Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
7/1/11 10:58 a.m.

A strong foundation is vital for just about anything, from a home to a relationship to a vintage race car. Our Triumph GT6+—the 1969 SCCA national champion winner campaigned by the legendary Group 44 Inc.—now had a revitalized body and fresh coat of paint. Next we needed to redo the entire chassis and suspension. While this would be a demanding ground-up restoration, we did have a few things working in our favor. For one, the GT6+ is not a unibody car. Like the open-topped Spitfire and the earlier GT6, the GT6+ has a separate frame that is simply bolted to the body. Undo a dozen or so bolts, disconnect the brake lines and steering linkage, and you can simply lift the body from the chassis.

Also helping our crusade was the fact that our body and frame were both relatively solid. Yes, we had a lot of cleaning and restoration ahead of us, but we wouldn’t be forced to recreate sections of the car that had rusted away.

If the car had been rusty, we would have taken an additional step: Brace the body before separating it from the chassis. This would have ensured that the mounting holes lined up after all of the restoration work was finished.

Once we lifted the body from the chassis, we stripped all four suspension corners. Our policy is to keep subassemblies intact for as long as possible, as this saves space in the shop and aids reassembly. Although GT6s are simple cars that we’ve had a lot of experience with, we followed our usual plan with this project. There was a method to our demolition work, too. We lubricated all fasteners before undoing them. We also took plenty of photos; when the time comes to reassemble the car, we’ll have plenty of information on how things go together.

We even counted the number of alignment shims used at each end of the car. We plan to do a real alignment later on, but this will give us a good starting point when we reassemble the car.

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