Triumph Spitfire Reviews

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Triumph Spitfire
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Latest Reviews

“1978 Triumph Spitfire”

★★★★★

written by SteveKennedy on 13/05/2014

I have had this 1978 Spitfire for 12 years now and it still delivers exemplary performance and enjoyment. granted, it is modified with a Weber carburettor, an exhaust header, higher compression pistons and a "cam". Performance wise, it has probably exceeded European models of the same type. It is also fitted with rear air charged dampers. This car is a blast to drive and has a styling that puts Porsche to shame. No rust, no Winters and plenty of memories. If you don't own one, get one - they are going to get rare as anyone in their right mind that already has one, isn't going to sell it. You will not regret it. Despite other reviews, this car has amazing handling and roadability and can turn almost in its own length. Had a '72 and this one will keep me smiling! Steve K. Tottenham, ON.

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“Oe of the best cars”

★★★★☆

written by articlewizards on 29/08/2013

One of the finest cars I’ve had the experience of owning. 10/10 for usability and running costs aren’t too bad..

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“Not A Restoration Project.”

★★★★★

written by calibrazxr750 on 13/05/2012

These were the words that rang clearest in my head at the time of buying. Long story short, I wanted a Spitfire, couldn't afford one but managed to buy a cheap MGB GT and restored that. Then sold it for enough money to buy a decent Spitfire. I found my current labour of love, a 1980 1500 model, as a classified ad on ebay. The pictures looked good, the description was hopefull and the price, agreed on at £1350, seemed reasonable. I live in Germany, (forces and all that) so the sale was negotiated over the phone, sight unseen. The seller was only 25 miles from my mothers house and he agreed to deliver the car there, (for a small fee). I then drove over from Germany to collect the car. First impressions were good, but then I opened the door and started the car up. The interior was looking very sad for itself and the engine was running on only two cylinders. Further more, the hardtop, in which the seller had placed so much stock, wasn't properly secured due to a lack of bolts for the front. Eventually, myself and my mate got the engine running reasonably, took the hardtop off and put the soft top, (which we found in the boot), back on. We also discovered that the soft top was in a terrible conditition, but it would have to do. Already the parts list was building up and those words "Not a Restoration Project" were starting to look optimistic. The front left brake was sticking badly, the engine had to be revved to get it to produce any real and it was spewing oil out of the top of the engine through the filler cap and water out the bottom through the water pump. But, it did run and it did drive pretty well, so after sorting the brakes and a number of smaller issues, we decided to give the return trip, about 550 miles, a bash. Somehow, the little girl spluttered, coughed and bled (both water and oil) all the way back to her new home in the heart of the Fatherland. Over the next five months, a steady stream of both new and second hand parts flowed into the workshop, (or large garage), and at the end of April the complete and restored little car rolled out into the spring sunshine. It still requires some odd jobs here and there, but it is essentially finished and I have already driven her on the road a number of times. The crux of this is the review and the purpose of the preceding story is to illustrate the depth of knowledge this review was written with and not simply that I just bought a very good car and then drove it about, owning a Spitfire is about so much more. As many other reviews have alluded to, it is incredibly easy to work on, and I am by no means a great mechanic, just someone who has learned to fix their own cars over the years. A rusty bolt just shear off? No problem, buy a new one from a DIY store. Need parts? There are suppliers of both new and second hand parts in abundance and the majority of the parts are amazingly cheap. Insurance is remarkably cheap too, £10 a month TPFT. So, Spitfires are easy to fix, cheap to fix and cheap to run, and we haven't got to the best bit, they are absolutely brilliant to drive. Front engine, rear wheel drive, like a proper sports car should be, light and nimble and surprisingly comfortable. It gets a lot of admiring looks as well and with the twin exhausts and open weber carb that a previous owner has fitted, it sounds amazing as well. To be honest, apart from constantly having to fiddle with it to keep it all in good working order, (which some people would regard as a bonus), I cannot find anything to say against it. You could spend thousands on a second hand MX-5, or an MR2 or even a Fiat Barchetta, but nobody would give a car like that a second glance, but a Spitfire, everyone wants to look and they all seem to love it as much as I do.

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Guest's Response to calibrazxr750's Review

Written on: 10/06/2012

This is a very informative review - it makes great reading. I too am in the forces, about to move to Germany, and have been looking for either a spitfire or GT6 before I move. Did you have any difficulty importing the car, and getting it BFG 'legal' so to speak? I have a plethora of other questions that I won't bore you with here - but I'd be grateful if you could spare the time to get in touch.

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Calibrazxr750's Response to calibrazxr750's Review

Written on: 13/06/2012

To be honest, BFG wasn't an issue. You will need new headlights obviously, but they are very cheap, (compared to a modern car) about 25-30 quid each, and as for importing the car, there are no problems as it is not viewed as being imported. The Army has its own rules and regulations, but they are mainly in line with UK regs. Once the car has passed its BFG test, you fill out some forms and the Army takes care of the rest. Insurance can be a hassle sometimes, as the Army wants you to use the companies it recommends, leading to higher rates than the UK, but for a classic it is usually okay. Once you have the car over here, you get 45 days to get it registered, but generally most of the work is done for you once you have the BFG out of the way.

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“Spitfire in South Africa”

★★★★☆

written by TomSmales on 06/05/2012

I went to Manchester University in the 1960's and was always really jealous of a fellow student who had a new Spitfire bought by his well off parents whilst I travelled on the buses. So 40 years later I at last bought a MK1 Spitfire 4 here in South Africa, apparantly in the 1960's the kits were imported from UK and assembled in Durban. I have never had a car so easy to work on, and the climate here is perfect for an open top car, I drive it for the sheer fun and it is amazing how many other cars hoot, wave and even take photographs. I would advise that any owner should have an electrical/mechanical bent as for example, the original wiring is a nightmare, and one of my first jobs was to strip out every piece of cable and install a loom retrieved from a scrap yard from some more modern car. This is a car you want to work on, add a few gauges, customise the interior, so if you have the time, inclination and enthusiasm, then this is the one to go for.

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“ ”

★★★★★

written by on 01/04/2011


This may just be the very best entry level classic to restore with
curvy beautiful lines in the world, period. I never lost amy interest in this car and it rates very high on the fun factor even higher on attention.

These cars are still bargains but they need some attention as they are well over thirty years old now.

Now I am modifying my car with many PRI Race parts and a complete down
to the metal redo on paint and the body.

The result will be a car that will outperform all originals by far
and outlast them as well. So, my investment say in the first 5 years
will not make much sense valuewise down the road it can easily go into
the black, while I enjoy it. Down the road it will age gracefully and most likely will be sought out as an electrical conversion project.
Now that is an not so nice thought :)

Resto mods are not popular outside the U.S.. though they are on fire here
in the U.S. and that I believe will be more and more seen in other countries. Original is awesome and it is original only once. A very
thought out resto mod can be absolutely stunning.

Many resto mods outsell originals in Barret Jackson's auctions.
Jay Leno is a strong believer in them and does this to many of his
cars, not all.

It is about tastefully and very thoughfully improving characteristics of a car iconic enough to be called a Sports Car that will be restored by many and live on and be fondly remembered.

I can't say I would have put any more time or money into any other car without spending a monument amount of money to get an end result to compare with.

Modern cars do everything better than classics outside of character and most likely fun in this case. Just character, fun, and a bit of passion.

Without character, charm, mystery, some rareness, lots of fun, and a great hobby a car is more like wheels with less of a connection to the simpler machines back in the day. The most valuable cars are the old ones in the world. Why on earth?

Simple machines radiate complicated emotions and fun that draw the attention that many cars of today won't and can't. As they get older
people overlook their problems like anything nostalgic. Notice my ratings!!!! High huh.... well yes. IT is a LOT of CAR in an attractive package/body. The epitome of a true Sports Car.

If this car can't put a big smile on your face good luck!!!! It is well
loved car with many shortfalls. Takecare of them and you have a dirty
diamond that you can polish up and treasure and enjoy.


The process of keeping them in tune is fantastic experience to leap frog
into an more expensive model or class of car. Though the monumental money
and redtape may take the fun factor down low enough to consider whether it is even worth it.

Downfalls are they need attention and you have to answer many peoples questions.......... all the time. Unless it is sitting in a garage with
the door closed. Also when sitting...... it is super dependable!!! LOL!!!

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“If you are looking for a hobby, you love cars, and you...”

★★★★★

written by robabscando on 08/07/2009

If you are looking for a hobby, you love cars, and you love to work on them, you can't do better than a Spitfire.

These cars are great to drive, easy to work on, cheap to buy and maintain and get more attention than most anything else you'd be driving.

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“1500 uk”

★★★★★

written by soloandy1989 on 30/06/2009

1500 uk

A lot of people seem to put a downer on the Triumph Spitfire. And to be honest I can't see why...

First off corrosion is nowhere near as bad as is made out... if you keep on top of it by renewing the under seal when you get the oil changed and grease lubrication points then all is hunky dory.

Performance wise, if you live in America then your car will be slow. 85ron petrol, horrible emission controls all hinder performance. But home market cars are much more sprightly with the twin 1.5" HS4 carburettors. Also for about £250 on top of the cost of an engine rebuild you can get a stage 1 FULLY dynamically balanced, upped compression ratio, hotter camshaft etc, and with K&N filters at £80 a pair you can get nearing a 100hp, around a 50% increase in power! 0-60 is quoted at around 11.5 seconds standard, my standard engine plus K&N's will do it in about 11, a stage 1 should do that in about 9.5. Thats better than alot of modern saloons. the standard car pulls very well up a 40%+ incline from less than 1.5k revs in 3rd, massively torquey for a light car of only 790kg. Ragged senseless for 50k miles some on track and is only now starting to show signs of needing new bearings.

The gearbox is fine. 2-3rd gear is a bit of a gap, and revs are high at 70 mph but that red line really is a continuous usage red line (although over 5.5k should be avoided). With regular servicing they will easily outlive the engine, although the synchro does wear fairly quickly with overexuberant gear changes. Overdrive is useful for making the car quieter and more comfortable at speed if you have the standard exhaust, if you have sports exhaust like me you can't hear anything over it either with or without it but up to you.

People complain about the back etting go in corners... I'm sorry, what is wrong with letting the back a bit loose? thats the whole point of a rear wheel drive car, and if it scares you then you should by a front wheel drive golf. this is a manly car, and it has to be manhandled. Brakes? More than adaquate to lock a full quartet of warm sticky tires in the dry. Heavy steering is a symptom of under inflated tires, I have a 13" mota lita steering wheel, a good 2" smaller than standard and low speed manouvering is a doddle due to the cars low weight.

Insurance is cheap, handling is engaging enough to remind you of those 60's rally days, 35 mpg on a long run (that is, assuming you can resist the urge to take it on the B roads and boot it hard in second to get the back out!), there are at least 4 major clubs that support it, 5 major parts suppliers and service providers, 99% spares coverage, good looks, and used regularly as reliable as any modern car.

remember, power steering and servo brakes are for babies and take away the connection from the road that makes these small sports cars infinitely better than any MX5

And you can put the triumph 6 cylinder engine in and take on the BMW Z4's!

And before you moan about me being an old man I'm a skinny 20 year old.

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“Nice little mk2 hard to find these, the least of the...”

★★★★☆

written by eddyp on 28/12/2008

Nice little mk2 hard to find these, the least of the spits made. Parts ready available from a large number of sources. Will be putting up her own website soon. Done a lot of work on her so far, mainly taking paint back and repainting. Engine turns, looks like everything is there, so now head down and get her finished. Good little first classic to start with.

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“I bought my car on eBay during early February 08, I...”

★★★★★

written by Derekspaws on 15/09/2008

I bought my car on eBay during early February 08, I had just woken up after a Saturday afternoon snooze after dreaming about the Spit that I owned in my early twenty's, just on a whim I had a look on eBay and saw this lovely mint Spitfire with just minutes to go, a few minutes later I had bought it, It has brought me nothing but pleasure ever since, it's gorgeous! It looks like it's doing a hundred miles an hour just standing still, The first time I took my wife out for a drive we got about a quarter of a mile, looked at each other and burst out laughing! No other car I have owned has had this effect. I sometimes just go the garage just to sit in it, I have replaced the standard dash with a Rimmers walnut burr affair and fitted a Mountney steering wheel, also fitted a voltage gauge and a oil pressure gauge (Smiths of course) I am currently looking for a Smiths clock to finish the job. Driving the car is amazing at sixty you are focused and hanging on to the wheel and smiling (it FEELS very fast which ultimately must be what a sports car is all about). My wife ' s car is a modern sports car that will pull some good speeds but it's so boring. The Spitfire smells like a car should, hot oil and wood...great! I have parked the car at the golf club between a 911 and an Audi R8 to have the locals come out and eulogize about my old Spit and ignore the German cars!... very satisfying. To me the car represents everything that an English sports car should, it looks great, sounds great and is the closest thing to a road going go cart that you will ever experience! This is no-way a car for every man or woman, but I will never part with it, it's made a summer Sunday what it should be!

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“In my experience, the triumph spitfire is one of the...”

★★★★☆

written by on 20/12/2007

In my experience, the triumph spitfire is one of the more overlooked classics on the market today. Now this car, along with the herald, vitesse and gt6 is perhaps the easiest ever made to work on with the whole bonnet and front wings lifting off to give unbelievable access to the engine and radiator. However the spitfire and the gt6 differ from the herald and vitesse in a few key areas. The first is that the herald and vitesse have a full chassis with outriggers under the sills. This gives the car strength but also a high ride, acceptable in a saloon. For the sports car's triumph deleted the outriggers, retaining the centre section of the chassis as well as making the sill structurally integral to the car wheras on the herald they are just thin decorative pieces of steel. The other places to check for rust are the chassis, wheel arches, floor pans, windscreen surround and rear valance. In my experience these cars have little drainage and less rustproofing so they will rust unless stored in a dry rainproof shelter. Another key difference is the rear suspension. The mk 1,2,3, spitfires and mk1,2 gt6's and vitesse's have a swing link suspension that is liable to very poor lift of over steer in the corners, especially in the wet. Therefore it is prudent to remember that although the mk3 spitfire and mk2 gt6 look identical one has very different handling to the rest. A device called a camber combensator can be fitted to help alleviate the situation. On mkIV and 1500 spitfires the handling is fine, if a little numb.

However that long list of negatives is rather depressing. In no way is a spitfire a bad car and in contemporary road tests almost always beat the midget, especially in the later versions. Also remember if you buy a mk1,2,3 then they wont have synchromesh on first but in practice it makes little difference. The engines on these cars are reliable if well cared for and should have no reservations about buying a 100,000 miles plus car if it appears ok. Only the stroked out 1500 engines were a little brittle but as they are the latter cars they have survived better.

The spitfire is a great little classic that looks the part, makes a fantastic noise and makes you feel like your going much faster than you are. Its so easy to work on, its a great starter classic and it would be hard to buy an mgb over one.

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“It may be that I am getting older or that in my job I...”

★★★★☆

written by gtwcmt on 24/04/2007

It may be that I am getting older or that in my job I get to see many classical cars at weddings, but it was time to take a look at a vintage car that had great body lines and was easy to get pars for. The Triumph Spitfire had appealed to me in the late 1980 and 90's when I first got my classic Vauxhall drop-snoot Coupe for more money that the spit fires which you could pick up for around £80 (or around £200 in today's money).
My first choice was the Austin Healey , but they are costly and the spitfire hit somewhere in between the Jag E type and the Porsche 911 as well as the Healey so this was the car for me.
I had carried out quite a lot of research over the internet to find out what parts were like to obtain and the costs so that I could work out where I could go with this spitfire. I was presently surprised that there were so many and parts readily available.

If your are looking to buy a Triumph Spitfire then the first point is the internet to take a look at what is available, but you must see the car in the flesh as they often have hidden bits that the seller doesn't want to tell you about.

RUST - these cars were built using recycled steel from tanks from the Korean war and the other ones so they had rust to start with and this carried on into the 1980's British produced cars. You would be forgiven to think that a under-sealed car will not have rust, but you will be wrong, often this was used to hide the stuff. So give it a tap and don't be afraid to pull up the carpet to take a look.
There are panels available new to replace them should they be rusty so its not a big cost to repair, but do try to avoid poor cars

RUBBER (suspension) the rear suspension on early models spelled the doom for the spitfire, as it could not truly shake off the poor performance of the early models. The rear suspension was re engineered to improve things but still, you will find issues with it compared to more recent cars.

SAFETY. If I said none I would not be telling a lie, the chassis is good (if not rusted) for head on but there is no buffer/crumple zone and there is no side impact protection other than what you can see in the foot well that is thin steel. The body is held on by 8 bolts (if I remember correctly) so you may think of adding the roll bar that is readily available and could come in very handy in a side on.
I will be having bars put in to provide me with protection and its easy to be done, however it is up to you.

DRIVE - As you would or should know, this is a older car and wasn't really built for masses of speed like today's performing cars, that said, it has been known to be quicker than some new cars. Pottering around in the summer months these cars are ideal and if you can get behind the wheel they offer bum scuffing low to the ground seating, which to some may feel like you are actually laying on it!
The steering wheel is large and I find getting behind the wheel a bit of a chore, you can opt for a smaller wheel but the car has no power steering. Headroom isn't great either with the hard top on so you may bang you head a few times.
Breaks are there (somewhere) but adding a servo will give you powered brakes, its not hard to do and relatively simple.
Gearing wasn't always great so getting the overdrive box is pretty much essential to keep up, the speed is fair and the drive is fair. A set of alloy wheels with wider tyres will improve the driving experience as well as the springs and shock absorbers. But this car was built for the day where driving was more than just getting from A to B and everybody didn't want to be there the day before they left and road tax when on making roads nice to drive on not lining pockets..


MECHANICS
The mechanics are simple; if you know about cars a comparison with the Mini will be apparent at first glance. There is no expensive electronics to mess up and involve costly garage bills. A simple manual and you will find that you can take enjoyment form carrying out any small jobs on the car yourself.
The maintenance is not a largely differing factor over modern cars, OK you may have high mileage but so do newer cars. They will need regular maintenance where you may let this laps on a modern car with out to much ill effect.
If you want to take life that little more easy, and enjoy motoring and every thing that includes, then why not? These are lovely cars and this sort of bodyline will not be repeated, they are bringing out the 4000 shortly if you want something modern but the style and details are missing. Owning this car is a little give and take.

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Neopolitan Car Nut's Response to gtwcmt's Review

Written on: 07/08/2009

I found this review very helpful because...the reviewer was honest about the car's pluses and minuses. Excellent detail in the review.

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“Lets face it, in 1971 you just could not be seen in a...”

★★★★☆

written by zharca on 08/10/2006

Lets face it, in 1971 you just could not be seen in a Triumph Spitfire. Absolutely not. They were regarded as slow, unsporting, poor-handling and badly built even by the standard of the time. Spitfires were for girls. A Midget was OK, the MGB all right if you were a farmer, the real 1275 Cooper "S" made a statement and Triumph's own TR5 was cool unless you'd actually tried owning one of the bloody things. Me, I was OK - I had an S3/SE Elan, so eat your heart out.

So how come if they were, and in reality remain, such an awful car, can they now get a recommendation, so much so that I, who would never have been seen dead in one at the time, actually *bought* one?

Because they're fun, practical to own and use, and very simple to fix. Forget the truly abysmal performance, the very limited road holding and the tacky build, for a summer day hood-down drive they're perfect. What else can you buy and run for the same money that has so much appeal?

The Spitfire is a sensible classic car buy. There are a lot of them around which means good club support and very, very good parts availability. Lets face it, you can still get the service parts at Halfords! Insurance with agreed values is cheap and early cars even get free road tax. You also get much more room both inside and in the boot than with a Midget. They really look the part, too, especially the face lift Mk4. In an "our Italians are better than your Italians" moment, Michellotti did a better job for Triumph than Farina ever did over at BMC.

If you want to run one for transport, seek out the factory hard top to replace the soft top for most of the British year. Not only is it actually waterproof, except around those frameless windows which never really sealed when new, but it cuts down noise, hugely improves visibility and even stiffens the car up, improving road holding.

Some words about maintenance, cos you're gonna need it!

They are very easy to fix, a fact you'll find out very soon after getting one. A common problem is the suspension trunnion bushes at both ends, an awful design that wears very quickly. The road holding of any Triumph with worn bushes reduces from mediocre to downright dangerous. Bushes are easy enough to replace until neglected, when the whole thing will seize solid and need sawing and drilling out, so look after them. Replace all the suspension rubbers and the rack bushes, too as they wear and mess up the steering geometry. There are several upgraded parts that can be used here, but be careful not to use too hard a bush or the solid alloy rack mounts on a road car if you want to keep any sort of ride comfort. Whilst under the car, you need to check driveshaft universals for wear and also front brake callipers, which tend to seize, and all of the handbrake linkage parts.

If you are going to drive the Spitfire in modern traffic, it needs some upgrades. Brakes: I think a servo is a must. With a couple of bits of piping and simple brackets, a period Girling or Lockheed servo can be mounted in front of the radiator and transforms the brakes. It's also worth replacing the brake discs as they are very cheap.

Engine: A mediocre unit even in the sixties that traces it's ancestry back to the standard eight, so don't expect too much. 1 SU carburettors, an SAH exhaust and electronic ignition will transform the car and actually give you some acceleration. Add a top oil feed to stop the whole thing grinding to a halt. The long-stroke 1500 has more torque than the 1300 in standard form but can be politely described as "not nice"

Gearboxes are fairly reliable, though the Triumph was one of the poorest designs of its time, compared to the "A" series and Ford's superb three-and single-rail offerings. Overdrive makes such a difference that I'd advise against buying a car without it. But be cautious here. Make sure that the overdrive hasn't been added later because the final drive ratios differed and if the differential hasn't been changed with the gearbox, you'll have a car that just won't pull OD 4th. The units themselves are very reliable and reluctance to engage is usually just dirty oil and filter.

Most cars now will have had the rear spring revisions that appeared on the Mk4 cars and so won't display the downright dangerous behaviour of early Mk1 and 2 cars. By modern, or even sixties, standards adhesion is low and you'll occasionally find that the rear slides on wet roundabouts but quick, accurate steering and the fact that you're really going very slowly makes it fairly safe and rather fun. If the rear has any tendency to tuck a wheel under, the bushes need replacing.

They rust, so if you're buying, this is the most important thing to look for. Ignore any mechanical problems, they are easy to fix, but rust is always lurking on a Spitfire and simple looking areas like sills are very difficult to repair properly. Check the floor, the boot floor, the base of the doors, all those raise seams and the wheel arch joins. Even the chassis does also eventually rust. Even when you own one, they need constant attention and really need to be garaged. The root of the problem is that, like most '60s cars, they were made using a large proportion of recycled scrap steel. There was ferrous oxide in the sheets when they went into the presses - these things were rusting before they were even built!

So is it a recommendation? For the most fun you can get for the money and sheer owner satisfaction, a definite yes, but do realise that you're buying a car that is far more compromised and needs much more attention than any modern second-hand hatch.

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“The Triumph Spitfire ia a cute little sports cars are...”

★★★☆☆

written by JohnC8551 on 06/03/2006

The Triumph Spitfire ia a cute little sports cars are a perfect start for anyone ever having wanted to restore a car. Their simplicity lends itself to making modifications/improvements. However, they are too small to safely mix in todays traffic, may break down at inconvenient times, and should only be driven on back roads on sunny weekends. Do NOT buy this car for a daughter or son without knowing they are not safe to be driven by a learning driver. One accident and you are toast in one of these things. Parts are available through several catalogues and on Ebay, and advice is avaialble everywhere from clubs and afficianado owners. The Spitfire is vey prone to rust, so be aware if purchasing one to look closely in the fenders, rockers, and in the frame. Go into ownership with your eyes open and you will enjoy owning a very fun (if fickle) little sports car.

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“This little car is great. You don't see too many out...”

★★★★★

written by tr4lover on 15/09/2005

This little car is great. You don't see too many out on the roads nowadays. It is a little rocket. Very good on gas. Fun cars for drive. Great cars over all. I'm proud to own one and would tell anybody wanting a old fun little car to look into this one.

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“The Triumph Spitfire is one of the best handling cars...”

★★★★★

written by dougmi on 24/05/2005

The Triumph Spitfire is one of the best handling cars around, not fast-but once you get used to that and the fine cornering, you learn to keep your speed up. The fact that you sit so low makes it seem fast anyway. More fun on backroads than on the highway. Overdrive is a must! One of the best looking sports cars ever made. This car is an obsession and hobby-not a buy and forget car. Stay on top of it-and it will not break down...forget to...and make sure you have a cell phone with you!

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“The Triumph Spitfire Classic car has to be the second...”

★★★★★

written by SpitBit on 24/03/2005

The Triumph Spitfire Classic car has to be the second love of your life, because you need to give it lots of attention.
Pay attention to sounds.
The car well maintained will last you decades.
Its not expensive to maintain
Keeps you from being the designated driver on outtings.
When you are behind the wheel of a Spitfire its like driving a Go kart legally on the road it handles like no other vehicle i've ever driven and I mean this in a positive way.
Any one can rent a fancy sports car Porshe- BMW- but NONE of them will fit you like a glove and get you so low to the ground that you feel as if you are one with the car. You must experience the ride in one to fully comprehend the love for one. I have had 4 in my lifetime and have 2 at this time. 1972 and 1980

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“Triumph Spitfire Classic Car Review”

★★★★★

written by richard1 on 22/03/2005

Triumph Spitfire Classic Car Review
Funnily enough the stars rating thing does this car no justice until you get to the overall rating which basically catapaults this little roadster right to the top of the first sportscar list. In fact it could be THE first sportscar as MG midgets are no where near as easy to work on. As with all BL cars rust is the issue and if you don't keep on top of it, it will rot quickly into an expensive state of affairs, Waxoyl being the go.

Performance wise it aint fast but feels it and for a young driver new to sportscars its perfect and aint going to do anything silly within reason. Performance exhaust, bigger jets and K and N filters make a difference because of its light weight but will change your insurance if you are honest.

Its also, I think quite practical given what it is, and has a decent boot and storage space behind the driver. This only really applies if you are single!

It can be very reliable if you keep tabs on the maintenance and the 1500cc engine is fantastic for the age of the car. The only thing that might score it down is the value for money which when a decent example is compared to a used MX-5 is not all that special.

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“I've owned two MkIV 1500 Triumph Spitfires now, and...”

★★★★☆

written by LizH101 on 07/01/2005

I've owned two MkIV 1500 Triumph Spitfires now, and they have both been great fun. The second has a hard top, which is an added bonus and allows year round use. The feel of driving one of these classic cars is superb, nothing like a "normal" car or modern sports, and the look attracts attention and interest from all. The speed feels faster than it is, sitting so close to the road. They have a surprising amount of luggage space in the boot and behind the seats. I'd recommend a tonneau cover for the summer too, saves having to put the soft top up and down all the time. Cheap, stylish sports car, huge fun.

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“I am now the proud owner of a Triumph Spitfire 1500...”

★★★★☆

written by English Bowman on 26/07/2004

I am now the proud owner of a Triumph Spitfire 1500 Classic Car. This is the model to go for unless you are a real fan of the looks of the earlier car. The handling is much improved due to the rear suspension being changed and it corners very well considering its age. It is a slow car for a sports car, but you could think of that as a good thing due to the number of highwaymen in the shape of speed cameras about. This does encourage a conservation of momentum driving style which is great fun, if not approved of by the better half. Also being exposed to the elements and sitting only 6" off the road it feels much faster than it realy is, 60 mph feels nearer to 100. There are a few problems with the carb set up and in my experiance fitting a heat shield (Canley Classics do one for under a tenner)is a must. The soft top does leak, but only in the most torrential of downpours, and is not too bad to put up. All in in this car is a usable classic, easy to drive and perfect for the summer, and with the hard top usable all year round. It also turns heads everywhere I go.

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“So its a couple of years since I last had a chance to...”

★★★★☆

written by hitman on 11/08/2003

So its a couple of years since I last had a chance to drive my 1970 Triumph Spitfire MK3 on the open road thanks to the MOT man and having some serious work commitments but I still recall fondly taking the roof down and setting off for a drive.

Firing the Spitfire up is normally a simple task but one you have to do right or else you will have trouble, too much choke and you run the risk of fouling, too little and you run the risk of flooding; get it right and the engine grumbles to life and with a little blip of the throttle you can feel the car twit slightly.
Having to reverse out of the driveway you push the gear leaver down slightly and way over to the left before taking it forwards and into reverse, a little bit of throttle and up comes the back end as the primitive rear suspension is not too keen on going backwards. As you turn the steering wheel you realise just how much lock there is available to turn this car with. In my 13 years of driving I don't think I have ever driven anything that can turn in such a short space; There we are set pointing in the right direction, the road is clear ahead and I pull away on the side street with very gleeful look in my eye I stab the accelerator and the noise bounces off the houses lining the street. Whilst not a beast of sports car the little 1300cc Spitfire certainly makes a noise probably due to its relatively unrestricted exhaust. Turning left onto the main road a quick squirt takes me past the derestricted sign and its time to change up from second gear, now my car has the D type gearbox and I am not sure if the later J type made finding third any easier but push the gear lever forwards in anywhere but the right place and you get a nice grinding sound that will make everyone notice you so this is one gear change you simply mush get right, when you do the gears are well spaced and lead to fairly brisk acceleration upto 50 which feels a whole heap quicker when your as low to the ground as you are in a Spitfire. The road ahead starts to undulate and the first major bend is ahead, you think to yourself how fast shall I take this bend, you know in a modern car that 50 is perfectly safe, so you head into the bend at 45, the turn in is precise and the car is gripping nicely, it goes halfway round the corner and the backend starts to creep away, you catch it with a little adjustment of the throttle and you think to yourself your a great driver.

This is just part of driving a Spitfire, its lots of fun and at speeds that your hardly likely to have a huge accident at. In all if this country had a drier climate and the road where less crowded a Spitfire would be an ideal companion for a gentle drive in the country.

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