Jump to content

Craig's 6Fire In Aus

Recommended Posts

Todd's Craig's 6fire Project...


A month or so ago, someone posted a Spitty Project on Ebay.  It was an unfinished project that had been sitting stalled for years, and the owner was looking to have someone take over and move it along.


With work and the Skydiving club, I don't have time to scratch myself already, but the Magpie in me saw something shiny (Ohh, Shiny!!!) and started wondering...  When I talked to Alan about it, he pointed out the his factory would be mostly empty for the next few months, and offered space to work on it if I wanted to buy it.  I chucked a bid at it, but lost.  Oh well.  


I wasn't the only one who saw that ad.  Toddski is a member here, and the owner and curator of http://gt6.com.  He pulled his 6fire off the road a dozen or so years ago, and has since developed a passion for RX7 racecars.  That hasn't dimmed his ability to collect Triumph bits, and he's slowly collected bits and done some of the work to get his 6fire back on the road.  But with a family, a real job, and a racecar, it hasn't been a priority.  He also saw the Spitty project ad, and it was the catalyst for him to post an add on Gumtree.




1970 Triumph Spitfire/GT6 Project
I'll state up front that this is a project car that is mid project and is currently in pieces around my house. The photo of the car all together is a very old one. 

It is a Triumph Spitfire Mk 3 that has been partly converted to GT6 specifications. It has a 2500cc 6 cyl from a sedan, a GT6 gearbox, GT6 front uprights and brakes, a GT6 bonnet and a GT6 like dash with GT6 instruments, as well as GT6 seats. Also has a hardtop with glass. 

It was registered in the ACT as a 1970 GT6 convertible. Rego lapsed somewhere around 2002 - about when I pulled it off the road to restore it. 

Mostly it has sat around as I don't have the time for it. I have painted and assembled the chassis, but that's as far as it has got. Time to be honest with myself - I'm never going to finish it. Too busy with other projects. 

The body needs some work, there is some rust and damage. But it is in good shape considering some I have seen. 

I've collected lots of parts for it over the years, such as: 
- a complete rotoflex rear end 
- sedan J-Type overdrive box 
- larger diff output shafts to suit rotoflex 
- new windscreen rubber 
- various suspension pieces 

That's only a small sample - I had purchased a lot of bits and pieces, some new, some good 2nd hand. 

Probably the best thing is to come and take a look and have a chat if you're interested. 

Price is negotiable depending on what you want included - I even have some PI gear that can be packaged in. Looking to get an early MX5 - working on my RX7 has ruined me for working on British cars.



I couldn't help myself.  If Todd wanted to tease a fish out from under a rock, it was the perfect bit of bait to temp a fish like me.  I asked him how much for all of it.  


I have to give Todd a lot of credit here.  He could have pieced out all his bits, and made a nice chunk of change.  But, he has a connection with that lovely bit of old English iron, and he want's it to go to someone who'll actually restore it.  When he realised the connection from Sideways he offered it all to me at a price that was particularly reasonable.


So...  despite not needing another car, not having space at home for one, and not having Management approval (or even Management knowledge) I said yes, then wired him the asking price before he or I could rethink.


It's 698km's from my house to Todd's, so some logistics had to be overcome before I could collect the project.  The longer I took, the more Todd emailed me with parts he's found for me to carry back.  He's collected an impressive amount!  


Eventually, I figured out I'd need a tandem trailer for the car itself, plus my van and another trailer.  When my Dad volunteered to co-drive in his Pajero, a road trip became the plan.  Dad's a seasoned Grey Nomad, and has been towing heavy caravans all my life, so I know he's capable, but was surprised with him volunteering for such a long weekend of driving at 75.  Apparently, so was Mum, so she decided to come to, and it became a family trip.  With the jig well and truly up, I booked 2 rooms in Canberra near Todd's house, and owned up to Juliette that we were going on a road trip together and why.  She took the news of another car joining the family surprisingly calmly.


So we headed off to Mum and Dad's house overnight after work, with a borrowed Tandem trailer and a hired furniture trailer.  That night Dad and I re-wired the two trailer till all the lights worked, and early the next morning we headed off, borrowed tandem behind Mum and Dad's Pajero, and hired furniture trailer behind the Bogan Hiace.




Half a day later, we stopped in Holbrook for lunch. 




Normally on a road trip, I stop for fuel when almost empty, the toilet when really full, and get food at the most convenient drive through and eat on the go.  Not this time.


Plates, cutlery, bread rolls, home made soup, coffee, biscuits, and fruit for desert.  Travelling with Mum is considerably more civilised, if a little less quick.




9 hours after we left, we were at Todd's house.  We got there right on dark, so I don't have any photo's, but he'd made a small mountain of parts for us to load up.  3 engine's,, 3 gearboxes, a hardtop with the unobtainium glass, PI bits, Roto bits, all sorts of triumph stuff, he was generously giving me everything he could to let me build the car as best it could be.


His Dad was there too to help, as was his son.  Todd did his best to get me in trouble with Juliette for buying another Triumph, I did my best to load up his son with nuggets of guilt he could use to work over Todd for selling what could have been his car in years to come.  Our fathers watched and shook their heads together.  Good times!


A couple or 3 hours later we had the trailers and the van loaded.  He and I had a beer and a yarn, and I heard the history of the bit's I'm the new custodian of.  I feel the weight of history to make sure I do the job properly.


We stored the trailers in his driveway overnight.


Early the next morning, we headed back, tied everything down, the convoy headed off, and Todd waved goodbye to the car of his youth.  (I think his wife was organising a party of her friends to celebrate.)


The trip home was pretty hard work.  We rolled out of Canberra with the 6fire and engines and tranny behind the pajero, and the other heavy load behind the Bogan van.






Mum and Dad shared the drive home, but Juliette's never towed a trailer (or driven the Bogeace), so I got to drive on the edge all the 10  hours home.  The hired enclosed trailed was a complete piece of crap, it leaked like a sieve, and rolled like a recalcitrant sled.  The Bogeace hated it empty on the way up, and on the way back with a load right on its limit, it handled like an angry and ungreased pig, and I had to drive all the way with one eye on the temp gauge, not using the cruise control or the Bogeace wanted to jump into 2nd at 5500 revs on the slightest uphill.  I suspect it had a dodgy bearing, but it was easier to soldier on than lose time trying to fix it.  We hit torrential rain that had us driving at 60k's with no viz, and hail, wind and fog.  Fun times.


When we got to Alan's I was shattered, and in no mood to unload properly.  So I unloaded all the goodies off the hired trailer onto the floor, then we (actually Dad) backed the tandem into the factory.  No mean feat, about 3" a side.  He's pretty good at it.


Here's Management with my new toy.  She seems to approve so far.




Next day I went back.  Alan took pity and came down to help me.  Together we loaded up most of the parts onto a spare shelf he'd spend a few hours clearing and preparing while I was off picking up the project.  Not sure why I deserve my friends largess.




The engines went on a pallet and up into storage, the glass, chrome, trim and hardtops went to upstairs safe places.


We unloaded the 6fire, and rolled it to its workspace.




Then I took the tandem back to it's owner.





Game on...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It just ain't fair!! I would love to keep falling over fun projects, and more importantly free garage/workshop space like you do Craig!!


Tell you what, you ever decide to branch out your business to the UK, specifically Scotland, you can have one of my spare rooms for as long as needed, so long you manage to work your magic at the same time ;) ;) ;)


Seriously, good catch, and best of luck with the rebuild!! Looks a good un.





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, that is a real road trip and real good haul.......  So which one of your jobs are you going to retire from so you've got time to do something with it??



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Now that the bypass is finished you have to make a conscious decision to get off the Hume at Holbrook. Did you play on the submarine?


Just looked at the pics on the PC, looks like a keeper. Two more engines to play with, I foresee more six-pot car-porn appearing in the near future, although, given the near completeion of the Bogan van, perhaps you'd like to shoehorn one of Ford's 4 litre turbo jobbies into the front of the 6Fire? :devil:

Edited by pomwah

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that a possessive hand there ?




If so... great news!


Ill be interested in the rego as a GT6 convertible or 2L Spitfire. In QLD I had to register as a spitfire. I was told I would have to have it crash tested if I called it a GT6 convertible as they never officially made them.


That bonnet looks perfect - very jealous am I. 



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to meet you all and good to see you all made it back safe. Glad I did the quick paint job on the bonnet like you asked!


You forgot to mention the tandem jockey wheel splitting in twain as we were doing the hokey-pokey loading the engines on - so then having to use a trolley jack as a jockey wheel.


Craig's right - I really was trying to get him in trouble. Think he's picked well though, Juliette took it all rather well - just looked resigned. I really expected Craig to have been beaten to a pulp when I saw him the next morning. Really was quite a large pile of parts.


Looking forward to watching the car progress - and I'll hold you to that ride for my son when it's finished. :)


Now, what to do with all that space...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a good haul :P 

I remember spending some time browsing through gt6.com many many moons ago !!

(The site looks a bit different now than it use to?)


Good luck with the project.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding GT6.com - it does look very different unfortunately. Old provider caused major issues - mostly being down all the time, and I need to rework all the old pages to get them to work on new provider. This hasn't happened for the same reason Craig now has the Spittie - time & motorvation, or rather lack of both. Hopefully I can find some of both and get it back up and running as there was some good stuff there.


Maybe once I've finished the tidy up of the storage area/workshop that started getting the parts out for Craig (bunch of stuff that needs to go on eBay or the bin) and get to the jobs on the RX7 that need to happen (remove sound deadening, lightweight battery, strut braces, etc).


Oh wait, there's the deck to rebuild, bathrooms to renovate, and a kids taxi service to run. :) Maybe next year...


Enough thread drift - have you started sorting through all your new junk valuable new spares yet Craig?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Been meaning to ask Craig, what colour exhaust will you be using on the 6Fire?

Edited by pomwah

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great story - and super pics! Are you using a film camera or just a particularly good digital one?


World's most popular camera  the good old iphone 6.


Is that a possessive hand there ?


If so... great news!



It might be, but Mrs T can't drive a manual.  She may have to learn.



Spent a fair while today measuring, marking, punching, pilot drilling, and final drilling holes.




30 of them in fact.




Nothing worth doing happens fast.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What's he up to?   Well, I'm still drilling.  I'm regularly astounded how long it takes to do things properly.




But the good news is that while I was occupied occasionally squirting oil on a drill bit, progress was being made.


I had quotes on various methods of paint/filler/surface oxidation (rust) removal, to see just what lurks below.  They ranged from stupid to ridiculous.  The most professional two quotes came to considerably more than Todd and I exchanged for the car itself.


New plan


Dave, my trusty offsider on the Bogan Van project has moved back to Melbourne after a year up north, and needs some work...


So the paint stripping begins,




and continues




Rear quarters are coming alomg...








The dash/scuttle looked good till we found some deepish pitting




And the boot lid looked good till evidence of an old and deep injury came up






That's going to need some love.


I finally finished drilling holes, and we started making stuff.


Dave welds a LOT better than me, so the welding fell to him.  It's getting there...




Another day in the factory coming up tomorrow.





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bugger - that's disappointing. Boot lid looked good as you said. Guess that's why the car was repainted...


But progress is good!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Boot looks worse in the photo than in the flesh - got the rest of the bog out of it, looks to be ok.  Seems someone stitched in a seam of replacement at some point.  I'll investigate the back and go hunting for rust, but I think it's gonna be ok.


Long long day today.


The bonnet has a new home.






The doors are off and some braces are stitched in.






The rear quarters are paint and bog free, and look pretty darn straight.  (That took 5 laps of stripper and scraping.  Oh joy.)


The body is off the chassis and resting quietly on a tarp.






And it's not quite Project Binky like, but the first end of the body's new home is finished and ready for the install.  I was too tired to assemble the other end and lift it on - that can wait till next week






More progress next week.  My back hurts.  Actually, my everything hurts.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep going at that pace and you will have it finished in no time. (& I might be able to borrow a rotisserie instead of making my own. :))


Good work.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good afternoons work.


First, $30 worth of dry ice froze the sound deadening in the rear wells, letting us scrape it out.




Then we lifted the tub onto the blue monster and got it balanced.












Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's all looking very organised and wonderful! Good work.


 I do like the rotisserie, which looks like it could handle something much heftier than a spitty tub.  Those of us from the salty, soggy island might sourly observe that you tub looks solid enough to not need the rotissserie - but you should just ignore us!


Going to look at someone's abandoned Spitty resto later this week (for no. 1 son)......  I'm hoping it's like yours!



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The rotty is seriously over engineered, but, well, um, I think my OCD is well and truly on record by now. :yes:


Having chosen not to spend a ridiculous amount :money: on blasting, when the high winds closed the drop zone today, I headed off to the factory to continue the chemical stripping.  I stopped off at the local Op shop on the way and picked up something Alan's factory has been inexplicably missing - a portable stereo.  For all of 8 bucks I got a small CD/radio, then blew another 5 bucks for a couple of Pete Murray and Hootie and the Blowfish CD's.


Tunes rockin, I set off to work.




Bubble bubble, toil and trouble...




These were a challenge.




But my OCD seemed happy.




Which may have been due to the fumes.  :kfu:




Getting to bare metal takes a few passes, I'm getting to know all the previous layers of paint.




The Bulkhead Black, for example, is over something I call  "Very Determined Not To Shift Red". :wallbash:




The underside has not just paint, but an interesting combination of not just paint, but paint overlaid with sound deadener combined with baked in road grime.  But I'm getting there.




I did find some problems to be solved.  The end cap on the driver's sill has this:




And the driver's rear fender at the base of the B pillar  has this:




Suspect I'll need to order a patch part and figure out how to fit it...  All in all though, it's pretty nice. :banana:


Forecast to be windy tomorrow.  Looks like my OCD will be fed some more.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Speedy progress indeed. The red undercoat is the same as on my GT6, so I guess it was the original factory primer. Whatever it is, it does its job of sticking to the metal very well.


Our UK brethren will laugh at your rust holes. From what I've seen, it's not officially rusty over there until a mouse can walk through without ducking.

Edited by V8 Nick

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mouse?  More like a bloody badger! (Think wombat).


Shell looks near mint to me - I mean, damn, it still had paint on the floor pans  (and floor pans to have paint on)



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The shell is pretty damn nice.


More fumy back hurtage today.


The underbody stuff




can be stripped, you just need some attitude,




The wheel arch outers ditto, 




But double the attitude,




The rear valance may need a lot of love, or a replacement panel




The Pax sill took most of my attention though.  These surface cracks need to be ground back to see which side they come from






One question for the well informed.  There's a trimstrip on both sides covering the sill seams.  I can't seem to find it in the various supplies pages.  Is it something aftermarket, or am I misgoogling for a part number?




Have a good week all,







Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This was on my car for at least two years before I sorted it, and probably several before that: 


So really, your shell looks amazing :D

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...