A couple summers back I picked up a '72 Spitfire from a used car lot. I enjoyed it, but I always longed for an earlier model. Mark I and IIs had better looks, but the Mark III actually had enough power to seem quick. This 1968 Triumph Spitfire could be the ticket. It is going to need a lot of work, but the seller is only asking $1,800 with all offers considered. Find it here on Sacramento's craigslist.
There are cobwebs inside because this Spitfire has been sitting in a Sonoma County barn for 20 years. The seller claims that they are the second owner and that it was running about 5 years ago. Things look dusty in here, but it appears that everything is in place. The center mounted gauges were replaced by a more conventional layout later, but we actually prefer this look.
British sports cars would not have been so magical if they would have had tops, but they sure are nice to have when it rains. This one looks great with the hardtop in place too. It might take some work to source that back glass though. The rest of the parts will be cheap and easy to find. Just make sure there are no major rust problems.
Putting the hammer down may not be too eventful, but I still have found memories of driving my Spitfire with the top down. The engine was easy to get to because the whole front clip lifted up. Replacing the plugs was a piece of cake and the tire even made for a nice stool. It isn't going to get you anywhere fast, but that never was the point of the British roadster anyway, was it? Just watch that rear end when corning hard...