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1965 Le Mans Video - Featuring the GT6!


avivalasvegas
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According to John Thomason (and who am I to contradict him?) although the "Born/bred at Le Mans" tag was good PR and advertising, it is completely untrue!

As early as 1963, shortly after the original "Spitfire 4" had entered production, Michellotti was asked to produce a "Spitfire GT" design.   He and his team built a prototype which was essentially the GT6 we know today, with a lifting rear tailgate, obviously a necessity for a practical production car.

The group developing the Spitfire for Le Mans needed a closed version of the car for regulation and aerodynamic reasons and took a glass fibre mould off Michellotti's prototype!      They omitted the lifting tailgate, to save weight and simplify the construction and installation.

That hatchback and its weight were the reason why there never was a production Spitfire GT!   It was decided that it held back the four cylinder too much and so the GT6 was developed!

John

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If I understand correctly, you're saying they used the GT6 prototype hardtop, added a more power due to the weight increase, and you're saying road version development is not linked to the race car in the above video somehow?

It's either a race Spitfire or a race version of what became known as the GT6, so which one is it? 

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The ones in the video are racing Spitfires, as the commentator says. They were 1147cc four cylinder - the engine that was in the production Spitfire at the time but with an 8-port head and high compression, more aggressive cam, and so on. The coupe roof on those Le Mans Spitfires was fibreglass, moulded from the Spitfire GT prototype, which was being developed into the GT6 because, with a steel roof and hatchback, the 1147 engine was underpowered in road trim.

So there is definitely a connection between the road car (GT6) development and the Le Mans Spitfires, but it's the opposite way round from what the marketing department claimed in the adverts Colin posted.

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I'm sure those racing spitfires were putting out close to 100 bhp with the above modifications in those days. No way a road car would ever use that state of tune and so Triumph used a larger engine with similar power ratings and a metal roof. 


In my very humble view, those Lemans cars are spitfires as much as a GT6 is a spitfire. i.e. more power and a roof :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

yes  think  you need to ask dave pearson  (canley's)  or mark field (jigsaw)  

i think they both have.............. the same car ....always been a bit  contentious    (  I  might be wrong there )

there slots or articles around  on the demise of certain registrations 

eg 

http://www.gt6mk2.com/Articles/Clone Racer.pdf

2010 Mark brought  his  1B down to our are meeting in Hitchn and gave members a blast down the road 

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  • 2 months later...

The problems with the LeMans Spitfires is that multiple cars wore the same registration.

There was a set of cars sent to LeMans each year, some of which contained bits of the previous year's cars.

Dave Pearson has the only car that is "original" Inthink in that it has not had substantial repairs. It lived in Switzerland and then the States for many years. Another car wears its original UK registration.

Mark Field has a very authentic recreation, that wears the UK registration of one of the original cars. I has some original parts fitted to it I think.

There is a pile of bits that used to belong to a guy called Herve, that was most of one of the original cars. that was slowly being returned to its original shape, but that has been ongoing for many years now. Not sure who owns it.

There is the registration of one of the original cars on a Spitfire in the club museum. it has no parts of an original car in it.

There is a factory rally car painted to look like a LeMans car, that used to be in France.

Ther is a few spares bonnets about, and quite a few petrol tanks as well.

 

 

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I think Mark started off by getting a wheel (or a pair of wheels) and then someone pointed out they knew where some body part was ( a sill or something) and one thing led to another. I think the engine was in Australia and some parts in Germany...

A bit crazy...

 

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