A rare Trimph TR6+, SOLD by Californiaclassix.com!

The Working Man's E-Type:
1970 Triumph GT6+ Coupe!

An icon of the freewheeling 1960s, revered by connoisseurs of British sports cars around the Globe today, Triumph's small but potent Coupé -- designed with help from Italy's Michelotti, just like its relative, the Spitfire --certainly made a splash when it was first introduced in 1966.

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Although it looked a bit like its smaller sibling, the Spitfire, the GT6 was an altogether different animal. It was the culmination of an idea that took the factory to races at Sebring and Le Mans in 1964, where a Spit-based fastback Coupé won First in Class, capturing the minds and imagination of young, hip aficionados. Since the Coupé body carried some additional weight, the decision was made to implant the six cylinder Triumph 2000 Sedan/Vitesse engine, thus creating a new star among British fixed-head Coupés. 30,926 were manufactured between 1966 and 1974.

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The 1970 Triumph presented here hails from the second series, one of just 4,066 U.S. models built for the model year. It was called "MK2" in Europe and referred to as the "GT6+" in the United States. The "Plus" is acknowleged to be the most desirable model of 'em all, since it combines the early-style body featuring the distinctive, small taillights with a hotter engine, vastly improved independent rear suspension, and an additional dash of creature comfort.

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Picked up at the factory by its original Lady owner of 38 years, the car was shipped to California after a short European vacation. It has remained in the Golden State ever since, logging just 44,347 actual miles in four decades.
Amazingly, the Plus comes with its original books and manuals as well as the irreplaceable, blue-and-gold, 6-digit, period California license plates. Also shown above: the stack of expired registration tags that's almost -inch thick!

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The Triumph, VIN *KC80231L* has a clear California Certificate of Title and is currently licensed through August, 2009.
Let's inspect this rare GT6+ closely now!

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Featuring most of its factory-applied Saffron Yellow (code #54) paint, this little gem is a true California survivor. There is no accident damage to note, nor any corrosion. Sure, there are myriad signs of age, such as small nicks and chips and even a few shallow dings, but wouldn't you rather own an honest original instead of an oft-painted bondomobile with unknown provenance? Incredibly perhaps, but this particular car has been garaged and pampered for 38 years, being used solely for pleasurable drives on sunny days.

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Triumph features smooth lines, perfect body gaps all around. It's a joy to behold this original example of a much-coveted breed.
Note chrome-framed pop-out quarter windows, rear side vent, and Le Mans style fuel filler cap. Priceless details abound!

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Triumph's factory steel wheels feature the attractive Rostyle hubcaps and correct MICHELIN X tires of the dimension 165R15, just like Porsche's 912 model, one of the GT6's main competitors, back in the day.
Inside fender areas look immaculately clean, still displaying their original orange paint, too!

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Next: we open the front-hinged bonnet. Americans would call it a "flip front" reminiscent of Jaguar's E-Type; either way, this design allows unfettered access to the compact straight-six power plant.

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The 1998cc "Vitesse" engine of the GT6+ produces 104 stout horses, up 10% from its predecessor due to an improved cylinder head, manifold, and cam. Top speed of the GT6+ is said to be 117mph, with 0-60mph coming in at just over 10 seconds, firmly in contemporary Porsche 912 territory and way better than British rival MGC-GT's numbers.
Let's have a look inside!

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The cozy--but not cramped--cockpit of the GT6+ makes a true 1960s statement. People were happy to experience close comfort back then, enjoying the feeling of being one with their driving machine.

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Amenities usually reserved for high-class sports cars like the XK-E were a leather-wrapped steering wheel, real wood-paneled dashboard, and the multitude of circular, white-on-black SMITHS instruments. Period SPS AM/FM radio still works great. Minimal wear found on original steering wheel confirms the car's low mileage; the dash wood would benefit from refinishing (superior burled wood replacements are available from sources like Victoria British, if desired), however, the black vinyl dash top and surround are 100% crack free.

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High-backed GT sports seats: the equivalent to RECARO models found in 1960s Porsches. There are no rips or tears to be found in the original upholstery. Everything inside, be it headliner, door and side panels, or black carpeting, remains in excellent condition.

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Ready for the test drive?
Sure we are, but let's take a good look at two important areas first: trunk and undercarriage.

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Nicely carpeted, flat trunk floor holds plenty of luggage.

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Factory spare, tools, and jacking equipment--the latter still inside the original, embossed vinyl pouches--are housed beneath a wooden partition, right on the--rust free--trunk floor.

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Triumph's virginal undercarriage is a delight for any true lover of vintage British tin.

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The healthy floors are all original, have never been painted, repaired, or coated with Ziebart or any type of undercoating since the car left the factory in 1970. All the factory finishes are still largely intact; it's a "reference" underbelly, literally.

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Some details, left to right:

  • Perfectly straight front subframe
  • Independent rear suspension with ROTOFLEX couplings
  • Absolutely healthy, dry rear section

Let's drive!

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Thursday, November 20, was another warm and sunny day here in paradise. The GT6+ starts willingly and idles smoothly. Exhaust note has a distinct similarity to its big brother, the E-Type.

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All controls are easy to operate. All lights and gauges work, except for the tachometer, which is rebuildable. The car handles, shifts, and stops excellently. Even the potholed streets of downtown Ventura do not pose any threat to the little Triumph.

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The car does not overheat, nor does it smoke or leak oil. We are utterly impressed with the Triumph's beautifully smooth and tractable road manners. Driving this car truly puts a smile on your face as it magically transports you back to simpler, happier times where every drive in your GT was a visceral experience for all your senses.

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Returning home, we are filled with newfound admiration for the work of those British engineers. Just like a vintage Norton Commando motorcycle, a Triumph GT6+ is The Real Thing, conceived for those lucky few who desired individualized, rapid travel in high style.

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Moreover, the GT6+ is a highly collectible 1960s sports car that can still be used daily, as it is blessed with very reasonable fuel economy and excellent parts availability. Add to this affordable classic car insurance, and you have a sure-fire winner!

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Rarely will you be able to find one of these rare Triumphs offered for sale; to unearth a California rust free, low mileage, one owner example is a bit like winning the lottery.

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Here's a golden opportunity to acquire a true piece of British motoring history. It's as far removed from today's cookie-cutter plastic-bubble cars as can be and, best of all, it's ready to be cherished by its new caretaker.


Addendum:
We sold this Triumph GT6 in January 2009.


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