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Old 09-08-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
route246
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Default Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

Anyone here work on Triumph Spitfire, GT6, GT6+ or TR6 here? I'm thinking of looking for a project to restore one of these and I'm wondering about parts availability. Although I am partial to the 6-cylinder, I am open to a Spitfire if a nice candidate comes my way because I like the Spitfire styling the best.

I had a really cool GT6+ when I was in high school and I'd really like to get something of that vintage to restore and enjoy again, now that I can afford the cost of keeping something like that running. It would strictly be a hobby and leisure car and not for everyday transportation. I really enjoyed the simplicity of working on my GT6+. I tore it apart and put it back together multiple times and it was always so simple, so well engineered and so well designed from a mechanic's standpoint. I don't need any lectures about Girling brakes or Lucas electrics. I loved that stuff regardless of how much trouble and grief it caused me back then. I really liked the wood dashboard, IRS and lightweight nimbleness on the road. I could really feel the road when I was driving that car.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
Omphaloskeptic
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

Howdy, I currently own a 1967 GT6 which is on my 'project list' to refurbish and get back on the road. Many years ago I had to rebuild the tranny and I was able to source a usable transmission with the electric actuated overdrive; a very nice feature for highway driving. I always liked being able to sit on the tire to perform tuneup and maintenance work. Good luck with your search, here's a good site where they found a real GT6 campaign car and restored it to its racing form:
http://classicmotorsports.net/projec...9-triumph-gt6/

and you might enjoy this site as well:
http://www.fot-racing.com/tr6/index.html

Hope these get you on your way!
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

I don't know how true it is, but my brother had a bugeyed sprite, and in keeping it running he found that many parts from similar era British cars fit just fine.

OTOH rust has been after those cars for a long time.

Decide which model you love, then go with the best one you can find.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

I've got a GT6 and a TR4A and Dear Old Dad and the Bro have Spitfires. Google will be your friend, but there are some good vendors, especially Spitbits, Moss Motors, Roadster Factory, and, if your game, Canley Classics and Rimmer Brothers in England. There are other vendors, too, that you'll discover like British Parts Northwest.

Getting in tune with a British car forum and a local club will get you going, too.

Oh, and all LBCs (Little British Cars) are created equal IMHO. The 6 cylinder v. 4 cylinder debate has gotten old for me. A Spitfire is a great driving car with plenty of power, especially on windy, twisty roads where these cars belong.

Good luck!!

Last edited by Cinneagh; 09-08-2011 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
tyjoja
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

I'm an old triumph guy. I had a 71 tr6, and my buddy had 2 tr4a's. Loved the car, worked on it all the time, had it all fixed up. One of my lifes regrets that I sold it to buy a 911. I got all my parts from some place back east, maybe pennsylvania. Something like british restoration parts. They had enough parts around, that if you had the money, you could build a complete car. And the parts were good quality. I would do another in a second. I would stay away from the spitfire if I was you, they always seemed like a toy in comparison, way smaller engine, less room etc. My brother in law had a gt6 and loved it, but I liked the top down option, even living in oregon. I would get another tr-6, but I would only do the electronic overdrive model. Mine would always feel like it needed to shift. I'm told the overdrive was much better. Keep me informed, p.m. anytime would love to hear about it. I will try to see what kind of parts are out there now, and let you know. Bob
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

The parts place was called, the roadster factory, and they are still around.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

Restored 2 of TR6 cars several years ago for a customer. I found them to be sturdy cars all in all. I too am partial to the 6 cylinder. Nothing like a little more power. Good luck. I used Brittania Classics for TR6 and Healey 3000 parts. Brad Delsorba was the owner. Good to work with
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

im in the middle of taking a 73 spitfire and adding the 6 cylinder gt6 motor. very easy to convert and gives you the power of the 6 with the top down ability of the spitfire. For parts most of them have been talked about but do not forget about victoria british as well.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

Moss are the people you want...
http://www.mossmotors.com/

The Roadster Factory is good if you get on their mailing list and take advantage of the deals.

British Parts Northwest are also very good...in fact they are the first guys I check when I need a part....http://www.bpnorthwest.com/


...Rob
1974 TR6
1965 MGB

Last edited by StupidHippie; 09-08-2011 at 09:06 PM. Reason: old age
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

You didn't ask, but I've found the most costly part of any restoration, parts, machine work, paint and body work, costs the same whether the car is a lower end or higher end car.

If I were building a Brit sports car today, I'd buy a '64-67 Sunbeam Alpine and convert it to a Tiger with a late roller cam 5.0 Mustang engine and 5-speed and add aluminum heads. The cost would be about the same as restoring a Triumph and you'd have twice the car when completed.

jack vines
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:28 PM   #11
route246
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

Cost difference is not a concern so much as readily available parts. Sunbeams are high demand in California whereas Triumph is not. I think if I was going to do some sort of small block V8 it would be a Cobra replica car. Those are easiest and impressive. I like Triumph as a marque (compared to Alpine, MG, Rover, etc.) and that's why I'm focused on them.

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Originally Posted by Packard V8 View Post
You didn't ask, but I've found the most costly part of any restoration, parts, machine work, paint and body work, costs the same whether the car is a lower end or higher end car.

If I were building a Brit sports car today, I'd buy a '64-67 Sunbeam Alpine and convert it to a Tiger with a late roller cam 5.0 Mustang engine and 5-speed and add aluminum heads. The cost would be about the same as restoring a Triumph and you'd have twice the car when completed.

jack vines
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

My first car was a '59 Triumph TR3. By my senior year in high school I had upgraded to a '66 TR4A. I still have the TR4A which is completely disassembled and, very slowly, going thru a ground-up restoration. I also have a 1976 TR6 which is "like new" with only 15,000 original miles.

I've had great luck with Moss Motors and The Roadster Factory. Moss has a forum and if you get on the mailing list of TRF you will get weekly special sale emails.

Good luck ... keep us informed of the project car you end up with.

Brian
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

I am probably a long way off from starting. I have to finish some home projects and clear up space in the garage to get started. But, I started scanning CL and if something pops up I will get it. I'm not going to overpay and I'm not going to compromise and get something I really don't have a passion for. Right now it would be Spitfire, TR6, GT6+ in that order of preference. I really like the Spitfire styling.

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Originally Posted by BL50 View Post
My first car was a '59 Triumph TR3. By my senior year in high school I had upgraded to a '66 TR4A. I still have the TR4A which is completely disassembled and, very slowly, going thru a ground-up restoration. I also have a 1976 TR6 which is "like new" with only 15,000 original miles.

I've had great luck with Moss Motors and The Roadster Factory. Moss has a forum and if you get on the mailing list of TRF you will get weekly special sale emails.

Good luck ... keep us informed of the project car you end up with.

Brian
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:34 PM   #14
vssjim
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

When I was doing alot of machine work we used to do work for Motorhead and I know they are still around in Fairfax, Va.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

I've worked on a spitfire, TR4A, TR250 and TR6. I restored the TR6 and know it like the back of my hand. Parts are easier to get now than they were 40 years ago! As the others have stated, the places to go are the Roadster Factory in Armagh, PA and Moss Motors in CA. British Victoria is also good. ( my comments may be a little out of date - sold the TR6 7 years ago).

Easy to work on and pretty simple. There are a bunch of weak spots that the IRS cars are notorious for - semi trailing arm attachment spots (frame) and other common body rust spots.

Good luck!
Tom
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: Triumph Spitfire/GT6/TR6 Restoration Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by route246 View Post
Right now it would be Spitfire, TR6, GT6+ in that order of preference. I really like the Spitfire styling.
Since you are leaning toward a Spitfire (great choice by the way), check out this site:

http://www.triumphspitfire.com/

and get a copy of John Thomason's _Triumph Spitfire and GT6: A Guide to Originality_. I am not suggesting you go concours, but since these cars have been relatively cheap for a long time, there has been a lot of "improvisation" over the years. Both the website and book can help you make a better, informed purchase.

Also, the national club (www.vtr.org) has a lot of great resources for parts, information, etc. You'll see that Spit/GT6 drivers have the North American Spitfire Squadron and TR250/6 drivers have Six-Pack (www.six-pack.org) there as well.

It is great to see Triumph guys on the Journal.

Good luck (again)!
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