Triumph GT6 (1968 – 1973) Review

Triumph GT6 (1968 – 1973) At A Glance

+Fun to drive, and stylish baby E-type

-It's cramped inside, and make sure you take care in the wet

The Triumph GT6 was originally designed as a four-cylinder GT counterpart to the Spitfire. But when the first prototypes started running, and Triumph engineers realised that the coupe was somewhat slower than the roadster, they came up with the obvious solution of fitting the straight-six engine as used in the 2000 and Vitesse.

What Triumph ended up creating was an effective rival to the recently-launched MGB GT - very smart indeed considering it was based on the lower-market Spitfire. But it was an achingly stylish car, with the added appeal of an E-type-style bonnet bulge, and it looked worth every penny.

The GT6 soon earned a reputation for being great in a straight line, but not so good in corners. The Mk1’s swing-axle rear suspension ensured that lift-off oversteer was a very real problem as the wheels tucked under - and even today, it's only partially cured by the fitment of modern tyres. Improved rear suspension makes the 1969 Mk2 a much better car.

The Mk3 GT6 was launched in 1970, and received the same visual changes as the Spitfire Mk4. They managed to turn a stylish car into a desirable one - not easy when you consider it was based on an eight-year old car. That all-important bonnet bulge remained, but the cleaner profile and more aggressive Kamm tail were really masterful styling tweaks.

There was no significant change to the 2.0-litre straight-six, but like with the Spitfire, it appeared the power had dropped because of the change to DIN quoted power. The rear axle was changed to the cheaper Spitfire system for 1973 – a sure sign that the cost accountants were now running Triumph.

Ask Honest John

I'm trying to rescue an abandoned Triumph, how do I find the owner?

"There is a Triumph GT6 slowly rotting into the undergrowth in a garage area behind my son's house. The number plate can be clearly seen. Is it possible to trace the owner? Is there a GT6 owners club that might be interested in rescuing it?"
Tracking down the owner of a vehicle like this can be tricky, as the general public do not have the facility to search for a vehicle's registered owner via the numberplate. You can contact the DVLA using form V888 to request details of the owner, but you have to give just cause and it is up to the DVLA to decide if your reason is valid. The other method is to apply for the vehicle's V5C. The DVLA will contact the last known registered keeper to ask for confirmation. If you're determined to track down the owner, we would start by trying to find out who owns the land where the vehicle is parked. You can do this via the electoral roll or the land registry search on the government's website here: Another option is to join local Triumph owner's groups on social media and share photos of the car to see if anyone has any ideas about its history. You could even put a note under the windscreen in case the owner still lives nearby.
Answered by David Ross

Why does the coil on my Triumph GT6 overheat?

"When I take my Triumph GT6 out, the coil overheats. I have changed the coil, ballast resistor, condenser and have had the points and the timing. Is it the alternator playing up intermittently?"
We spoke to Triumph Specialist Canley Classics (, who advised checking that the correct ballast resistor coil is fitted.
Answered by Keith Moody

How many Triumph GT6 convertibles were made and sold between 1966 and 1974?

"How many Triumph GT6 convertible cars were made and sold between 1966 and 1974?"
According to Graham Robson's book, Triumph and Spitfire GT6, 40,926 Triumph GT6s were built. And according to our DVLA-based How Many Survived data, 1663 are still on the road in the UK.
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a Triumph GT6 (1968 – 1973) cost?