The Spitfire was conceived by Standard-Triumph to compete in the small sports car market against the Austin-Healey Sprite using the Triumph Herald frame. Giovanni Michelotti, who had designed the Herald, styled the bodywork, which featured wind-up windows (in contrast to the Sprite and Midget, which used side curtains) and an assembly of the bonnet and wings that opened forward for engine access. Introduced at the London Motor Show in 1962 production continued through five versions until 1980 by which time over 300,000 had been produced. Popular both in the UK and in the USA the Spitfire still has a strong following due to its simplicity and quintessentially British sports car looks.
This MkIII version was first registered for use on 15th August 1967 so it is a very early example of a MkIII as they were produced form 1967-70. According to the seller it was delivered with an earlier MkII bonnet; perhaps they were using up older stock? He has owned the car since he was 18 (he’s now 33) so has enjoyed many miles in the car over the years. He has also overseen its restoration and has done some in depth research into its past and previous owners; details are in the history file.
His original intention was the Spitfire should be his “forever” car and he lavished attention and money on it with a major restoration in 2014/15 costing over £30,000 (Please note; not all invoices and receipts are present for this work). As is quite often the case life moves on and now he finds the Spitfire isn’t getting used as he intended and transport with more than two seats is now required…
There are plenty of juicy bills on file for the resto work commencing in 2014. Much of the metal and paintwork was carried out by JY Classics in Buckinghamshire. If you visit their website and look on the Bodyshop page (Ollies Spitfire) there are photographs of the work in progress. The car was stripped and the chassis was shot blasted and powder coated. The body was taken back to bare metal, passing through various paint layers (including its original pale blue). New floor pans, inner and outer sills, door skins and boot lid were incorporated. The chassis was then built up with all new brakes and poly bushes and the differential was also rebuilt. A new upgraded wiring loom was installed with a better fuse panel that has more than the original three, incorporating additional wiring for a radio and headlight relays.
The engine had always been a strong performer and as it had been rebuilt by its previous owner it was cleaned and reinstalled. The Spitfire was then painted in an original colour – code 19 Triumph White. The red stripe you can see is a vinyl addition and can easily be removed if the new owner wishes. The interior was totally re-trimmed, again by JY Classics, with new seats, door cards and a smart new roof in red.
There are a number of spares that will come with the Spitfire including repair manuals, a car cover, spare steering wheel, bumpers, a set of hubcaps and various service and trim parts. There is also a hood bag, which the seller advises us is functional, but would be best to replace it with another one, as it does not fit all that well and there are a few poppers missing.
On the inside the Spitfire is as nice as you’d want it to be. Freshly re-trimmed mostly in red, it’s all very presentable and clean. The red seats feature white piping and although overall are in fine condition, there is some small damage where the roof frame rubs. The same can be said for the carpets and door panels. The centrally located instruments are bright and show no cracks or misting and are mounted together with the switchgear on a smart burr walnut panel that is similarly in lovely condition. The front parcel shelves are included in the spare parts available, as per the gallery. There is a Sony CD radio with Bluetooth, with sound through a pair of speakers mounted behind the seats.
The steering wheel is a lovely wood rimmed Moto Lita example, replacing the original three spoke wire item.
The Triumph white paint is in great condition considering it was completed over 5 years ago, and has been touched up in one small area of the bonnet (About £1 in size), and on the front edge of the passenger door. There are a few small stone chips and marks here and there, but nothing you wouldn’t expect to find on a car that has been used regularly. As mentioned earlier the red stripe might not appeal to all, but can be easily removed if necessary. The seller preferred the sporty bumper-less look, but the bumpers are amongst the spare parts that will be sold with the car. The steel wheels have correct size Avon tyres that are only lightly used. The glass is all clear, and the various light lenses are like new.
The seller tells us that it’s a strong performer. When new the MkIII offered 75bhp and a 95 mph top speed, which was pretty impressive in 1967 and is still enough to put a smile on your face today. Under the bonnet you can see in the photographs that everything appears to be in order. The engine with its twin SU carbs (fitted with K&N airfilters) is in fine condition, however the seller advises us it does leak a little oil; "The MOT guys advised the main leak is from the sump bleed plug, so maybe an easy fix with a new plug or ptfe tape when next serviced". The wiring and pipework have all been completed to a high standard.
When the seller set out to restore this Spitfire it’s obvious that it was not his intention to sell the car later. The time and expense that has been lavished on the car is still evident despite being driven regularly over the past years since restoration. This is a restored car that has already proved to be reliable, and could easily be returned to a more stock appearance over a weekend. Spitfires are rarely restored to this level as the expense would outweigh any increase in value, so this is a great opportunity to buy what could be a bit of a bargain!
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