Collected from Various Sources
1962-1964, “Spitfire 4″
1965-1966, “Spitfire 4 Mk2″
1967-1970, “Spitfire Mk3″
1971-1972, “Spitfire Mk.IV”
1973-1974, “Spitfire 1500″
1975-1980, “Spitfire 1500″
Sponsored by the Texas Triumph Register , a VTR Chapter
Triumph produced the fun and affordable Spitfire for 18 years, during which time over 314,000 were built. Launched in October 1962, the Spitfire featured sleek styling by famed Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti. As the ad at left says, “…nothing looks like the Spitfire…” The car was an instant hit.
A 1970 design “facelift” by Michelotti freshened the car’s look for the new decade, and accompanying chassis and suspension tweaks improved handling. A larger 1500cc engine followed shortly thereafter.
Spitfire production ended in August 1980 as the car fell victim to short-sighted management at British Leyland, U.S. safety and emissions regulations, and an unfavorable dollar/ pound exchange rate.
During the Spitfire’s 18-year history, Triumph promoted the little roadster’s virtues in the consumer press with colorful ads aimed primarily at youthful buyers. A few of those ads are reproduced here. This is our tribute to the Spitfire – 35 years young in 1997.
1963 “…if you go for girls who go for swinging cars…”
1967 “Let others change for the better. We change for the best.”
1970 “Triumph Spitfire Mk III – Veteran of many an encounter.”
1972 ”They don’t call us Triumph for nothing.”
1973 “…more traction, more stability, and more getaway power.”
1977 “…still around while so many convertibles are not.”
1978 “A classic example of the survival of the fittest.”
1979 “…it seems that Spitfire drivers naturally have more fun.”
Scott Davis | (Illinois)
Eric A.J. Nooter | (Amsterdam, Noord-Holland)
Mike Japp | (Pensacola, FL)
Eric Kieboom | (The Netherlands)
Fred Olson | (Minneapolis, MN)
Paul Tegler | (Millersville, MD)
Dave West | (San Jose, CA)
If you would like your page added to this listing, please contact the webmaster.
In addition to the items listed in the general Triumph Buyers Guide , there are a number of specific items of interest on the Spitfire.
Parts availability for the Spitfire is excellent, with a number of major suppliers providing most parts for the Spitfire, ranging from tune up components and interior kits to most body panels.
There are two stages in checking the quality of a potential Spitfire purchase. Make a list of all the areas you intend to inspect and stick to the list.
While standing about 10 feet away, check each side of the car for the alignment of the doors. Poor door alignment could indicate a bad frame or rusted rocker panels. Check the front and back for “lean” or suspension/chassis defects. Try bouncing the corners to check the shocks.
The prices given below are determined by the author’s experience, and are not necessarily indicative of prices in your area.
Restored – 100% as new, 95 points min concourse
Excellent – mostly restored or superb original
Amateur partly restored, or very good original
Good, complete, runs and drives well
Fair, drivable, needs minor repairs, but complete
Poor, not too incomplete, not badly rusted/damaged
Poor, rough, incomplete, damaged, or badly rusted
Remember, these are values based on a normal (non duress) situation. If you are trying to sell a Spitfire (or any collector car for that matter) in a hurry (i.e. divorce settlements, need immediate cash to close on the new house, etc.) then prices can be lower, especially in winter months in the northern states. Price valuations from appraiser’s are usually given to estimate the cost of replacement.
by Bob Sykes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wondering what carburetors can be fitted to a Spitfire? The four
most often used are:
There are many variations of each type of carb produced.
American market Spitfires. Not the best “performance”
choice. Many of the subassemblies are not adjustable or
rebuildable. Lots of attached hoses and fittings. Early ZS carbs were
manual choke. Later ones used a water heated auto-choke. Also shown
here is the giant air filter / thermostatic air control
favourite. Elegant in their simplicity, they are easily rebuilt and
tuned. Shown are the “stubby dashpot” HS4s. They have
been converted to non-waxstat jets. K&N chrome air filters make
a nice finishing touch.
choice. Being a down-flow carb, it adds a ‘merican (two-barrel
progressive) touch to your LBC. Set it and forget it, virtually
shown here, but duals can be fitted permitting each cylinder to be
tuned individually. Can be tuned for a wide range of operating
parameters but tuning requires parts (jets, chokes, emulsion tubes
etc). This can get expensive. To realize to full power potential of
this carb, it should be fitted in conjunction with other engine
mods. (free flow exhaust, up-rated cam grind etc.)