Debra Van Der Lee 1976 Spitfire 1500

"SPITFIRE SERENDIPITY"
I grew up in a small town called Teulon, which is north of Winnipeg . I learned to drive standard in an old Ford Truck in the fields of my friend’s farm. Once I graduated I moved to Winnipeg to attend College and work and in the spring of 1977, I became the proud owner of a brand new beautiful blue 1976 Triumph Spitfire. 
In January 1979, the company I was working for transferred me to Calgary . There was pretty well no way was I going to drive my Spitfire across the prairies in the dead of winter, so I had to make the decision to get a more suitable car for the journey. It was a sad day when I traded my Spitfire in for a new Honda Civic Hatchback at a dealership near Assiniboine Park.
Off I went to Calgary to start a new life and a few years later I met my husband. We eventually settled in British Columbia in 1990. In the summer of 1997 our family made a trip to Manitoba to visit my mother in Teulon and once back in Winnipeg before our flight home, we had planned to visit my husband’s Aunt and Uncle who had a lovely home on the Assiniboine River. We had met many times over the years but had never visited them at their home. 
When we arrived for our visit, to my surprise, a beautiful Blue Spitfire sat on the driveway. I had no idea Uncle John owned a Spitfire. Well, of course I had to reminisce and tell him all about my Spitfire. After about 20 minutes of talking and comparing notes about the year, color, etc., Uncle John asked me what I had done with my car. When I told him I had traded it in at Honda Dealership just down the road on Portage Avenue in 1979 , he perked up and asked me what my Maiden name was. He went off and returned with his Passport Service Card for his Spitfire and presented it to me and announced, “This is your car!” And there it was… my name printed on the front of the cover. 
I was absolutely shocked and stunned. What is the chance! Half a million people in Winnipeg, and the one person who buys my Spitfire, will be related to me in the future. Really cool to make this connection almost 20 years later. It’s the craziest story! It was so amazing to see my car again and take it for a spin. Uncle John loved driving and tinkering around with that car. And his sons loved driving it too, so there didn’t seem to be a chance I would own it again. I eventually forgot about my Spitfire.
Fast forward a couple of years later. Christmas 1999, I opened my last present from my husband. I ripped open the paper and stared at a blue plastic folder with a British Leyland Logo on it. I opened it and there were a set of car keys. I was dumbfounded. What is going on? He says…. “Go look on the driveway”. Oh my God! What! And there it was ……. my beautiful blue Spitfire. That was the best Day! My husband earned a lot of brownie points that day for sure.
My Spitfire will never leave me again. Everything is original and it’s in amazing shape. I did get the clutch replaced a couple of years ago and some other work to make sure it’s safe to drive. I did get Collector plates in 2002 and I do hope to do some restoration work in the future. I live in downtown Vancouver now and I love to drive around town with the top down on beautiful sunny day, especially cruising up and down Beach Avenue. 
And that is the crazy story of my Spitfire and how it came back to me. Cheers!