire (and a side journey to a TR3A) and then the GT6+ had something to do with MY perspective? ;)

        Oh, and it still ran strongly by the time I parked it in the garage, after rust had “taken its toll” on the body. I still have it, and maybe I’ll do something with it when I retire (I do have all the bits needed)!

      • TriPowerVette

        +Andrew S. Mace – Thumbs up. Thanks for contributing from your substantial experience. Sorry that your war horse has fallen on hard times.

  4. sir mike

    Why are the wheel studs so long??

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Good question. I’m hoping it’s because they’ve been replaced. I know from experience the stock studs are prone to breakage…

      • JagManBill

        when we build racing Spits and GT’s usually we switch out the studs for longer/thicker ones. The stock studs may last forever, but if you have to change one, then change them all to the bigger units.

      • SSPBill

        I recall the very first outing in my ‘72 after I refurb’ed (note I didn’t say restored) is looking out the passenger side window and watching 2 lugs with the broken studs in them bouncing down the shoulder. Old studs came out and new, bigger ones went in.

  5. scottymac

    I know the Brits try to put them in everything, wondered if there’s room in one of these for a Buick/Rover 215/3.5 aluminum V-8? I know the guy in Michigan sells kits to put them in MGBs.

    • Greg S Member

      I was wondering the same thing…..

      • Ross W. Lovell

        Yes the Olds fits and also a Ford 260/289 variant fit as well.

        Rear end needs to be changed.

        The GT6 engine also can fit in a Spitfire.

    • Jerry

      Yes the little Buick engine fits but if you run the exhaust under the car not enough ground clearance. I had a friend who did this in the early 70’s. Of course he also had a VW bus with the rear floor covered in batteries and a torquey electric motor.

  6. Paul

    I loved my ’71 GT6. I warmed the engine a bit and it was a blast to wring out

  7. Alex Member

    So as the son in law and with a bit of car knowledge I can point out that British cars usually have electrical issues. We are currently wiring the shop which equals doing electrical. Technically the car is an extension of wiring the shop and could be equated to a fraction of the amount you are saving by using son in law labor

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      What do you think, readers? Is he making a solid argument?

      • Alex Member

        Jamie we both know that it is what our wives think, not the readers (which I say as my amazing, beautiful, brilliant and overall amazing wife reads over my shoulder)

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        Hey, my wife IS a reader…and my daughter should be too!

    • Ross W. Lovell

      NO!

      You are not writing the shop with cloth covered paraffin soaked wire.

      Close but no cigar…..

    • Van

      I met the factory rep for Lucas Electric. He said they call him the prince of darkness.
      Having owned both I’d say do a body swap with the GT6 and Spitfire. Maybe wire wheels from a stag. Talk about your baby E-type.

  8. Ana

    I have a theory that husbands pretend to be scared of their wives just to placate us, but as soon as we start talking you turn on the selective hearing. As far as the car goes, I think it is gorgeous especially if you can get it at that price, so I say go for it!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      For those who don’t know, Ana is Alex’s wife and my daughter. She’s not helping either!

    • redwagon

      That right there folks is a XX green light. A rare occurrence. I say proceed!

  9. ZAN

    I thought Gt6+ was only 1969

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Through 1970 I believe.

      • boxdin

        Up to 1973 no?

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        No, the Plus was only through 1970. Then the “Mark III” continued with the revised body style through 1973.

  10. John Holt

    I owned a 69 GT6+ back in 73, British Racing Green w/Black stripe, bought it after boot camp in San Diego, ended up driving it back and forth from Orange County Ca to San Diego during subsequent schooling. Drove that car to Virginia and when it came time to change homeports back to Florida, It got a ride on the ex USS Saratoga CV60 on the flight deck down to Mayport Florida. Loved that car. The couple things that were bad was the hydraulics, specifically the clutch slave cylinder, and the carbs needs synced every year or so. I would buy another one though in a heartbeat.

  11. Cristina

    I don’t know, Jamie, Alex makes our daughter awfully happy…and he does have a dedicated bay in your shop…and it sounds as though Ani is angling for another puppy…so, should we start planning a road trip?

  12. Alex Member

    After retreading the article I realized I took the complete wrong direction to convince Jamie he need to buy this and that there are clear instructions in the article. Ok Jamie, per your instructions in the last line of the article I am posting in the comments, you are buying this car.

  13. boxdin

    I have always liked GT6+ and at the time in 1970 I couldn’t see how the Triumph could compete w the Datsun 240Z. Turns out they couldn’t.

  14. Bruce Butler

    Gentelmen and Ladies, I too was an owner of a 1970 GT6. I traded a 1967 TR4A.. I did enjoy the car. One thing we did ( had a racing Spitfire /Bsr, in order to qualify for under 2 liters. We put the 1.998 crank into the race car and a 2.5 liter crank in the GT6 from the TR6 engine. Put a lot of V8’s in the dust!!

  15. Brian M Member

    There’s still a Jamaican available in Florida!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      And I haven’t forgotten that, Brian. The GT6 is for Alex, not me. :-)

  16. Martin Sparkes

    Sounds like Alex has a new car.
    I have one in the shop. Completely rust free. I also have a billet crank propped in the corner of my office….

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Let’s see how the auctions pan out :-)

  17. Ben T. Spanner

    There’s a “customized” 1970 GT6 for sale in Plm Beach Gardens FL. It is part of a 32 car collection stored in a warehouse.

    I had a daily driver 1970 GT6 in the mid 70’s and its stable mate was a 1970 Spitfire. As I remember it, the GT6 had a Delco distributor which developed slop, and was replaced by a brand used $15 item.

  18. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    UPDATE! Ironically, I found yet another 1970 GT6+ for sale locally (ok, 2-1/2 hours away) on the same day and I’m trading some Triumph wheels/tires and a very small sum for it. However…that doesn’t mean we won’t be following this auction closely as well.

    When it rains, it pours! Not a bad thing…

  19. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Funny coincidence: I used to work in N. Billerica with a guy who had one of these. It was much much nicer, in a really nice shade of dark blue. He sold it and got a Mustang GT, the model with the TRX wheels as I recall.

    He tried to talk me into buying a Stag when I was shopping for a sports car. I decided on a ’70 Corvette convertible and ended up owning it for almost 30 years.

  20. Ron

    The Mark 3 was called the ultimate triumph because not only was it bigger and more comfortable, it also handled better, was quicker, had a higher top speed. All that even though it’s about 200 lbs heavier. I have an early 1971. It is one of the last to have a rotoflex suspension and the high compression engine. I also have overdrive. I am 6’4″ and my son is 6’5″ and I use it as a daily driver. We have plenty of room. Try that in an earlier Mark

  21. Roger

    My principal in grade school owned a TR-6 similar to this in dark blue but an older model as this was in late sixties,always thought it was a cool car although no way I could fit in one nowadays though😄

    Like 1
    • James Matusek

      in 1972 i bought a 1969TR6 midnight blue with a powder blue interior with 28 000 mile…mint for 1700.00. it was a money pit, english cars are famous for oil leaks and for this car rear end issues..replaced U joint a couple times in the 4 years owned…new paint , new rag top, new wheel well body work 2 times, etc, etc. would i love to have that car back? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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