Brian Tilton 1970 GT6

In early 1970 I went to work in England for a few months for a subsidiary of the company I was currently working for at the time in the states. I was fresh out of college and I needed some training on products so I was sent over to get some experience. I had a 1960 TR3 at the time and I had used that during my college years. It was a very cold car to use during our New England winters and I thought there had to be a better Triumph more suited for cold weather. My older brother told me about a GT6 model that was a hard top coupe. I figured that should be more comfortable. So I was in Southern England, in a town called Gosport. My mode of transportation while there was for awhile just the local bus services which are very good in England. But I wanted a little more flexibility so I decided to buy a new bicycle. Wouldn't you know that it would be a Triumph bicycle? One of my new English friends had an uncle that was a salesman at the local Triumph dealership so I went to visit him. I picked up a GT6 brochure and I just loved the style and it looked to be really suited for New England weather. Since I would be shipping the car back to the US, the GT6 had to be ordered for the US market. However, I was just a 20 year old kid with not enough funds to purchase a new car so I asked my parents if they could loan me the money. Amazingly they said they would. I think my mom felt bad for sending her youngest son away for 4 months. My parents wired the money to me and I soon visited the Triumph dealership to order my new GT6+. I now wish I had ordered every option available but money was tight as it always is. I finalized the paper work with the dealership and the car was now on order. It would be delivered to the dealership and it was my responsibility to get it shipped to Boston Ma. I called a shipping company and made the arrangements, if I recall it cost $167.00 to ship it. Remember this was in 1970 but that was a significant cost to me back then. I paid for below deck shipping. A few weeks later the GT6 arrived at the dealership and I was extremely happy. Interesting the car came with over 100 miles on the odometer so I asked the salesman why, it was because the cars at the time in England were driven from the factory to the dealerships using drivers instead of trucks if the miles to the dealerships were under a certain number of miles. I never drove the car on the streets of Gosport for a couple reasons, I didn't buy insurance and they drove on the wrong side of the road so I didn't take any chances. I did drive it around the dealership parking lot for fun. A few weeks later I decided to return back to New England since my car was soon going to be put on the ship. Something else I learned was that the shipping company would send a driver to get the car and drive it to the South Hampton docks so there were a few more miles that would be put on the car. The car was built in October. I returned home in November but the car didn't arrive until February. I went to the Boston port to pick up the car and when I first saw it in the warehouse the car was white!!! The car I ordered was Damson (Maroon). I got up to the car and even the windshield was white. Then I realized the car was coated with a nice layer of salt spray from the trip across the ocean on the top deck of the ship!! I took a towel and cleaned of the car as best I could and sure enough, the car was Damson. I now had to clear the car through customs, the customs agent looked throughout the car including in the spare tire compartment and behind the rear panels. He pulled out a plastic bag and asked me what it was, I said I didn't know but it turned out to be an insulation bag in the back panels for sound, but it did scare the heck out of me being a young kid. The customs agent got a good laugh out of the scare he gave me. I paid the customs fee and I was on my way out of Boston. The next thing I worried about was I was running on English license plates and I wondered how I'd explain that to any state troopers that noticed them. I didn't have any incidents during the 100 mile trip home. Two years later in 1972 I got married and went on my honeymoon it the GT6. I trip up into Canada and wouldn't you know it the muffler broke off. That was a loud trip. I just loved this car and in the mid 80's, I decided to do a body off restoration, it took a couple years. In 1992 my oldest son used the car for his senior prom vehicle. His date at the time thought that was cool. I had to teach my son how to drive the car just a couple days before the prom. The GT6 was last on the road in 1995. In late 90's I purchased a TR250 and did a full body off restoration on that so the GT was neglected until 2013 when I decided to do another body off restoration. I'm well into that project now and hope to be finished by the end of 2015. So I've kept my car for the past 45 years and I also have the same wife.