1972 Triumph GT6 MK3
To A New Home
The Work Begins
Before we talk about the car, I'd like to introduce this amazing man - Keith Edginton!
Keith is one of my first followers on YouTube, from the time, when I was still wondering where to start from with my first rusty beauty. He is the awesome guy who donated the GT6 and I owe him a lot! I don't know how to thank him enough! God bless him!
So here is the story of the car. Keith purchased it from its first owner somewhere in the early 80's as far as I remember and drove it for a while. He even traveled from New Jersey to Peterborough, Ontario twice. So she is familiar with Canada already. For those who do not know
this is some 900 km one way. Keith drove it until 1987 when he decided to restore it as she started to rust here and there. The engine was running well - it had only 40000 miles on it, but the transmission was popping out of reverse, so he rebuilt it. He patched the frame and painted it, sandblasted the suspension parts, painted and replaced all the bushings, bought new sills, but for one reason or another he had to stop the restoration there. So the car sat for the next 30 years in the garage, waiting for me :) (I can't imagine I was 13 when she was parked)
Like I said, Keith started commenting on my very first Spitfire videos and we became YouTube friends - what a nice definition :), but I've never expected that he would do such a generous thing. He just messaged me one day "Elin, I think I will never finish my GT6 restoration. Why don't you come and pick it up? If you want it, it is yours!" I was amazed! It took me 15 minutes to decide how to answer that! It was such a surprise! Of course, I couldn't refuse such a generous offer, so he sent me pictures and videos, told me more about the car and we decided that I will drive to New Jersey and pick her up.
Another awesome guy - David Tushingham or just Cheftush immediately suggested to ride shotgun with me and we decided to take the trip sometime in the fall. As the time was coming I was getting
more and more excited and I couldn't wait, but Keith was excited too and we were chatting almost every night. He was telling me about his interests I was telling him about mine. He wanted to know more about Bulgaria... lovely person... He sent all the paperwork I needed to organize the export and on October 15, 2017 Dave and I drove down to New Jersey.
Our first meeting with Keith was really overwhelming! I didn't meet a seller or someone who is just getting rid of his car. I met a Friend whom I knew forever! We met also his wife Mary and their son Zak (I missed to get him on camera)
The loading was a little bit harder than what we expected. I was prepared with all the tools, moving dollies, straps, come along and winch, so with some hiccups we managed to pack her up safely and Keith's garage was empty again after 30 years. But I didn't get only the GT6, I got also half a Spitfire :) Keith owned one as well and still had many parts, which he gave me too - two transmissions, intake manifold, rims with tires, distributor, carburator...
At the border, everything went smooth. All the paperwork was done by a broker and sent 72 hours in advance to the customs so with absolutely no issues the Car received Canadian citizenship!
Once in the shop, It took me about 2 hours to unload the car and the parts, but at the end everything was lined up on some benches as I still needed to sort it all out and the car..... oh, the car... when the body sat on the frame and the bonnet joined them after 30 years..... wow! Isn't she a beauty? A Rusty Beauty! I just love her!
After it has been picked up and all parts have been sorted out and cataloged she sat for a month or so. The idea was to start working on her after another project in progress, the 73 TR6 was done. However some holdbacks on the TR6 didn't allow me to keep working on that car and with a little push from David Tushingham in the right direction (I didn't need too much pushing :) I decided to do just one thing on the GT6 - fix the leading edge of the roof.
And that's how it all started. That was November 11, 2017
As expected I got carried on and before I knew it I was repairing floors, sills, doors... The car was cooperating and the work was a pleasure. In the beginning, it looked like there wasn't so much metalwork needed, but the more I worked, the more I realized that I was underestimating it. But that wasn't a problem. I enjoyed the work and with the help of Cheftush on some weekends, I was making a good progress fast. Around Christmas, I had 2 weeks vacation and I decided to interrupt the metalwork and use the
time off to clean up and repair some little areas of the frame, paint it, clean up and paint the suspension parts and assemble all that together. David came and helped for that as well and before the shop reopened at the beginning of January we had a rolling chassis.
Meanwhile, the floor was completed too, so before I put the body on the frame I managed to clean it all up underneath and paint it.
Once the body was back on the frame I kept going with the metalwork. There were many surprises like the top of A-posts, doors, and even passenger side rear fender. These were not obvious but popped up one by one while I was progressing.
Eventually, it all got done and even though I kept finding more issues even after I considered all the metalwork completed I am happy with how far I went.
Then it was time to strip all the paint and start with the bodywork. I have some experience with bodywork, not too good, but I am a good learner :), but no paint experience at all. So I took some self-educating courses on YouTube, asked for some advises and made a plan. I was going to strip the paint, repair whatever metalwork shows up during this process, epoxy prime the whole car and then start doing the bodywork where needed.
The stripping was faster and easier than expected and before I knew it I had a silver body.
What was left to be stripped was the bonnet, which is half a car itself :), and the rear hatch.
At this point, the 73 TR6 got back into the game and I had to put the GT6 on hold until the TR6 was finished. However, I couldn't just put it on hold with a bare metal body as it was going to rust pretty soon. I had to act fast. So I decided to leave all the little areas that needed welding for later, I put the bonnet and hatch to the side as they were not stripped yet and I took care of the stripped body.
I bought epoxy primer, built a temporarily paint boot and epoxy primed the body.
That was on April 29, 2018. After that, I could put the project on hold without being worried about surface rust.
So in less than 6 months, I had about 300 hours of labor and 53 videos about this car
Now I can't wait to finish the TR6 and get back to this baby. When I get back to her I will have to strip the bonnet and hatch, do some metal work on them, a little more metalwork on the body, then prime the stripped areas, bodywork, and paint. I haven't decided on the color yet. The original color is Pimento Red, but I was thinking about Carmine Red. However, I really like Mallard Blue as well... :) I will decide one day!
Next, I have to deal with the engine. I will take it apart, measure and decide whether I need to rebuild it or just clean it, change seals and gaskets, rings eventually etc. The diff needs to be checked as well, seals changed at least and then cleaned and painted. The transmission was supposedly rebuilt (I bought it used with D-type overdrive) but I will have to check it too. And then we will be into interior-work. I have no interior except seats, which need some work too. So that will be fun.
Well, that is the update until today, hopefully, we will be back on this project soon and work on it full steam again.