Jan 4, 2016 update to the Triumph 1500 Spitfire project car

Meet Our Triumph Spitfire

Loading the car up at Vintage Racing Services. This is not the most expensive car they have ever sold.
Once home, Tom Suddard (driver) and Rennie Bryant take our little Spitfire for an evaluation run.

We have always liked Triumph Spitfires. The last of the breed—1500 cars from 1973 to 1980—are among our favorites.

Recently while on a trip up north, we stopped at Vintage Racing Services in Stratford, Connecticut. There on the showroom floor sat a white 1980 Spitfire that seemed to be in pretty good overall condition.

The price was right at $5000, and after a little bit of negotiation we made a deal and loaded it up to take home to Florida.

While Vintage Racing Services generally deals with much higher end cars, proprietor Kent Bain, loves Spitfires as much as we do and has raced them for years.

He had found this car locally where a kid was starting to ruin it, and he decided he had to save it.

Get all the latest Classic Motorsports project car news in your mailbox six times a year. Subscribe now.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
Comments
View comments on the CMS forums
Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/4/16 1:05 p.m.

How much????

Wow... makes me feel better about the price I paid for mine.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/4/16 1:11 p.m.

Fun Fact:

Kent's father was Conrad Bain.

OFracing
OFracing Reader
1/4/16 7:22 p.m.

Kent runs a great shop. Our brit car club has been there a few times and the diversity of cars he has there getting worked on is always amazing. Nice guy and a very fast racer.

mike h

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
1/5/16 7:01 a.m.

Like everything else, nice low mileage, overdrive equipped Spitfires are going up.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
1/5/16 9:06 a.m.

Funny thing about Brit cars...most people refuse to buy in for much money, however, once in, there is no limit to what they will spend on the $500 wreck they bought.

I expect $5k bought a nice foundation for a restoration or a car that can be driven as you go.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
1/6/16 12:49 p.m.
Tim Suddard wrote: Like everything else, nice low mileage, overdrive equipped Spitfires are going up.

Every once in a while, it's nice to buy an old car you can enjoy and tinker with from the get-go. If every single project car was as rough as the Elan project, you'd go bats.

Hamiltonguitars
Hamiltonguitars New Reader
1/8/16 7:32 a.m.

I hope you have a plan to get rid of those big black things on the front and rear... I didn't realize spits had ramming bars as an option.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 Dork
1/8/16 8:23 p.m.
NOHOME wrote: Funny thing about Brit cars...most people refuse to buy in for much money, however, once in, there is no limit to what they will spend on the $500 wreck they bought. I expect $5k bought a nice foundation for a restoration or a car that can be driven as you go.

I am living, breathing proof of this! Lol!

spitfirebill
spitfirebill PowerDork
1/8/16 9:55 p.m.
paranoid_android74 wrote:
NOHOME wrote: Funny thing about Brit cars...most people refuse to buy in for much money, however, once in, there is no limit to what they will spend on the $500 wreck they bought. I expect $5k bought a nice foundation for a restoration or a car that can be driven as you go.

I am living, breathing proof of this! Lol!

Quilty

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 Dork
1/9/16 5:34 a.m.
Hamiltonguitars wrote: I hope you have a plan to get rid of those big black things on the front and rear... I didn't realize spits had ramming bars as an option.

I just got a chance to look at the photos- that's a nice example- complete with Sabrinas! Didn't realize Spitfires got them too.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill PowerDork
1/12/16 2:00 p.m.

Whatever became of young Tom's blue Spitfire y'all were working on?

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
1/12/16 2:07 p.m.

Bill, Tom's French Blue Spit was sold to purchase his BMW e30. That's one of the reasons Tim jumped at this one--both he and the boy felt the hole left by that last Spitfire's departure.

Margie

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/12/16 7:10 p.m.

In reply to Marjorie Suddard:

It's funny how Spitfires can do that. I bought my current one for the same reason.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UltraDork
1/13/16 4:30 p.m.

One of my cients, Mark III powered by a tweaked 4AGE - http://www.triumphexp.com/member/Gregxster - zero to 60 in 6 seconds

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
1/15/16 11:59 a.m.

And I said the guy was asking $5000. Paid bit less than that. And the bumper guards are already gone with an early 1500 Spitfire bumper exchange. And yes, it is real decent driver quality car to start playing with and improving.

And Oldskewltoy, do not even let my son see that Toyota powered car, as he has an extra supercharged MR-2 drivetrain in his garage.

Keith Keplinger
Keith Keplinger contributor
1/15/16 8:28 p.m.

Makes my 1973 SpitSix's $1900 look more like a good deal every day. Now, if only I could find the time to get it on the road...

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
1/16/16 6:29 a.m.

Keith, as you know it takes both time and money. That's why this time around I picked one up that was already driver quality. And I have an extra GT-6 engine if that is where your problems lie.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
1/21/16 2:07 p.m.

Yeah, my last Spitfire left after I became embroiled in my E30 project. This time around, we're starting the right way–with a nice, fairly rust-free car (the driver's floor has some surface rust).

As far as the 4AGE spit goes, hmmmmm. That's a pretty compelling swap. And I do have that extra 4AGZE....

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UltraDork
1/21/16 6:23 p.m.
Tom Suddard wrote: As far as the 4AGE spit goes, hmmmmm. That's a pretty compelling swap. And I do have that extra 4AGZE....

not sure there is room for the supercharger... but the Gregxster Spit is making about the same... maybe a bit more hp then a US spec 4AGZE....

DirtHog
DirtHog New Reader
1/24/16 6:48 p.m.

Spitfire's are nice car. Always wanted to buy one and fix it up. But the wife is totally against this. Says I already have too many toys and too much money invested in them. She says I don't need anymore.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill PowerDork
1/24/16 9:50 p.m.

In reply to DirtHog:

Tell her she has enough shoes

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
2/3/16 4:14 p.m.

That's a dead ringer for the one I had when I was 16. Hope you have better luck with yours than I did mine.

Sponsored by

Art of the Automobile Spitfire Page

Our Preferred Partners
jK6RoCfVEhKrgJd32Qx2e5tFg3v9FNRMlkDhGOOW1Q1bgOFnPOc8JQVSFGUUtUat