Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
6/6/18 11:17 a.m.

Lead photo by Tom Suddard, all other photography as credited

The racing world of the early ’70s was a lot different from today’s. IMSA was in its infancy, NASCAR was still a Southern thing, and SCCA road racing was all the rage, drawing factory-backed efforts to both the professional and amateur ra…

Read the rest of the story

Torqued New Reader
4/12/21 7:08 p.m.

The sidebar mentions the reputation for evil handling of the GT6 in street trim.  A little while back I picked up a pair of GT6's as projects because I so like the style of the car.  Niether is drivable at this time.  I would really like to know just what was done to these two in this article to make them handle so nicely.  Did they still have the swing axel rear suspension?  I have also heard that the steering rack was moved from it's position in the Spitfire version to accomodate the longer inline-6 motor of the GT6 and so the Ackerman angle in the steering works backwards - the outside wheel turning more than the inside one.  Is this true?  Did they do anything to correct that?

macautr2 New Reader
4/13/21 1:03 a.m.

Kas Kastner was a true legend and a natural genius in inquisitive engineering, he will be sorely missed. I thought I might add my Macau TR2 which has been battling racetracks since the 70's....and nearly beat Derek Bell on a couple of occassions just after his Le Mans Wins in beginning of the 80's..

wspohn SuperDork
4/13/21 11:25 a.m.

Very cool picture!

Many people are unaware that Triumph offered a stock rear wheel well cover on steel wheeled early cars (TR2) - I think very, very few were ever actually sold.  That car has figured out how to do that on a wire wheel car!

RadBarchetta New Reader
9/1/21 8:19 a.m.

In reply to Torqued :

GT6 owner here... The GT6, like the Spitfire, got that reputation because of the swing axle used in the early models. Lots of good info on why that is here:


That problem was largely solved with the Rotoflex suspension used in the GT6 Mk2 (or GT6+ in the US) and the swing-spring in later Spitfires and GT6 Mk3. I say "largely" because they still use that transverse leaf spring and have some intersting handling characteristics of their own. But they do eliminate the most dangerous aspect of the swing axle. You can find information on what Kastner did to improve handling in the widely available Competition Handbook, and also in the books sold by Kas himself (now Kas's estate, sadly).



The only downside to those books is that most of the part numbers listed in them, like the one for the replacement leaf spring, are no longer available and the specs to recreate one may be lost to history. Although it wouldn't surprise me if some GT6 race driver out there knows the secret sauce...

murphmi New Reader
4/16/22 6:42 p.m.

I wanted to race SCCA sooo bad in the early 70s, and showed up to a regional race at Bridgehampton one weekend to find out how to do it. Turned out the SCCA had cancelled their weekend, and EMRA, a smaller regional club had taken over the track. They were incredibly welcoming, totally relaxed, answered all my questions, and put me to work as a corner worker. 

I had heard about Kastner's manuals, and ordered the one for the Spitfire from my Triumph dealer's parts department, and set about tearing apart my street Spitfire and doing every modification I could afford. I had a glorious eight or nine years racing, and the car was relatively competitive and very reliable. It's still in the back of the garage, in case I want to try vintage racing (now that I'm vintage myself!). 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
4/21/22 9:29 a.m.

I was lucky enough to be the driver for this story. Cars were fun and this is an amazing track.

Our Preferred Partners