Triumph Spitfire Stories
It was May of 2005 when my normal freeway path to work was closed by construction and I was forced to choose a slower surface road route.
Except for its first couple of years, the car has been somewhere in the family. Like many classics, it spent part of its life garaged in non-working condition. In 2005, my wife's uncle obtained the car from his brother-in-law in Washington State (where it rode out the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980), transported the car to Missouri and proceeded to get it back in working condition.
I started my automotive career working on exotic cars and always liked British cars. I’m 62 now and my Harley riding days are behind me but not my desire to have my hair in the wind.
Owned several Triumph street and SCCA race cars back in the 1970's. Had not had one since then. Since I'm now in my late '70's I had the urge to relive the fun old days.
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.
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.
When we first moved to the US my hope was to purchase one of my favourite British cars that I had grown up watching drive by living in Cumbria and Edinburgh
Purchased my Spitfire in England in 1976 and shipped it to Chicago USA.
First Car and original condition!
Currently using the Sportscar to travel from Home to the Tennis Courts.
Fourth owner of my 1977 Spitfire. all original. no rust.
I already owned a MGB so I wasn’t really looking for another LBC sports car. Though a friend, who was also a colleague and lived in Florida was, I live in New York and was looking for a compact pickup truck. Since we were using “sub-compact” as one of the search criteria every time we were reviewing ads on the internet this green Spitfire would come up in the listing. So, on one of these occasions we decided to look at the ad for the Spitfire. There were a few issues with it. First the pictures didn’t seem to show a passenger seat. Next the ad was for the drive train, to be tested in the car and then removed for the sale. My friend said if he lived in New York he would be looking at the car that weekend.
Had triumphs my whole life- I’ve had a TR3,TR4,TR4A a 500 twin bike and a 650 tiger. This time I bought this spitfire for my son, he ran it for 5 yrs and lost interested in it ( shocking) during the same time period I retired and moved to Md. bringing the spitfire with me and into the garage, where it sat for 5 yrs. after a discussion with the wife I decided to begin restoration, the car is about 80% complete.
One day, while browsing through Craigslist, I saw a 1978 Spitfire for sale at a fair price. I was selling my 1997 Nissan pick-up and was on the hunt for another LBC (I own a 1971 MGB Roadster).
Over the years, we have replaced the gas tank and fuel lines, leaf spring, rear shocks, alternator, brake master cylinder, dash pot diaphragm and O-rings and performed other general maintenance. Nothing too significant, as a lot of the difficult restoration work had already been done.
There hasn’t been a part of the car that I haven’t had in parts, but it has been a tremendous amount of fun. Cruising down a winding road, clicking the overdrive switch while feeling the breeze has been a great experience. Being involved with the local club has led to many adventures and great experiences.
Spitfire in Tokyo, Japan. I bought this car 40 years ago.
I bought this Spitfire in 2008. It was on a Craigslist ad in the San Antonio section, yet was located 15 minutes from my home in Austin. Better yet, I was in Morgan Hill, CA for a week at Specialized Bicycle Co HQ for training.
I had the same car in 1977 while in high school. Found this one 4 years ago, 3 miles from where I grew up. It was baby blue when I bought it, had it painted British racing green. Sometimes I just sit in it and smile.
I bought this as a basket case, the story was it was running and real nice, one brother owned it and the other brother, while the owner was in boot camp, brother 2 "borrowed it" and wrecked it for brother 1.
Had a 1969 try and spitfire in the 70's. Always missed it so, recently I bought a 1974 Triumph Spitfire. Had a frame off restoration but being a Spitfire always need something fixed, keeps me busy during my retirement. Really enjoy the car.
Once we got to his house, this friend opened his garage to reveal a tiny car (or mostly a car, there were many pieces strewn across the garage floor). He said, “You’ve got two weeks until you start your job. If you can put this back together before then, it’s yours for the summer.”
We bought our 1978 Spitfire in Little Rock in 2006. It was a bit scruffy, needed a new top, tires, interior and some engine work, but the body was really pristine. She was priced fair so I sent her home on a car carrier and started the "reinCARnation."
A gentleman got out and was looking at my car. He informed me that his first Triumph was a 1964. I told him I would trade it for his Mercedes. He smiled and said, "I don't think so."
My first car when I was 16 years old was a 1976 MGB. Now that I am in my late 30s, I wanted that “fun” car again. But maybe this time with less electrical problems. I searched and searched. Finally, I came across a blue 1973 Spitfire, located in what was my husband’s college town in Delaware.
When people ask me about my car, I generally tell them it’s the most fun you will ever have at 30mph. If you're reading this and thinking about buying a Spitfire, do it.
We bought the car in 1997, intending to use it as a donor for another Spitfire restoration. It appeared to be in better shape than the car we were restoring at the time. My wife heard me say something about “his and her Spitfires,” so we kept this one complete.
When I was a kid in the early 70’s, my aunt had a Triumph TR3. I would sit in it and pretend to drive every time my family went for a visit. I thought it was the coolest car ever. Flash forward about 35 or 40 years. I had restored a tractor and a motorcycle and wanted to tackle a car. That TR3 instantly came to mind. As I started looking for one though, I found that
I got the opportunity to purchase a work in progress. The Triumph was totally taken apart, so it was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle with many of the pieces missing.
I worked for four years as an English teacher in Germany. When I was getting ready to make a move back to the States, I found out I could ship one car back. A friend of mine suggested I bring back a classic car, something cool.
My brother and I built this car all from parts from salvage yards. We started with a bare body tub and went from there.
I remember begging my older brother to take me up a mountain, so we could turn off the car and coast back down. I remember sleeping behind the back seat when my brother was stuck babysitting and also had a date. I remember the smell, and feeling like I was flying.