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© 2017 Ian Watts

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1971 Triumph GT6

...the original renovation...

A brief overview...

 

Back in 1986, I bought a British Racing Green, 1971 ('K' reg) mk3 GT6.

She was undriveable having failed her MoT on 31 different points. In fact she was more like rusty old colander than a working car !

I was in the Navy at the time, based in Fareham, Hampshire and was lucky enough to have at my disposal the base car club and it's vast array of tools. I was also lucky in that the house myself and some friends were renting had an empty garage (attached) that I could use as a workshop.

Once I'd arranged for the car to be collected and trailered to the house I began to strip her down and begin a 12 month refurb. Naivety, in my case, was a great thing - I had no idea how bad the rust was, how much work was involved or how long it would take. By the time I became fully aware of the enormity of the project, I was already hooked...

It quickly became apparent that, in order to repair and refurb the chassis, the body would have to come off.

The chassis was then exposed and was stripped, sand blasted, red-lead painted and reassembled before three coats of black Hammerite were applied.

The engine benefited too... I learned a lot about valves & rockers, cooling and oil pumps, clutch & gearbox... I took the opportunity to splash-out on a new 'J' type box with overdrive - LOVE IT !! and, all-in-all refurb the engine with help from the car club on base...

Finally... after all the original paint was removed, the undercoat prior to the paint... which was Porsche red...

Unfortunately, I seem to have lost any pics of the GT6 in red...

Once she was finished I completed around 28,000 miles in her, from Scotland to Wales and Scotland to Norwich and back to Scotland... Unfortunately, in 1990, whilst driving back up to Scotland after an Open University summer school, we were 'squashed' between a lorry and the central reservation. The long and short was that the GT6 was written off as being too expensive to repair and scrapped by the insurance company. I was incensed and negotiated that I have her back at the cost of a reduced 'pay-out'. I started to renovate her again but shortly thereafter left the Navy and set up a marine electrics and electronics company. The company took all my time and the GT6 sat forlorn in a friend's garage for the next 7 or 8 years...

 

Eventually, in the early 90's, I got round to re-renovating her - a second time - She became Triumph Tiahiti Blue, not quite the colour I'd anticipated when I'd passed her over to the paint shop BUT what a job ! Superb. I then married, moved to France, had a son, started a couple of new businesses... The GT6 remained painted in the garage patiently waiting...   

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