For $6,500, Is This Triumph A Rock And Roll Machine?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

When first introduced, Triumph's GT6 was promoted as being developed from the company's Le Mans racing programme. That claim may have been bogus but will the racing stripes on today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe MK3 have you racing for your check book?

The Triumph Motor Company had a long and storied history over the course of the last century, one that was strangely begun and ended in Germany. The company's origin can be traced back to the 1880s, when Siegfried Bettmann and Moritz Schulte, two krazy krauts, began a business importing bicycles into Great Britain. Upon the bolting of the new fangled internal combustion engines to those two-wheelers, the name changed to the Triumph Cycle Company Ltd. Later, the purchase of the assets of moribund car maker Dawson compelled another change to Triumph Motor Company, where a young Donald Healey became Experimental Manager.


Following WWII, Triumph was bought by the Standard Motor Company, creating Standard-Triumph, which later was engulfed by Leyland, itself changing to British Leyland in the late sixties. Eventually, the major British automotive industry fell into ruin and brands were sold off to the highest bidder. The Triumph name, a decade or so after having last appeared on a production model (and a Honda at that!), went to BMW as part of the Rover Group package deal, and the brand, founded by Germans, was eventually, quietly, put to grave by the very same.

Thing of it is, along the way Triumph built some pretty cool cars - not particularly durable ones - but cool nonetheless. Serving both family man and sports-seeker, the company offered the economical and upright Herald series and its sexy two-seat sister, the Spitfire. And just as the four-pot Herald had its six cylinder Vitesse edition, so did the Spitfire gain a GT sibling with the very same 1,998-cc inline six.

Michelotti penned both the Spitfire and the GT6, and his 1970 facelift creating the MK3 remains a stunningly beautiful shape to this day. This 1972 GT6 has seen few modifications to that shape, losing only its Snidely Whiplash mustache rear bumper and gaining some garish chromed 60-spokers. The English white with blue accent paint looks serviceable but a little tired, and noticeable in the video there are some chips on the cowl when the clamshell hood rests.


Under that amazing forward hinged front clip sits Triumph's smooth and surly two-litre straight six. The seller claims that four grand went into its rebuild, embiggening its horsepower to twice its stock 105 ponies. That's dubious, but the trio of 40DCOEs are worth a grand at least. He also says it's a stroker but doesn't say just how much the engine has been punched out.


Behind that six is a 4-speed manual, which unfortunately here isn't fitted with the laycock de normanville overdrive which makes these cars wonderful cruisers. In fact, the shift knob where that feature's switch might reside has been replaced by a large black knob that looks a little out of place. Other interior foibles are a ragged dash pad in front of that knob, and a completely eff'd up center dash with no apparent heater controls.


The GT6 MK3 wasn't just a six cylinder version of the Spitfire with a roof bolted to it, as it also employed a fully independent rear suspension in place of the swing axles of its cheaper and more open topped sibling. This one has been somewhat lipstick pigged but there doesn't seem to be anything that can't be easily rectified, and the work done to the engine seems of value. It's also claimed garage-kept and rust free which is always a plus.

The rest of the ad is filled with more hyperbole than info, but you can't blame the seller as he's trying to, you know, sell the car. The question is, would paying his $6,500 asking price be a triumph? Or, does that price push this GT6 over the edge of excess?


You decide!


San Francisco Craigslist (although the car appears to be in Dallas) or go here if the ad disappears.

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