Restoring the GT6 - the body


Unlike the Herald and Vitesse, the body is one complete welded unit. Also like the Herald/Vitesse it can suffer from rust in many places. One place that is often the first, especially if there has been water leakage, is the floor underneath the front seats. Floor panels (handed) are widely available. Mine were "Steelcraft" from Taylor Pressform in Leamington Spa, which are now distributed exclusively by British Motor Heritage Limited (see illustration below). BMH was established in 1975 to support owners and the marketplace by putting genuine components for classic British cars back into manufacture, using original tools wherever possible. Their panels are widely available, so are cheaper non BMH ones, so beware! I bought my floors from Taylor Pressform direct (with the help of John Kipping, in 1980/81) but I now get genuine BMH panels from my local supplier James Paddock, but there are other 'approved specialists'.

The new floors can be seen seam welded in place (below):


The second area most likely to suffer from rust is the sills (or rocker panels in the US). These are load bearing as the chassis does not have the outriggers of the Herald/Vitesse. Below is the state of mine in the area just in front of the rear wheel arch (in fact both the sill and rear wing were corroded)!

The sills are in 3 parts as in the table below (from BMH):

Triumph Part No. BMH Part No. Description
903097 TS16L Outer Sill LH
903098 TS16R Outer Sill RH
806634 TS17L Inner Sill Reinforcement LH
806635 TS17R Inner Sill Reinforcement RH
806638 TS18L Inner Sill LH
806639 TS18R Inner Sill RH

To do do the job properly all three panels should be changed.

When removing these panels the strength of the body may be compromised, many use 'door gap adjusters' or 'reinforcing bars' attached to the door frame while the sills are removed. This specially designed tool is designed to help adjust or maintain your door gaps. These are widely available, the one below is from the TSSC Club shop. To see it on their website click the picture below.


Another area which suffers from corrosion is the clamshell front bonnet assembly. Mine was shot in 1980, so I bought a brand new Stanpart spare which had suffered a little damage (in fact 3 had been been put on top of each other!). Nowadays new bonnets are still available from BMH for the GT6 Mk3 and Spitfire Mk4/1500 and also T.D.Fitchett.  T.D. Fitchett are also advertising new bonnets for the GT6 Mk2. All are around £1,500. Repair panels are also available, for example front wings for the later GT6/Spitfire are available from BHM/Steelcraft. Fibreglass bonnets are also available, for example SC Parts sell one for the GT6 Mk2 less tubes etc. for around £700. My bonnet can be seen below, both before and after its second restoration!