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Triumph GT6

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Triumph GT6
Triumph
aka
Production 1966-1973
Class Sports Car
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
Length 145 inches(3680mm)
149 inches(3785mm) Mk3
Width 57 inches(1450mm)
58.5 inches(1485mm) Mk3
Height 47 inches(1195mm)
Wheelbase 83 inches(2108mm)
Weight 1904 lbs.(865 kg)
2030 lbs.(921 kg) Mk3
Transmission
Engine 2.0 litre (1998 cc) Inline-6
Power
Similar Triumph Spitfire
Designer Giovanni Michelotti

The Triumph GT6 was a coupe version of the Spitfire with the addition of a more powerful six cylinder engine from the Triumph Vitesse to compensate for the added weight. Inspired by a "Spitfire GT" prototype made by Giovanni Michelotti in 1965, the Triumph GT6 made its debut in production form in July 1966.

See Autopedia's comprehensive Triumph_GT6 Review.


Styles and Major OptionsEdit

PricingEdit

Gas MileageEdit

ReliabilityEdit

SafetyEdit

GT6 Mk 3 (1970–1973)Edit

The final major facelift for the GT6 came in 1970, to make the MK3. This time the whole bodyshell was revised to match the changes made to the Spitfire; these included a cut-off rear end, recessed door handles and a smoother front end. Only detail changes were made to the mechanics, but in 1973 - close to the end of the car's life - the rear suspension was changed again, this time for the cheaper (but still effective) 'swing-spring' layout. A brake servo was also added in 1973, and seats were changed from vinyl to cloth. There was still a fairly comprehensive options list, but the attractive 'knock-on' wire wheels were no longer available. Performance for the MK3 was basically similar to the MK2, top speed of 117mph and a 0-60 time of 10.1 seconds; this was now comfortably ahead of the MGB GT, which topped out at about 105mph and reached 60mph in approximately 13 seconds.

The GT6 proved to be a thoroughly pleasant, well-behaved sports car, certainly after the launch of the MK2. However it never sold in the numbers hoped for by Triumph, and was comprehensively beaten in the marketplace by the arguably inferior MGB. This seems a puzzle; the smaller-engined Spitfire sold better than the MG Midget, but this success eluded the GT6. Triumph always refused to release a convertible version of the GT6, and this may be partly responsible; the only likely explanation for this is their reluctance to offer any competition for their TR6 roadster, a strong seller in the USA. Whatever the reason, the GT6 was quietly dropped from the Triumph range at the end of 1973, with a few cars being sold the year after.

Today the cars have a strong following on the classic car circuit in the UK and USA. Mechanics are exceptionally strong, and share many common parts with other Triumphs of the period. Survival rate is comparatively high and there is excellent support from owners clubs.

GT6 Mk 2/ GT6+ (1968-1970)Edit

Triumph realised that they needed to find an answer to the problem, if only to keep their reputation in the USA. Their response came in 1968, with the introduction of the GT6 MK2, known in the States as the GT6+. The swing-axle suspension was significantly re-engineered using rotoflex couplings, taming the handling and turning the Triumph into an MGB-beater. The Vitesse was also modified, but the Spitfire had to wait until 1970 for any improvements to be made.

There were other changes for the MK2: the front bumper was raised to conform to new crash regulations, necessitating a completely new front end, and side vents were added to the front wings and rear pillars. Under the bonnet, the engine was uprated to develop 104bhp with a new cylinder head, camshaft, and manifolds. The interior was also updated with a new dashboard and better ventilation, a 2-speed heater fan and a black headlining. Overdrive remained a popular option.

GT6 Edit

The new car was introduced in 1966, and called the Triumph GT6. The new body was a sleek fastback design with an opening rear hatch (This gave the GT6 the nickname "Poor men's E-Type"). It was really a 2-seater, but a small extra rear seat could be ordered if required and was large enough for small children. The family resemblance to the Spitfire was strong, but hardly any major body panels were shared; the longer 6-cylinder engine necessitated a new bonnet with a power bulge and the doors were provided with opening quarter light windows. The 6-cylinder engine was tuned to develop 95bhp and necessitated certain changes to the Spitfire mechanics; the radiator was new and mounted further forward in the car and the gearbox was the stronger unit from the Vitesse with optional overdrive. Front springs were uprated to cope with the extra weight from the new engine. The interior of the GT6 was well equipped; a wooden dashboard housed a full complement of instruments, and carpets and heater were standard.

The new car had some very strong points in its favour. The new engine provided a 106mph top speed, and 0-60mph in 11.7 seconds, a little better than the MGB GT; moreover the unit was beautifully smooth and tractable, in marked contrast to the MG's rather harsh 4-cylinder. Fuel economy was very reasonable, and the interior well up to the competition. The only major criticism was of its rear suspension; the GT6 inherited the swing-axle system from the Spitfire, which in turn was copied from the Herald small saloon. In the saloon it was tolerated, in the little Spitfire it was not liked, and in the powerful GT6 it was heavily criticised. Triumph had done nothing to improve the system for the GT6, and the tendency to break away if the driver lifted off the power mid-corner was not helped at all by the increased weight at the front of the car. The handling was most bitterly criticised in the USA, an important export market for Triumph, where they were traditionally very strong. Similar criticism was being levelled at the Vitesse saloon, which shared both the GT6's engine and its handling problems.

PhotosEdit

ColorsEdit

Mk 1

  • Exterior (Interior)
    • Conifer Green (black)
    • Royal Blue (black or Midnight Blue)
    • Signal Red (black)
    • Wedgwood Blue (Midnight Blue)
    • White (black or red)

Mk 2/ +

  • Conifer Green (black or Matador Red)
  • Damson Red (black or tan)
  • Jasmine Yellow (black or tan)
  • Laurel Green (black, tan, or Matador Red)
  • Royal Blue (blue or Shadow Blue)
  • Sienna Brown (black or tan)
  • Signal Red (black or tan)
  • Valencia Blue (black or tan)
  • Wedgwood Blue (black or Shadow Blue)
  • White (black, Matador Red, or tan)

Mk 3

  • Carmine Red (black or tan)
  • Damson Red (black, Silver Grey or tan)
  • Emerald Green (black)
  • French Blue (black)
  • Laurel Green (black, Matador Red, or tan)
  • Magenta (black)
  • Mallard Green (black or tan)
  • Mimosa Yellow (black or Chestnut)
  • Pimento Red (black or Chestnut)
  • Saffron Yellow (black or tan)
  • Sapphire Blue (black, Shadow Blue, Silver Grey)
  • Sienna Brown (black or tan)
  • Signal Red (black or tan)
  • Valencia Blue (black or tan)
  • Wedgwood Blue (black or Shadow Blue)
  • White (black, Matador Red, Shadow Blue, Chestnut, or tan)

Main CompetitorsEdit

Unique AttributesEdit

Resale ValuesEdit

CriticismsEdit

Design quirks and odditiesEdit

AwardsEdit

See alsoEdit

Triumph Spitfire

Template:Triumph

External LinksEdit

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