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annimated Spitfire welcome by Iain Campbell

1969 Triumph GT6+ Project

Sold 14-JAN-2006

  • I was at a club meeting one night and at some point an elderly gentleman stood up and said that he had a GT6 for sale that he had owned since new, wrecked in mid '70s, and stored it inside ever since. I had already been thinking about a GT6 since I was nearly done with my Spitfire.
  • The car was more rough than I had hoped for being stored inside. A few small rust areas, no large major rust areas. He had it painted gold/brown before his accident and they didn't bother to do the inside door sills. But I figured that I could still get this car and work on it for a while at least and learn bodywork and GT6's in the process.
  • After a few years of my slow work on this project, I had to have surgery and my wife had our baby, so I had little time to work on this GT6. I finally came to the conclusion that someone else should be the one to restore this GT6 and get it on the road. It does not deserve to sit in my garage for years like it did before. I have sold it to someone who will restore it and send me pictures along the way that I will post here.

  • UPDATE: "post-mortem"! After emailing for an update, the guy in Austin who bought this GT6 reported that he had it mostly restored and drove it every day to work. He had over $2000 US in parts invested and was next to do the chrome bumpers... More details at the bottom of this page.
  • 2001: Awaiting Restoration
    (127Kb)
    Project received from
    previous owner(PO)

    (78Kb)
    PO's body work, rust

    (91Kb)
    gas tank and
    spare tire removed

    (91Kb)
    rough interior,
    carpet removed

    (125Kb)
    GT6 has 39,600 miles driven.

    (66Kb)
    headboard vinyl is good

    (73Kb)
    bumper and gas cap removed

  • 2003: The learning process of my GT6 Restoration begins.....
    bonnet work
    (98k)

    I don't know much about bodywork (obviously) never having done it before. At first I used this sander tool, but even with 60grit sandpaper it took a long time to get to the metal. Viewers here suggested wire wheels on a drill motor or cut and replace with new panels if rust is too excessive. I opted for the wire wheels. [June 2003]

    more bonnet work
    (49k)
    Here is more work done on the nose of the bonnet using two types of wire wheels. Most of this area was done with a softer cup-shaped wire brush on a drill motor. This was faster than the sander (60grit paper) in the previous picture. The upper left of this area was done with a stiffer wire wheel on the same drill motor that was even faster going. You can see the difference in the work of the two accessories by the light of the camera's flash. But at least I am getting more work done! [October 2003]
    bonnet work 3
    (49k)
    This panel had very thick bondo and some rust areas on it, so I continued to use the stiff wire wheel to remove two layers of paint, rust, and bondo. The stiff wheel worked pretty good but was worn down by the time I reached this point. Compare this picture to the second picture of this page. I had read that if bondo is more than 10 years old, it should be removed completely during a re-painting. Well, this qualifies for sure! [October 2003]
    bonnet work 4
    (50k)
    I went to the store to get more wire wheels and saw this wide sander device made by the 3M company for removing paint and rust. It is made of hard, rough plastic and actually two wheels put together. I bought one to try it out and also a larger wire wheel. The 3M sander worked even faster than the first stiff wire wheel so I continued to use it for the rest of this panel. [October 2003]
    bonnet work 4
    (98k)
    Since I have done most of the right-hand side of the bonnet, I decided to switch the positions of the GT6 and the '74 Spitfire in my shop so that I could have room on the left-hand side. My yellow '77 Spitfire is under cover due to paint dust and the '65 Spitfire is waiting it's turn at restoration. [November 2003]
    bonnet work 4
    (98k)
    This picture shows that the right-hand side of the bonnet is almost finished. After I clean the top vents and headlight area it will be on to the center section. Yeah, I could use a larger shop. Who couldn't? [November 2003]
    bonnet work 4
    (72k)
    Getting more paint off... It's hard to find time to work on the car since we have a five-month-old baby, but I'm doing what I can. [November 2003]
    1st primer on bonnet 1

    1st primer on bonnet 2
    (98k)

    Finally after several months, more work was able to be done. A friend who knows bodywork came over to adjust the metal, weld some spots, use Ospho over the whole bonnet top surface, wash it off, wait for it to dry, and spray primer. Some light surface rust had grown in one place on top during the months since November, but it was easily removed by the chemical. Now the primer will prevent it from returning until the next session. I had to move my 2 drivable Triumphs (Spitfire & 2000 sedan) and we pushed the GT6 to the edge of the shop floor for the work, then outside for spraying. These pictures were taken after moving the car back in it's parking place.[May 2004]
    I have come to the painful conclusion that this car does not deserve to be simply sitting im my shop collecting dust most of the year when somebody else could be restoring it and getting it on the road. I don't have time with a baby, a Spitfire, a Triumph 2000, and a full-time job. So I have reluctantly decided to sell this project to somebody who will finish it. If you are looking for parts on your GT6, go away! [APR 2005]
    After receiving email from several people since summer 2005, I finally accepted an offer and received a deposit 29-DEC-2005. Then the GT6 was delivered on 14-JAN-2006. Now the GT6 is at its new home in Austin, TX.
  • UPDATE: "post-mortem"! After emailing for an update, the guy in Austin, TX who bought this GT6 reported that he had it mostly restored and drove it every day to work. He had over $2000 US in parts invested and was next to do the chrome bumpers. ... I regret to inform readers that while driving to work one day, he was pulled out in front of by an old lady in a big Buick. He says that he had no warning to even hit the brakes and hit her at 45mph. He says that the impact broke the frame in two places, pushed the engine and transmission off their mounts, smashed the radiator into the engine, and of course rumpled the hood (for the 2nd time in it's life). His injuries were a damaged knee (from the engine being pushed back) and a damaged spleen (presumably from the GT6's large steering wheel). This car had an accident in 1974 and sat still for 31 years between the previous owner and me. The car must have been cursed. I'm glad that this GT6 had some time back on the road before it's final trip to the junkyard. ALSO I just learned that the previous owner passed away at the age of 82 about 2 months after I sold the GT6. I think it's sad for both him and this GT6. He had this car for 26 years after his 1974 accident and I had it for 5 years. I wish that I had either started restoring it earlier than I did OR not bought it at all. This is why I was reluctant to sell the 1965 Spitfire Mk2 (but I did). [Spring 2007]

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    • I am also the webmaster for the Panhandle British Car Association located in Pensacola, Florida. We have club meetings and activities each month. Every April, the club has its annual British Car Beach Bash down on Pensacola Beach. Last year there were 123 cars of all types. If you live near Pensacola and would like to join, we welcome all British cars. Just click here for our application form!


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    My GT6 page last updated: January 17, 2006.