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Rare 1970 Triumph GT6 Fastback in Storage Since 1986

Do car collectors really sell off their hordes when they “lose storage.” That’s frequently cited in ads, but I’d never do it—just find alternative storage! But that’s the story from the vendor of this 1970 Triumph GT6 in a lovely shade of Valencia Blue. The car, with 52,000 original miles, is offered here on eBay in Novi, Michigan with a $5,100 bid and the reportedly low reserve not met.

Many of the old Triumphs being sold on the popular platforms are in need of major work, but this one—and a rare model to boot—is much better than most. But, having been garage stored since 1986, it’s going to have to be sympathetically awakened. A Cal State sticker on the windshield indicates that it was used in sunny California before arriving in Michigan, sometime in the mid-1980s. Maybe a minor brake or suspension issue led to it going into storage—it happens.

The exterior of this car looks very good indeed, with only minor blemishes. The paint is shiny, and the chrome trim is all present and looks good. Dig the racing-type gas filler. All the glass and lights look good, too.

The exterior photos are excellent, but oddly there are no engine or interior shots. It’s likely that, again, the condition is better than average with that mileage but there’s no proof. The vendor says, “Very original GT6 ‘Plus’ that would make an excellent foundation for restoration….The Triumph was driven for several years prior to being parked.”

The model has a colorful history. The GT6 was designed by Giovanni Michelotti, who was commissioned to build a GT fastback version of the Spitfire in 1963. It was originally to have been the GT4 but performance was lacking with the tiny 1.14-liter Standard engine, so instead of making it a production car Standard-Triumph turned to the racing circuit—where the fastback roof gave aerodynamic benefits. A modified GT4 was first in class (13th overall) at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1965.

Race on Sunday and sell on Monday, so plans were once again on for a production version, this time with the 95-horsepower two-liter six from the Triumph Vitesse. The GT6 Mark I came out in 1966, and at $2,995 was seen as a cheaper alternative to the Jaguar E-Type (itself a considerable bargain at the time). The car had a four-speed manual, and a Laycock de Normanville overdrive was optional. So equipped, the car was good for 106 mph and a zero to 60 time of slightly less than 12 seconds—decently fast for the period.

The interior was snazzy, with a tasteful and fully instrumented wood dashboard, full carpets and—an innovation on British cars—a standard heater.

But this is a 1970 model, so it’s a GT6 Mark III or GT6+ in the U.S. There are many upgrades, starting with the Mark II in 1969. There were complaints about the handling on the earlier car, so the rear suspension was improved with satisfying results. Also, the front bumper was raised to meet safety standards, and the engine tweaked (new cylinder head, cam and manifolds) to make 104 horsepower. Now it could reach 60 in 10 seconds, and fuel economy was improved to 25 mpg. The interior got an “anti-dazzle” walnut-finish dashboard—it would be great to see photos of how this one has fared.

See above for an example of the Mark II GT6. Handsome, weren’t they? And there were even more changes for the Mark III in 1970. The body was updated to match the Spitfire Mark IV, and there were more rear suspension mods—including a switch to the Spitfire’s “swing spring” design. With better aerodynamics, the Mark III could reach 112 mph. Fuel economy was now 28 mpg. That’s the Mark III below.

The GT6 never sold as well as the MGB, and it disappeared at the end of 1973 (with some being sold in 1974). So what’s offered here is a GT6 that wears many of the valuable improvements adopted by the evolving model. It should be relatively easy to get it back on the road. Just don’t rush it.

Comments

  1. RoughDiamond Member

    This appears to be a nice ’70 Triumph GT6, but I think that blue paint is possibly hiding a lot of unpleasantries. I’m sure they’re factory, but goodness gracious that is some light arrangement on the rear.

    Like 2
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Don’t believe those extra lights are factory. The taillights original to the car have running and brake capabilities and these days a kit to install LED lighting is available. The later big Healeys had dual lights like these but never saw them on any other British cars. Nice car. It’s on my favorite design list.

      Like 6
      • Cobra Steve

        @bobhess, yes, those tail lamps ARE original. I have owned numerous GT6s over the years (presently have a beautiful ’69 Mk II (called a GT6+ in the States). One can thank the clowns in DC, the insurance company lobby, and careless US drivers for the “awful” tail lamp treatment.

        US market cars only had the redundant round red light with integral reflector to satisfy the growing stringent US regulations designed to kill off the foreign market under the guise of “safety”. In that same spot the year earlier (late ’68 and ’69) cars had the clear lens back-up light, but for ’70 they made the back up light integral with the license plate light in the center rear.

        The round amber light was the turn signal for all markets. And, this color on this car appears to be the factory Valencia Blue. My ’69 was painted this car originally before she was changed to white several owners ago.

        Like 16
  2. alphasud Member

    I really like these and would prefer over the convertible. I agree the seller mentions a good candidate for restoration which means to me there is a lot of rough under the surface. A good 10 footer shall we say.

    Like 3
  3. bill tebbutt

    Something wonky with the front end – why is this car sitting up so high? Looks like negative camber on the front wheels? I would have guessed engine was pulled but advert says it is running…. Odd.

    cheers,
    BT

    Like 2
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Wrong gas shocks is my guess. Too high puts positive camber on both ends of the car. Don’t want to do any spirited driving in that condition.

      Like 3
    • Mark

      The photos on the eBay posting also have pictures of the engine compartment which proves it does have an engine in it. Actually the engine compartment looks very clean and neat.

      Like 5
  4. Gazzer

    I think you mean “hoard” not horde.

    Like 5
  5. Squigly

    What a beautiful car. Always liked the looks of these, but a regular TR6 gives you the joy of open air motoring. Have always loved open British cars since my days In England when stationed there. A wonderful country and a wonderful car.

    Like 7
  6. RoughDiamond Member

    @bobhess-thanks for the clarification on the taillights.

    Like 4
  7. Ken Nesbit

    a 1970 GT6+ is what started my life long love affair with British sports cars, have had several of them and still love them…living in the DC area there was nothing that sounds better than a GT6 with an ansa exhaust going full song through a tunnel …

    Like 4
    • jwaltb

      Try a Healy.

      Like 1
      • jwaltb

        Make that a Healey 3000 through a tunnel. Pure sex.

        Like 2
  8. Michelle Rand Staff

    For looks I prefer these earlier GT6’s; the Mk III is the “bone in teeth” bumper arrangement that I find repugnant. The best looking version of all is the 1966 – first year made, upright grille, lots of detail. This seller did post engine bay and interior photos, looks scruffy but not impossible.

    Like 2
  9. Bruce Ironmonger

    Had one in CA for a while but never got round to restoring it. Wish I had of taken it back to Oz when I moved back. There is one in our local car club sporting the 2500 PI motor with O/D transmission. Great little cars which you can tweek to really go fast.

    Like 5
  10. Scott

    the rear lights are factory. Added to meet Us safety requirements.

    Like 4
  11. sterling

    was looking at photos and this car use to be gray! i see blue over spray when looking at motor.

  12. David A. Warr

    This is a GT6+ or a MK2 in the UK. The front badge seems to be missing on this car. The car does seem to be sitting high. Nice car. Should get a good price.

    Like 1
  13. Frank

    Both doors have areas of not meeting right as closed, but man I love the easy access to the whole engine.

  14. wally Sabourin

    I am absolutely positive I could not get in that car now …I could barely shoehorn myself in 50 yrs ago so I am positive I just don’t bend in the right places and if by chance was successful ….I would never get out

    Like 5
    • David A. Warr

      Hi, we have had our ‘69 since 1974. In those days I could jump in and out like a cat but now at almost 74 I kind of fall in and pry myself up to get out. Once inside I am fine. It is still a joy to drive.

      Like 6
  15. FrankD Member

    It has a nice ANSA exhaust system on it.

  16. Mark Ruggiero Member

    It looks high to me all around. Is there a chance it’s sitting so high because it’s been raised to clear those tires? I couldn’t say if the wheels are stock but they don’t look it to me. Much lower and you’re scraping the insides of the fenders yes?

    • Cobra Steve

      Wheels are definitely not stock. These cars had stamped steel wheels with Rostyle hubcaps that simulated five lugs. If not that, then they had wire wheels as an option. European models might have had a dog dish hubcap.

      Like 5
  17. jwaltb

    Rare for a reason. What an ugly car.

    Like 1
  18. chrlsful

    this, MGB/GT, breadsloaf, volvo (not the P1800 wagon, a shorter but similar)… mmm, a few others are real button pushers for me. Long hood’n swept back (the stang fast back would fit here but must be modded @ susprnnsion, breaks, etc). XKE, all are close but the pictured triumph is up there for tops…

    Like 1
  19. John T. Jacobson

    What’s a fair price reserve?

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