Owen DeReus 1977 Spitfire

Two or three months before I turned 16, My dad and I had been surfing all over the Internet, looking for a classic sports car to work on together as a project vehicle. I had found a few Pontiac Fieros, but none of which really seemed like the right car to buy. Then one night, my dad stumbled across a Kijiji listing for a blue 1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500. Both of us agreed to go look at the car, which was about half an hour from our house.
The next day, July 18, 2017, we drove to Paris, Ontario to look at the car. The car was in fair condition (according to our standards), but needed a good deal of work. The blue paint on the car had some oxidization on it, mostly on the hood, the carpet was partially missing and covered in mold, and the seats were torn. However, under the hood sat two twin racing carburetors mounted to a newly rebuilt engine.
After discussing what the car had and needed, we decided to purchase the vehicle for $3,300 (£1,947). We headed back to Norwich, where we picked up our local mechanic to drive the car home for us. The first words out of the hyper mechanic’s mouth were “Oh look, it’s a James Bond car!” After taking it around the block for a test drive, scaring a women crossing the street, and finding the rear view mirror underneath the seat, we began our journey home.
Immediately after driving the car for a few minutes, we knew that the car’s wiring had severe problems. For example, the radio would turn off when the wipers were turned on! After a few weeks passed, we gave the car to our mechanic, who rewired the entire car, and put together a list for us of what needed to be fixed. In September I turned 16, and my dad and I drove around our small town, making it known to the locals of our recent purchase. We soon became known as “the guys with the blue car”, became well-known at the NAPA parts store.
As soon as the cold weather approached, we began taking the interior out, replacing the fuel sender, and installing a general tune-up kit, which consisted of spark plugs, plug cables, a distributer, and a coil. Together, we installed the black carpet and hounds tooth beige seats. The fuel sender unit proved to be harder than we expected, with gasoline gushing from the opening in the tank, and both of us refusing to look at the installation instructions (must be a guy-thing). After I installed the tune-up kit, the car sounded like it just came out of the factory!
The Spitfire’s real test of strength and reliability came one hot summer day of the next year, where my dad and one of his employees took the car to a destination 3 hours away, most of which on a major highway. For the car to go 100km/h (60mph) required the engine to work at 3500 rpm, but only used 15 litres of fuel! On that particular day, it just happened to be one of the hottest days of summer; but somehow, the temperature gage in the Spitfire never went past the “normal” mark. After this voyage, we completely felt that we had made the right purchasing decision, despite the large amount of money we had spent on parts. 
On May 30, 2018, I went for my G2 driver’s license, which enabled me to drive by myself, without an accompanying adult. It was a beautiful day, so I drove the car to school for the afternoon portion of the day. Within 5 minutes of parking the car, I received my first “Nice wheels!” comment from a lady gardening near the school, and also a humorous comment from a 25-year-old teacher calling it “The ultimate chick magnet”.

Later, I received a dash from one of my friends, who also bought a Spitfire after he had seen ours. The dash was not new, but in very good condition, and certainly better than our cracked and deteriorating dash. After installing the dash, the interior of the car looked almost perfect. Any professional restoration specialist will point out many flaws, but for two “backyard mechanics”, we felt that we had done a good job. The paint on the car, had many small chips in it, and due to our limited amount of money we were permitted to spend on the car, we bought a can of touch-up paint, and fixed the damaged areas. Although the car does not look restored up close, it certainly looks great from 50 or so feet away, which we figured was good enough.
The Spitfire will probably never see an “off-the-frame restoration”, but to my dad and I, the car is perfect. The best moments of summer that I had, included that blue British sports car, and a scenic county road. Although my dad has other “dream cars” in mind, the Spit-Flyer is probably the most fun I will ever have in any car. Most people have their dream car in mind when they look for a vehicle to buy, but in my case, the Triumph Spitfire 1500 became my dream car after the countless hours driving and fixing the car.