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Should I convert a Triumph GT6 to make an electric powered sportscar?

  • Yes! It's a fantastic idea - go do it!

    Votes: 9 40.9%
  • No! No! No! Don't you dare destroy a beautiful english classic sportscar

    Votes: 10 45.5%
  • Not bothered - its your choice and your money.

    Votes: 3 13.6%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are those that say that classic cars should be preserved and kept in an 'as original' condition, with maybe a few period upgrades permissible at a stretch.

Then there are those who say that you can upgrade a classic car with modern engines, drivetrains, braking systems and interior, but it doesn't matter because you're keeping in spirit of the original.

I've owned both in my past. The most original was a Sunbeam Alpine series 3 GT which was one of the most original Alpines still in existance. A beatiful car and much missed since I sold it six years ago.

My house is up for sale at the moment, but once we've moved I'm considering getting a classic car. However, I want it to be a classic car that I'll actually use and something interesting to boot.

What I'm thinking about is buying a Triumph GT6, and rebuilding it as a medium-high performance electric car for commuting too and from work.

Inside it would have some updates, including modern comfortable seats and a decent stereo system, and on the outside, it would be painted in a modern paint - possibly pearlescent, with wire wheels.

So... what do you think? A great idea for individual transport or a travesty and distruction of a classic english sportscar? I'd be interested to know your thoughts...
 

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Good idea - I thought many times of either putting an MGB 1.8 engine, or a modern engine/brakes/suspension into an MG Magnette.

I would have wanted to keep it looking as original as possible though, as that is the appeal to me.

I think the GT6 could be a bit heavy for electric though. A Healey Sprite/Bugeye or Midget might be OK though. Do it with a Bond Bug for a real laugh!
 

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Has to be the way to go. I'm going to see about a K Series powered Moggy Traveller from JLH in Leamington before too long, a lot like Moose here...Moose (click on 'Slow Progress' TWIN CAM 16 VALVE)) but if a K Series will fit, then so would a L Series diesel -running on Rape seed juice, and a Rover Ron chip :hyper: = Carbon neutral, road tax free, classic motoring!
 

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I've got a GT-6 that I don't drive very much (actually the last time was Christmas...), mostly because I'm really busy, but also because I don't have much use for a car as nice as it is where I live, and I haven't got a garage to keep it safe. I leave it with my dad, who loves it and drives it sparingly... Meanwhile I wait for the bus or ride a bike.

But because I am a tinkerer, and because I have always wanted to get more out of the car and have in the past made a lot of modifications, and also I have always been quite keen on electrics; I have always kept the idea in the back of my mind to rip out the engine and do an electric job on it. It would be quite a lot of fun I think.

I love Triumph, I love 60's and 70's automobiles, particularly the British makes... but they are getting on aren't they? MGB's and Spitfires and most 60's cars are not particularly useful in terms of modern driving conditions. Why not do something useful with them? Why not get their guts out and totally rebuild them. All of them. On a big scale so that it need not cost a fortune.

Get them all electric I say. Set up a company and turn every last Spitfire and GT-6 electric and with modern equipment and turn them over at a profit. Get the rusty ones sorted and back on the road. Get the ones sitting in garages out into the public view as environmental crusaders. Beautiful environmental crusaders.

These thoughts have always been in the back of my head. Further and further back lately to tell you the truth... I've work enough!
 

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I'd experiment with an old escort or something rather than hack up a GT6 to be honest

... or do the proper thing and make a GT8!

a 4.6 RV8 from a wrecked P38 would slot in? wouldnt be much heavier than the old six engine?
 

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Go for it I say. Nothing you'll do is likely to be irreversible anyway, short of setting it on fire :)
I'm sorry?? not likely to be 'irreversible'??

I think it would be fair to assume that 'converting' a GT6 to run on electric power will require some quite serious, irreversible mods, it's not like fitting uprated suspension or chucking a different pair of carbs on.

So Mike - don't ruin a proper GT6 (ie one in good condition) - they are getting rarer and rarer, and the resale value will be, TBH, absolutely zero. It's quite expensive to buy a good condition GT6, you will be throwing money away.

Of course if you start will a rotten old one that's half dead anyway, that's a different matter. But why not use a Spitfire, many more around and much cheaper to start with?
 

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I agree with that do the conversion, but do not use a Triumph!

I agree, Triumph GT6's are getting quite rare now, Why not try an MGB or something. At least with an MGB you could buy a new body shell and start from scratch and build a brand new classic car to your specs!!;)

Good luck whatever you decide to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The logic behind using a GT6 is that it has a separate chassis, which makes it simpler to work on.

I want a GT6 rather than a Spitfire because I want a coupé, and not a convertable. They're not too heavy - 850kg for a six cylinder car is not heavy - and the electric version would way about the same, so long as I went for lithium batteries.

The plan would be to buy a GT6 needing a lot of mechanical work and use that. I'd end up with an interesting car, which should also have a reasonable resale value if I wanted to sell it on afterwards. Unlike if I converted an old Escort. Where's the fun or interest in that? And what's the point in spending £8K converting a car to electric power if all you end up with is a rusty old Escort?

I've been in touch with a bod in the United States who converts Porsches. If you read this weeks Autocar, you'll see a two-page article on one of his creations. 0-62 in five seconds and a top speed of around 100mph on lead-acid batteries, which is pretty impressive.
 

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If you can achieve that kind of a performance with an electric conversion, then totally go for it! That kind of performance would certainly be in keeping with the character of a Triumph GT6.

I guess the big problem would be locating a car with a body and chassis in good enough shape to avoid all sorts of expensive structural metalwork- if the car's got a bad drivetrain, it doesn't usually bode well for the rest of the package.

What sort of range/charge times are you looking at with the lead acid pack?
 

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0-62 in five seconds and a top speed of around 100mph on lead-acid batteries, which is pretty impressive.
I must say that if you are going to do the conversion then much luck! And one other thing... Lead acid wont get you nearly the range that Lithium Ion batteries will do. I don't know how much the technology has percolated down yet, or whether you would be realistically be able to use Lithium Ion batteries...

But they're the whole reason why electric is becoming so much more appealing now than it was even 10 years ago. The technology has advanced in this area.
 

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I think that these old cars will not be allowed to carry on using their inefficient and thirsty engines, So perhaps yours is the way forward. You'll be saving a worthy classic and saving the environment!! Go for it!!:bgrin: :bgrin: :bgrin:
 
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