1974 Triumph Spitfire
The Triumph Spitfire was originally devised by Standard-Triumph to compete in the small sports car market that had opened up with the introduction of the Austin-Healey Sprite. The Sprite had used the basic drive train of the Austin A30/A35 in a light body to make up a budget sports car; Triumph's idea was to use the mechanicals from their small saloon, the Herald, to underpin the new project, this made the vehicle a classic parts bin special. Triumph had one advantage, however; where the Austin A30 range was of unitary construction, the Herald featured a separate chassis. It was Triumph's intention to cut that chassis down and give it a sports body, saving the costs of developing a completely new chassis-body unit.
For consignment, a bit of British panache, wind in your hair, gritty but comfortable, basic but complex Triumph Spitfire sports car. British Leyland was struggling with the US emissions but worked their way through it by making a beautiful curved and lightweight sports car that had enough pep to satisfy the beginner enthusiast on a budget and gain entry into the sports car realm.
With a large sweeping bonnet which lifts from the windshield forward to reveal all the inner workings, to the re-designed rear with its flat vertical surface that allows the rear lighting to nestle into the thin back portion of this car, white paint drapes the steel panels. Chrome and Brite work is in fine condition, along with windows which are all operational via a manual crank (just the basics here boys). Paint appears in good condition and could benefit from a thorough buffing to restore its original luster. Standard steel wheels, which are original to this car, are on all 4 corners. Convertible top in vinyl is in good condition with a clear window in back.
Black vinyl buckets, black carpeting, and black knee pads on dash upright make the interior of this car tight, but comfortable. A wood dash in good condition houses numerous gauges and buttons to monitor and operate this car. A Triumph logo gear shift topper, and the original steering wheel slightly padded, are present and accounted for. Black carpet in good condition covers all the floor surfaces, and the rear barrier area between the seats, and the front portion of the trunk. A tonneau cover in black with white piping, covers the top when in the down position.
Flipping the front end of the car forward reveals the engine compartment, front suspension and electrics courtesy of LUCAS (AKA the prince of darkness to the Triumph owner...Tongue in Cheek!) The original block 1500CC engine has the finicky single Stromburg breather replaced by a Weber Carb. A 4-speed manual that shifts smoothly is attached to the rear of the 1500CC 4 popper.
Shades of 1974 with a solid underpinning, an aftermarket dual exhaust which has this car sounding much like a TR6, and rust free floorpans, rockers, and really clean fender tubs...still white.
As a car just like this one got me through my high school years, commuting back and forth to school, and driving around wasting sub 50 cent a gallon gas, this car brings back great memories. It drives smoothly, probably needs the Weber adjusted, and only allows me to access it with the top down (I guess I was more nimble in High School!). Mechanicals are solid, electrics are finicky, performance is a 1500CC engine, and handling is on rails, a nice example with some work done to keep it mostly original and give it some extra British Boot in the rear end.