BF Exclusive: 1978 Triumph Spitfire

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Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

We’ve been helping reader Severin T find new homes for a few of his projects and here is the last one that needs to go. Having recently owned a ’78 Spitfire, I have a lot of experience with these fun little sports cars. This one checks off a lot of boxes for me! It’s British Racing green with a hardtop, overdrive, dual carbs, a freshly rebuilt engine and a Monza exhaust. The paint has seen better days, but it’s original and might just clean up. Severin is looking to get $3,200 for this driver and it’s currently in Weyauwega, Wisconsin. You can contact Severin via email here.

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From Severin – Previously from Oregon and then Georgia, this car was purchased out of an airplane hangar in Chicago, near Midway airport, from an airplane mechanic. There’s a stack of receipts for this car, going back years.

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The engine is fresh, and, as a Healey guy, I hate to say this, but it’s the easiest starting, best running British car I’ve had in 45 years of Brit car ownership.

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In addition to a fresh engine, the brakes are new, much of the suspension has been gone through, with upgrades including some GT6 components. The Monza exhaust is new, as are the tires and battery.

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Wheels are Minilite replicas. It has a factory hardtop. An overused term these days… “patina”, well, this has it.. original paint. The good news, it hides nothing, and this car is rust free, structurally.

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Interior is ugly, half of it is in the trunk. Personally, if I was to redo this car, I’d go with the black that they offer, rather than the terrible color seen here.

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Runs & drives, has had a recent alignment. It’s an overdrive car.

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This Spit isn’t perfect, but it sounds like all the hard work has already been done. Replacement interiors are readily available for these cars, although quality ones aren’t cheap. I have to agree with Severin on changing the interior from the current beige, but I’d go with the black and white houndstooth seat covers.

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When it comes to the fun per dollar factor, you can’t beat a Spitfire! These cheap little Brits will keep a smile on your face all day. The upgrades and overdrive should only enhance the experience and make this a somewhat practical driver. I won’t lie to you, getting in and out isn’t particularly easy with the hardtop installed, but just make sure to do your daily stretches and you should be fine! So who is going to be the next proud owner of this BRG Spitfire?

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    Nice job on the rear bumper conversion as well. This looks like a great buy.

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  2. Bingo

    There’s nothing wrong with a grocery rack. It takes seeds to pull it off.

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  3. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I love it! I even like the interior color…what’s wrong with me! :/

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  4. Howard A Member

    I’ve got to say, this is a nice Spitfire. The wheels and hardtop and green color, neat exhaust, O/D, dual carbs, although, I’d have gone with a different setup, but SU’s are ok ( can’t see if it has a header) has it all. The interior isn’t really that bad, I too would leave it alone. I had a black interior in my MGB and it got hot with the top down. While I don’t really care for Spitfire’s, I’d love to have this one.

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  5. RobM

    That looks like Brooklands Green to me. Sold my Spit nearly two years ago and miss it. No room in the garage at present.

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  6. Gary

    Finally! A late model Spitfire with a carb conversion to the dual SUs instead of the crappy downdraft weber. Who in the world started that downdraft Weber trend anyway. The trick Weber carbs back in the day were the side draft Webers.

    I also believe Brooklands green is the correct color. It’s a brighter green and quite pleasant to look at.

    Over all seems like a good car for the price. The O/D transmission, if working properly, makes it seem like a steal.

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  7. KeithK

    I’m dying to get into a little Brit or italian. Car that is. Why do the awesome finds always popup when college tuition is due ? Dammit

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  8. John H. in CT

    OMG, I love it. If only my wife would tolerate another (6th) car after I promised in December that #5 would be the last one (Reference Blues Brothers: John Belushi charming Cari Fisher as she holds an M16 and wants to kill him.) What a great car. Glad it’s not too close to me.

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  9. Bryan Cohn

    The downdraft Weber 32/34 carb conversion that’s so popular on so many things is due to several things:
    1. Cost, it’s a very commonly used carb on many cars in OEM form from the era.
    2. Drivability, it’s got great drivability at all throttle positions. You can only say that about a perfectly set up SU or pair of SUs.
    3. Increase in throat size, the 32/34 stands for 34 mm primary, 32 mm secondary on a progressive linkage. It’s a big increase over a single 1.5 inch SU!
    4. It makes more power and torque!

    It’s a wonderful carb, easy to service, reliable as can be and it does all that is asked of it.

    Me? Give me a pair of SUs and some large mouth velocity stacks and I’m happy, I’ll always get why people did that conversion though.

    PS: I have loads of experience with both from growing up wrenching on my friendd Sprite/Midget race cars that had SUs and my various FFs that all used the Weber 32/34 DGV carb. I like both, does it show? 😀

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