The Car that Victoria Built
It was September of 2010 and after many months of looking for a Spitfire project, both online and in person, I had convinced myself that the perfect car was not to be found. It seemed that each car that I looked at had been owned by some sort of automobile masochist. Parts missing, parts destroyed, wiring “repaired”, interiors baked into a fine crust, paint fading or wearing off, you get the idea. Things were not looking good when my 16 year old some presented yet another option he had discovered online. The ad was titled “Red Triumph roadster, needs battery.” Well how bad could it be? A battery, really? The treasure hunter in me couldn’t pass this potential gem up, so I made the call, and a day later we embarked on the 2 hour drive to see it. We arrived and met the owner who told me the story of this car and how it was the last car that he was selling an how it had been a stable mate to 5 other spitfires of various years and conditions. He spoke of his “collection” as if each car had been pebble beach material and a simple waxing could cause a blue ribbon to appear on the dash. Sadly the car in front of me needed more than a wax. It was a very tired, very faded red 1976 Spitfire that had a rather aggressive case of tin worms. As we were talking it seemed to be staring at me and frowning a bit with its crooked bumper. What the car did have was good patina on the inside, it had an all original interior, complete with the Leyland am/fm radio, a perfect dash fascia and dash pad. All the instruments were there and accounted for. The electrics were untouched and appeared correct, in fact it was all really hard to believe so we came to terms, and I bought the car. The months that followed were spent removing just about every nut and bolt and ordering everything from the big stuff like floor pans and rocker panels, down to carb needles and various seals and grommets. We thank Victoria British for being there with consistent delivery, excellent packing and a very complete catalogue. Without Victoria B as a resource this project would have unquestionably take far longer. I taught my son to drive a stick in this car and how to maintain it. The car won its first blue ribbon this past summer and I believe it was more than just the new battery that made this happen, thanks again Victoria British for helping to keep another classic on the road and to help inspire the next generation!