shadow83
shadow83 None
Feb. 28, 2014 10:01 a.m.

In the late 70s I to owned a 76 Spitfire 1500 which I did many mods and rally raced locally, I loved that car. Unfortunately the Lucas gremlins infected the car and it caught firs due to an wiring short.

I always wanted to put a GT6 drive train in a Spitfire to make a convertible GT6. I am getting close to retirement and am looking at making this a project to keep me busy. Way back in the 70s some told me that if I made sure that both cars were of close years I could pull out the drive train and suspension from the GT6 and it would bolt up with the Spitfire with minor changes. Has anyone made such a hybrid? If not can anyone tell me if it is as easy as described? I plan on doing a frame up to the Spitfire so access will be easy.

Ransom PowerDork
Feb. 28, 2014 10:52 a.m.

I have it in my head that some bits related to the rear suspension will try to occupy the same place at the same time... Like damper mounts that are on the Spitfire chassis but GT6 body or something like that. But I've only done some reading...

You might look at this: http://www.triumphexp.com/phorum/read.php?8,841754

Also note the teglerizer.com link in the first post in that thread seems to be a good source of info... (Again from the standpoint of someone who hasn't attempted to apply that info, but the guy running that site also, IIRC, moderates the North American Spitfire Squadron tech mailing list, which is another place you might be able to get some info)

spitfirebill UberDork
Feb. 28, 2014 10:52 a.m.

The easiest way is to put the Spitfire body on the GT-6 chassis. The bad thing about doing this, is a GT-6 has to die. And they are getting more and more rare. I don't think it really matters what year body you put of what chassis, but the front bonnet mounts may have to be altered.

Gary Reader
Feb. 28, 2014 12:06 p.m.

I agree with spitfirebill that we really don't want another GT-6 to bite the dust. I'd recommend looking for a completed one for sale. Search for "Spit6" or "convertible GT-6" in the usual places. Also maybe contact Erik at Her Majesty's (Auto) Service in Pawtucket, RI (hermajestysservice.com). He's been showing up at British car shows all over Southern New England for several years in a Spitfire conversion with GT-6 drivetrain, brakes, etc. (the alternative to a Spit6 conversion). He might want to sell. Last time I saw it, it needed a soft top, paint and interior work, and maybe a GT-6 bonnet because he had cut holes in the Spitfire bonnet for carb clearance. But the heavy lifting has already been done.

Another interesting conversion I've seen was a GT6 Mk1 with a Spitfire Mk2 1197cc engine, which is sort of a replica of the 1965 factory Le Mans racers and GT 6 prototypes. I know it sounds a bit wierd but the one I saw at Larz Anderson Day of Triumph a few years ago was a very nice looking car and very well done.

ArthurDent HalfDork
Feb. 28, 2014 1:00 p.m.

Be warned the GT6 six cylinder is heavy. Really heavy. In the Ford small block V8 range. It is also long so a decent portion goes beyond the front axle. In the GT6 the hatch rear helps balance that weight a bit better. What about a TR7 motor swapped into a Spitfire? Keeps it in the family. I'm sort of surprised it doesn't come up more often. It was a bit of bum motor when new but I expect with new gaskets and bolts they can be keep going reasonably well these days. And TR7s are more common and cheaper than GT6 donors.

Spitsix Reader
Feb. 28, 2014 8:18 p.m.

Great Idea!!! Notice my screen name. Let me know if you need any info.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
Feb. 28, 2014 9:38 p.m.

A million years ago we had such a beast at the magazine, and now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure it was a Spitfire body on a GT6 frame. It had the GT6 bonnet, too.

Even though it was rough as a cob, it was a neat car. It could leave a stoplight in second year, too, which was good because the transmission didn't always want to go into first.

Woody MegaDork
Feb. 28, 2014 10:13 p.m.

http://longisland.craigslist.org/cto/4310801410.html

http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/cto/4353551223.html

TR8owner HalfDork
March 1, 2014 5:14 p.m.

I almost bought one a few years back. The guy had done it the hard way - cut the roof of a GT6 and made it into a convertible. I've seen others that are genuine Spitfires with the six cylinder fitted, so its entirely doable without a lot of fuss from my understanding. In fact there is a guy locally that has one. As already mentioned, I'd hate to see a GT6 trashed to be fitted with a Spit body.

TR8owner HalfDork
March 1, 2014 5:23 p.m.

"Another interesting conversion I've seen was a GT6 Mk1 with a Spitfire Mk2 1197cc engine"

Years ago I owned a couple of very rare eight port 1147cc competition heads with twin webers like the ones fitted on the LeMans cars. They were originally from the Team Triumph 1147cc Spitfire that was raced in Canada (mostly Mosport) in the 1960's. Unfortunately I sold them years ago. I understand they finally ended up in Finland were a guy has made a replica of one of the GT6 styled works Spitfire rally cars form that era.

Ian F UltimaDork
March 1, 2014 7:32 p.m.

I owned a Spit6 for awhile. It was actually a former Teglerizer car (although he didn't build it, he just rescued it, fixed some things and got it running again). The one I had was a '78 Spitfire fitted with a MkI GT6 engine.

The good: it was a great cruising car. Mine had a o/d trans and a 3.27 rear. The engine would turn about 3000 RPM at 80 mph and do that all day long.

The bad: It's still a Spitfire and the highway is not where they like to be. Those additional 2 pistons hanging past the front wheels really affected the handling. It was an under-steering beast prone to snap-oversteer. It was exciting at times.

There are really two different cars, depending on how they are built. A Spit-6: A GT6 engine in a Spitfire body/chassis (and usually with a GT6 bonnet). A GT6 Convertible: A Spitfire body fitted to a GT6 chassis (keeping the GT6 bonnet). You can also fit just about all of the GT6 bits to a Spitfire chassis if you wish.

Of course, there's also the aforementioned FIS6 (fitting the GT6 engine in the 4 cylinder position), but so far it is a unique construction, but he has managed to eliminate/reduce most if not all of the usual weight balance drawbacks. One of the other NASS members has been slowly building his own version, but it's been a slow project.

Having been down this road, the only way I'd want another Spit 6 would be in FIS6 form. Otherwise I'm happy to have my GT6 and I'd rather have a warmed up 4 in a Spitfire.

As mentioned, they come up for sale reasonably often, so in truth there's really no reason to build one.

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