Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Oldest GT6

JRW 331E - Chassis No KC00002L - The Oldest Surviving GT6

Heritage holds no production records for the early build GT6's but we have research information from various other sources.

Originally built as a left-hand drive car with wire wheels and painted white 19.

John Kipping aquired KC2 in the late 1980's from it's second owner since the factory, and we got our hands on it in 2000.

It is now in dire need of restoration but still in remarkably original condition never having been welded.

There is a remarkable survival rate amongst the earliest GT6's and ongoing research shows at least half of the first 10 cars produced have survived in one form or another. KC 00001 was known to have survived into the late 80's in the local Coventry area. Around this time it appeared in the Courier in a parlous state the owner stating that he intended to restore it. This apparently never happened as later on various mechanical units from it ended up in our pile of re-conditioning core. A sad end to an important car, although it has been rumoured that a 'paperwork' rebuild is possible. So KC 2 remains the oldest intact GT6 unless you know better (Dennis Benson where are you?).

Triumph Sports Six Club International Weekend in 2000

You may be wondering why KC2 has a MKII bonnet? It also has MKII trim, and other MKII styling cues, we are now told that along with it's prototype MKII engine (experimental engine number) this is how it left the factory. It's all MKI underneath retaining it's earlier swing axle suspension, and it's original MKI bodytub. So this is how we will (eventually) restore it, it pays to hang fire on jumping into restoring these historically important motors, it's all to easy to undo factory 'original-ness' with an unsympathetic misplaced enthusiasm hasty restoration.

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