By late 1967, sports and GT coupé fans here in New Zealand were eagerly awaiting sightings or considering purchase of some of the 1966–67 new models from Britain and Europe. We had read about them in Motorman and seen the road reports in UK Autocar and Motor magazines as well as in Wheels and Modern Motor from Australia. Some of the new cars sounded rather enticing while others seemed more like facelifts, but even some of the latter models looked like to offer real improvements. So what was new out of Britain?

The MG Midget, a genuine entry-level sports car

Triumph and BMC

Triumph had clearly been putting some effort into upgrading their range, including exciting news of the new GT6, a fastback coupé version of the Spitfire. The new car looked good, and was fitted with a lightly tuned 70kW 2-litre six-cylinder motor from the 2000 saloon; these were quick little cars. However, there was a sting in the tail.

Having not sorted out the car’s very basic swing-axle rear suspension, weight distribution was quite front-heavy, so with the extra power and the unmodified rear-end handling could be tricky. Experienced drivers could cope, but care was always needed as initial understeer could turn quickly to lift-off oversteer. The same caveat applied to the Spitfire, though it was less heavy in the front, and even to some extent to the Herald family saloon, while care was definitely needed when it came to the six-cylinder Vitesse.

Porsche 912, rear-engined fun for serious drivers


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