1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500

OK so this is the latest restoration to roll out of our workshop - and it was a tough one.

It came to us as a rough looking (but not particularly so) car in Tahiti blue having been won by the owner in a prize give away at a classic car show. The earliest recorded 1500 left I am told.

       

A decision was taken early on that this would have to be a body off restoration - the chassis needed more work than a Spitfire normally would and the underside of the body looked horrible!

      

Look at the state of the rear floor! There really is nothing much left apart from the bit above the axle.  It wasn't any better at the front either, and with new sills and rear wings also needed - for the first time I had to throw away a bodytub. You can see the chassis part way through repair, it needed new front outriggers, crossmember, bonnet hinge boxes and gussets. To be honest this too should have been 'binned' but with no original body I felt I should restore as much as possible of what was left so we could call it the same car.

       

Even the rear of the chassis needed extensive repair - Spitfires are never rotten here! Roll forward a few weeks and the chassis and all suspension and bracketry is blasted and powder coated.

       

I think it took around six months to find a good bodytub, eventually a californian tub already converted to RHD came up complete with good UK doors and a bootlid. This was trial assembled on a slave chassis with new bonnet and a hardtop before going to be painted the original colour - Topaz orange. You can see the body in the next picture with the fully rebuilt chassis in the foreground.

      

Starting to look good, dash and electrics first, then bulkhead and engine bay before moving on to the body and interior. How nice is that underneath? Truly better than new.

At first this was a real 'love it or hate it' colour, but a Spitfire as good as this looks great any colour.

      

Superb to drive and sure to be around for many more years - one to be proud of.