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A car called Gemma ('72 Triumph GT6)

Love_Whiskey

Super S Restorer
Ok so I'm awfully bored while I'm away from my garage and tools etc, so I've decided to do a blog on my classic weekend and sunny days car, my 1972 Triumph GT6 Mk3

I bought this car in October of 2013, here's what it looked like then;



Triumph GT6 Mark 3 quick facts:
2.0 Twin Carb Straight-Six engine
110bhp as standard
Front engine, rear wheel drive.
0-60mph: approx 11 seconds (stock)
Weight: 920kg



So why did I buy one?
Well, that's a long list of reasons but very easy and simple to answer. They're lower and a touch faster and rarer (or more exclusive) than a lot of cars in the same group of age, price and type (MGB-GT for one). They're well-supported in the parts department, a lot of items being similar to or the same as other small-chassis Triumphs like the Herald, Vitesse and Spitfire. A lot of parts are available new off-the-shelf as it's in that wonderful age bracket where demand for spares is so high that production costs are offset by demand :)

They're also very beautiful, both in looks and simplicity of operation. Three or four screwdrivers, a couple of hammers and about eight spanners could probably take apart almost anything at the side of the road. The bonnet lifts forward, along with the wings, clamshell style, making engine access easier than any other car you'll own. The engine sounds great but is a simple 2-valve per cylinder affair with cam-in-block design and chain timing drive, making tuning very old-school and hands-on. The carburettors are Stromberg CD150 side-draught, again, a doddle to work on with less moving parts and cheap, available spares.

This car is old and charming, but there are areas where it's age does show. As well as the older engine tech as I explained, the body and chassis are separate components, the tub being bolted to a ladder chassis affair with outriggers, making everything twist and flex in hard cornering. The front suspension, however, is great. It's conventional spring-over-damper with unequal wishbones, and is in fact exactly the same as you'd find at the front of a Lotus Europa. The rear is a slightly different story. I'll never quite know why it was made this way, and I'll never be able to fully explain it, but it works on a transverse leaf spring system and drive couplings called "Rotoflex Donuts". I'm not gonna bother explaining yet, but it is pretty clever and thought out as an engineering solution, if a little flawed.

At the time of purchase I didn't have a driving licence, so had it trailered to where I live and work. First order of business was a wash and try to polish up the really, really flat paint.


Also, the car had signs of a blown head gasket, as there was oil in the coolant and vice versa, though no struggle with temperature fluctuation or cooling was detected. This was rectified as soon as I could, changed a few other gaskets and seals while I had the head off and checked everything, valves, thermostat etc for operation and wear. It was a time consuming but simple job, no overhead cams so no timing to mess about with :D


Just look at the sludge that came out when I flushed the radiator
She's in better hands now



So with the suspect head gasket issue put to bed, a full service including distributor oil, valve clearances and flush of the oil and coolant was done, after seeing the horror sludge out of the radiator I dreaded to think what was still in my girl's arteries. While I replaced the air filter, it would be rude not to go for a cheeky breathing mod in the form of two pancake K&N filters for the carbs, no?


After I took that picture, it made me realise how disgusting my rocker cover looked in that multiple flaky blue. So it got some sanding love. And some silver spray :)


After I took that picture, it made me realise how disgusting the dirt on the intake manifold and general corrosion is, so I got some solvent and a wire brush and some elbow grease and attacked things. Shinier.


I went to the shop which were offering more discount % the more you spent, so I went a bit mad, and bought some modernisation upgrades for safety, reliability and handling;


Some parts are not yet fitted and some not in the image have been fitted. Here's a list of fitted upgrades/parts;

Pair track rod ends
Anti-drain oil filter and screw-on mounting
Front Spax RSX adjustable height and force gas dampers
20% uprated front coil springs
EBC Drilled/Grooved discs (Greenstuff pads)
Goodridge braided brake hoses all round
Kenlowe electric radiator fan and relevant relay/thermostat wiring
Removed crankshaft pulley fan
New auxiliary belt
Rear Spax KSX gas adjustable dampers
K&N Pancake air filters
Uprated ignition coil
Magnecor KV85 cable HT leads
Replace rotor arm/distributor cap
Full set Avon CR6ZZ Historic Race Tyres

Mods in stock but not yet fitted;

Red, intertia reel seat belts to replace fixed belts
Red polybushes all-round

The polybushes may not be fitted for a long time. They're very hard and harsh, and all my wishbones need a blast and paint while they're off. Next winter maybe.

What follows now is a little gallery or just general pics :)


Now with all the subtle tweaks and service elements I've carried out, coupled with rear wheel drive and light weight and sticky tyres, this thing really shifts off the line. Gives the McDonalds corsa boys a lesson or two when they laugh at the "####ty old car"...

I love to stalk round Lincoln at night times showing them who's boss!

Skymera requested some more pictures so I'll add those in here;
 
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Love_Whiskey

Love_Whiskey

Super S Restorer
Updated the first post with looooads more text and piccys. Have a look and tell me what ya think :)


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Love_Whiskey

Love_Whiskey

Super S Restorer
I do have a short video walking round and revving the car, may upload it to youtube :)


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Love_Whiskey

Love_Whiskey

Super S Restorer
The "cabriolet" is the Triumph Spitfire, which is kind of the original. The GT6 was invented or designed at Le Mans, where they fitted hardtops made from fibreglass and steel to racing spitfires to give better aero. They thought it looked nice so decided to build a road car version, but with a steel roof for ease of production, it was much heavier and the engines struggled, thus, the 2000cc from the saloon cars at the time (Vitesse, Triumph 2000) was used instead. And thus, the GT6 was born. I think the Mk1 cars are much prettier, they are like baby Aston DB4s, but don't tell Gemma I said that.



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Love_Whiskey

Love_Whiskey

Super S Restorer
The BGT clinches it if you want a slightly bigger and more practical car. They're better supported in spares and cheaper. Better to use "every day" too.

The GT6 wins for me because it's a second car. It's got a 6 cylinder versus the B's 4, and so it sounds much, much better. I do drive it in a wide range of uses and weathers, but I couldn't live with her every day. The interior is cramped, it's definitely a driver's car though. I also think it's prettier and the exclusivity is nice. My favourite compliment is "Nice car mate, what is it?"

I think it's faster and handles better too. The main con is everything costs more, parts and the initial car. I paid £4k for this one with really #### paint and a blown head gasket and scabby bits all over. It's a complete, roadworthy car but has lots of small issues.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
The BGT clinches it if you want a slightly bigger and more practical car. They're better supported in spares and cheaper. Better to use "every day" too.

The GT6 wins for me because it's a second car. It's got a 6 cylinder versus the B's 4, and so it sounds much, much better. I do drive it in a wide range of uses and weathers, but I couldn't live with her every day. The interior is cramped, it's definitely a driver's car though. I also think it's prettier and the exclusivity is nice. My favourite compliment is "Nice car mate, what is it?"

I think it's faster and handles better too. The main con is everything costs more, parts and the initial car. I paid £4k for this one with really #### paint and a blown head gasket and scabby bits all over. It's a complete, roadworthy car but has lots of small issues.


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Sounds like a nice drivable project then :)

Classics are fun, nice and basic as well as easier to work on
 
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Love_Whiskey

Love_Whiskey

Super S Restorer
Small update - found an original steering wheel for sale - it was in ok condition but has flaws and needed a spruce up. I ground all the silver paint off revealing surface rust and chemical chrome flaking away, so I'm now going to hand polish and oil the mild steel to a shine.

Also, been to my first proper "show" of the year.




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