Cody Crowley & his '69 Triumph

My love affair with Triumph, and more specifically the Spitfire, began way back when I was in 6th grade. I picked up a book covering Triumph’s sports cars, and was immediately drawn to one of Coventry’s greatest cars (incidentally, I still own that book.) A few months later, at my Boy Scout meeting, one of scoutmasters drove up in a yellow 1964 Mk. 1 Spitfire. What a coincidence, he was a fan too! He drove me home in it, and I was smitten. I had to have a Spitfire someday. Fast forward to the winter of 2010, aged 19 and with spare time after college course and on weekends, I decided to join the local Triumph club, just to meet enthusiasts and find out about Triumphs in general. My goal was to buy a Spitfire as a daily driver on my 21st birthday. After numerous meetings, even testing a few cars, my parents agreed to let me buy my dream car with some money I had saved up. It was a dream come true, a year early! Sure enough, after looking at three cars in various conditions, finally settling on a 1969 Mk. 3 in British Racing green. I went that week to look at it, and as the seller pulled the car cover off I knew this was my car! The paint was great, the chrome was brilliant, and the car spoke to me. It even had an interesting history, as it was owned by a big wheel at Lockheed Aircraft in Van Nuys, CA, one of the designers of the C-130 and other famous aircraft. He nicknamed the car “Roller Skate,” a name I’ve kept. I bought it on the spot, and brought it home the next day. My club proceeded to fix little things, like leaking brake cylinders, and a faulty master cylinder. Unfortunately, I found out later that my car suffered from the infamous worn thrust washers and rebuild was on the horizon. I was initially devastated. However, friends and family told me to stick to my guns, and with a loan from my parents, I recently undertook a full engine rebuild with performance parts and cleaned-up driveline. I also put in a new convertible top (it was originally missing), and refinished the dashboard and installed new instruments and a radio. It now runs as good as it looks. Granted, it might not be as fast and as roomy as my friend’s TRs (or my other favorite dream Triumph, the Stag), but everyone loves the looks of it and I love it too. I also love the go-kart handling and the throaty burble from the exhaust. It is a cheerful little car, and matches my demeanor. As one of the few young enthusiasts out there, I will do my best to preserve my car nd encourage other young people to do the same. These cars are brilliant, and I love my “Roller Skate.” I’ll never sell it!