dherr HalfDork
8/20/18 2:30 p.m.

NMNA but have seen the car in the flesh, has a Honda V6 drive train and is running, but needs more "engineering".

Challenge priced?


Robbie PowerDork
8/20/18 2:47 p.m.

Someone needs to bring that guy* to the challenge.

*guy = car or builder


NOHOME UltimaDork
8/20/18 2:49 p.m.

"Engineering" might not be the correct piece of prose to describe what it needs.



Ram50Ron Reader
8/20/18 3:15 p.m.

I think Fabricobble  is the correct term.  Still a really cool combo.

Sine_Qua_Non SuperDork
8/20/18 3:24 p.m.

Wouldn’t the weight distribution be an issue?

APEowner Dork
8/20/18 3:30 p.m.

I am so glad that's on the other side of the country.  That's just the sort of stupidity that might make me finally enter the challenge.

spitfirebill MegaDork
8/21/18 7:13 a.m.

For those who think a Spitfire isn't already enough of a deathtrap. 

maschinenbau Dork
8/21/18 7:20 a.m.


dherr HalfDork
8/21/18 8:07 a.m.

I met the owner and saw and heard it run. He was parting out several other Spitfires and I got floor boards and a rear valance from him. He showed me the car, basically he took the subframe from a Honda minivan (may actually be from an Acura as it is a manual transmission), complete with the engine and transmission and then cut the back end of the Spitfire off and built a new frame. The result was a lengthened wheel base as he is fitting the engine just behind the seats. This necessitated lengthening the rear fenders to stretch the rear of the car. After the frame was built, he got the engine installed, running and the Honda gauge cluster and computer in the dash, gas tank in the front, radiator in the trunk. The main issues are the rear suspension, which still needs to be completed. I am not sure why he is not using the Honda suspension but as he states in the auction, it still needs to be worked out.

This does seem like it would be ideal for the challenge......

Who will accept the challenge to get it going?


dherr HalfDork
8/21/18 8:11 a.m.

One other comment, this is a manual transmission (6 speed). Not sure how the shifter is cobbled up, but that makes it even more interesting. A better picture is below from his separate listing for the engine/transmission.

rdcyclist New Reader
8/21/18 2:00 p.m.

He's got the engine/transmission listed for the same Buy it Now as the entire car. I would imagine the reason he's not using the Honda suspension is because the track would be about 2 feet (I exaggerate a bit) wider than the Spit. With tires wide enough to manage the 250 horsies, it would look ... interesting. With probably 65% of the car's weight on the rear wheels, getting the front end to stick to the ground is going to be ... interesting, too.

Still, I'm extremely happy this is in Pennsylvania and I'm in California. I do NOT need this in my garage and if it was local to me at this price, I would be obliged to buy it. Praise be...

dherr HalfDork
8/21/18 2:38 p.m.

Yes, I am not really sure why he would not have done the suspension work when the body was off the rear as it would have been much easier to do at that point. I understand that he would need to go back and forth during the fabrication of the subframe supports, but you would think he would have thought this part through as we know that Spitfires are narrow and just getting transaxle to fit is just the beginning. Personally if I was going to go to this much trouble, I would have just widened the car by 8-10 inches so the stock suspension could be used as has been done once before on a GT6. That would be much better than trying to flair the fenders as much as will be required. 

I will be really interested in where this thing ends up as someone will accept the "challenge" and continue playing with it......


irish44j UltimaDork
8/25/18 9:13 p.m.
spitfirebill said:

For those who think a Spitfire isn't already enough of a deathtrap. 

first thing that entered my mind. Instead of the stock motor ending up in your lap in front-end collision, now you get an even bigger motor smashing you in the head....

clshore Reader
8/26/18 8:54 a.m.

I considered a similar mid engined swap into a Spitfire, but using a new Mini setup, as packaging is remarkably compact.

Less overhang from the axle centerline to the front of the motor = no wheelbase stretching.

If I ever do one, will be well into the future, too many projects in the air as it is.

Big question: Front mounted radiator, or rear?

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/26/18 9:20 a.m.

Well... somebody bought it for $1200, so they have another $819 to play with.  I'd assume some sort of chassis reinforcement to keep the rear bits in place after it inevitably understeers into a wall and all that engine wants to keep moving forward... 

I don't understand why he put the radiator in the back.  Something in the front for better weight distribution seems more logical.

Still... I always admire the builders who just start building without fretting over every detail and potential pitfall like I do.

Glad this got posted here for discussion.  That thread over on Triumph Experience has turned into a cluster... 

I agree the new MINI drivetrains are very compact and wouldn't give up much on the power end.  

clshore Reader
8/26/18 9:31 a.m.

In reply to irish44j :

Having personally participated in a significant Spitfire front-end collision (Daytona infield, the guardrail won the argument) I'll praise it's performance.

The motor parts company with what are laughingly called motor mounts, and continues forward on it's merry way, even exiting the vehicle through the grille in some cases.

Meanwhile, the Spitfire 'frame', made of medium gage mild steel sheet folded into box sections and seam welded, crumples and folds up like a cheap suit, absorbing kinetic energy and safely deccelerating the tub and occupants.

I find it extremely doubtful that this was intentional by the Triumph engineers, but perhaps it helped inspire Mercedes Benz to develop and patent their 'controlled accordion' energy absorbing structure methodology.

I'm still here though (some would call that a questionably positive result, but I'm happy about it).

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/26/18 9:34 a.m.

In reply to clshore :

Yikes!  Curious - what did the driveshaft do? I don't recall a slip joint that would allow the engine/transmission to move forward sans the differential. 

clshore Reader
8/26/18 9:41 a.m.

In reply to Ian F :

The car in question used the splined joint driveshaft, so it was yanked apart, I assume all the little rollers scattered into the void.

The rear section stayed attached to the diff, the front section followed the motor and transmission.

A strap type driveshaft would snap the straps, not sure what a solid one would do, either a UJ flange would fracture, or perhaps the aluminum transmission tailshaft casting would fail.


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