1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 Roadster
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Modified British Roadster
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500
Light, responsive, open-air, sports-car motoring is something of a British tradition. And when you add “economical” to that list, no marque better exemplifies it all than the Triumph Spitfire. Sharing its moniker with the legendary World War II fighter, Triumph began producing this Italian-designed two-seat roadster in 1962. Across the next 18 years, over 300,000 Spitfires were built in five productions series: I, II, III, IV and (abandoning Roman numerals) the 1500. These 1500s received the largest engine with significant increases in torque, while retaining the important suspension refinements introduced in the Mark IV series.
If Spitfires had a downside, it lay in reliability (particularly for the earlier cars) and life expectancy. Way too many suffered from lack of proper, long-term care, so finding a well looked-after car these days can be pretty challenging. The Spitfire offered here is not merely a survivor, but a restored and appropriately updated classic, tended to with the assistance and support of the legendary authentic-British-parts supplier, Moss Motors.
From 2014-2015, substantial work was performed, both to restore and update systems on this Spitfire. Included were removing and rebuilding the engine and transmission; a complete re-wiring of the car; all suspension bushings upgraded from rubber to urethane; stainless-steel brake lines, and drilled-and-slotted brake rotors on the front axle all added; new brake pads installed; exhaust headers, suspension a-arms, brake-dust cover and front stabilizer all powder-coated; new exhaust system installed from the headers back; drive tunnel upgraded from pressed board to polypropylene; three-core aluminum radiator installed; two layers of Dyna-mat insulation added to the trunk and cabin (with three layers on the transmission hump and passenger footwells); re-dyed vinyl upholstery; and new carpet. All this work resulted in a very well-sorted example, a classic car returned to better-than-factory condition. Since the restoration work, the car has been driven approximately 1,500 miles.
The car's exterior, with its sharp white paint, black interior and black fabric top, 13-inch steel wheels wearing white-letter tires, and excellent brightwork boasts an appealing combination. Its interior features wood (with light patina) surrounding te dash instruments and glove box, wood shifter knob displaying the 4-speed shift pattern, bucket seats (with the driver's seat showing a tear near the back), and tonneau cover. The car's data plates are intact and legible.
The timeless British appeal of the Spitfire model in all likelihood means this car's next owner—who may well be reading this description right now—will have evaluated a number of lesser Spitfires on the market, and concluded: This is the one.