Friend Find: 1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500

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When I saw this car on my local craigslist, I knew both the car and the owner in a minute. A good friend of mine who is a true craftsman purchased this Triumph Spitfire 1500 to restore, and had finished a lot of the mechanical work as well as buying a parts car to get additional components. He’s done a lot of the hard work, but now has to sell the car, so it’s available for you to purchase and finish up. It’s located just south of Raleigh, North Carolina and is up for sale here on craigslist for only $1,500!

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The body shell is in pretty good shape apart from the floors. More about those later. The sale includes a relatively rare removable factory steel hardtop as well. Like most of these later Spitfires, the body is better protected than early cars, but in this case there’s still a little bit of rust in the most vulnerable place for these cars, right in front of the rear wheels. My friend is including new patch panels for these areas.

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The engine runs well, and many components have been rebuilt already. Both the brakes and exhaust are brand new, and many other components are in good shape, like the tires you can see here. There are also many spare components, such as a complete set of suspension components in addition to the ones on the car. Additionally, there’s a brand new soft top still in the box.

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And here you see the floor issues. Many folks would have patched these floors, but my friend is a perfectionist (you should see his beautiful restored 1957 Chevrolet!) and decided he was going to replace the entire panels, as well as the inner sill panels.a7

One of the nice things about restoring Spitfires is that there’s high-quality sheet metal available. Look at how crisp those floor stampings are! Understand, those floor pans are $319 each! It’s pretty obvious that my friend is taking a financial bath here, and you could certainly part the car out for more than the purchase price, although I hope no one does that!

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Here’s another part that’s already been completed–the iconic Triumph wooden dash has been completely refinished and is ready to reinstall. If you’re in the Southeast and are interested in a straightforward project that will give you a lot of car for the dollar, here’s one to follow up on! Let us know if you do in the comments, and let me know if you’re in the area and I’ll help you load the car up!

 

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Never really cared for the Spitfire, but a great entry level start for someone who wants top down British motoring on a budget. Certainly can’t go wrong here. Spitfire’s are a dime a dozen, in all stages of (dis)repair. I have a friend who bought one very similar to this for $500, and it runs and drives. Mechanical repairs are easy, but inside the interior is a nightmare. No shortage of suppliers for parts, and well worth it with the “fun” factor when done. I hope it has OD, as I wouldn’t even consider one without it. It’s a long ride at 3300 rpms, compared to 2750 rpm’s with overdrive at speed, trust me. ( those were my before and after MGB #’s, I’m sure Triumph is close) Sounds like a good deal here.

    • Doc

      at first glance I thought it was a John Deere tractor!

    • Nick

      Damn those things are pretty. More beautiful than an mgb. They look more Italian than British. I’m not seeing many available on Craig’s where I am though.

  2. Kevin Harper

    Damn I live to close to Raleigh.
    I like spits and will probably add one to the collection at some point but I just have to many projects.
    This one is not bad, and given the price of a lot of other LBC the price should not be an issue, but spits are a dime a dozen and I think this one is a little high. Even if he is taking a bath, a shame really.
    Great cars to tinker and learn on.

  3. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    If I remember correctly, there’s a spare engine in the deal as well :-)

    • jim s

      why are you letting so many good triumph parts get away?

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Because I have most of the parts from 6 Spitfires on my shelves already… :-)

      • jim s

        good reason. thanks

  4. MeToo

    Buy it, shine it, park it next to your john deer riding lawn mower.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      The green is factory, the yellow wheels came with the car. However…both my friend and I do work for a large green and yellow equipment company…

  5. RoughDiamond

    Bargain! Sure hope it finds a new garage soon.

  6. jim s

    date on some photos is from 2014. i see more the the asking price in parts. the dash, which i would love to use as wall art, is sitting on the hood of the 57 chevy. great find.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      It hasn’t changed since then…he’s had it carefully covered since. The Chevy is art…he owned it in high school, sold it and tracked it down later, bought it and restored it.

  7. MountainMan

    Worth the ask for sure. I sold mine about 5 years ago and wouldn’t mind having another one at all. They are fun to drive and enjoyed keeping mine alive. Lots of parts included in this deal. Well worth the money and a lot of the work is done like Jamie said. Too bad I’m not still in North Carolina or I would be really considering a trip to Raleigh

  8. Gary

    If it comes with the 76 high compression engine then that would be a bonus also.

  9. Mike L

    I want this car!! I just finished up the Spitfire I bought last year around this time (http://barnfinds.com/cheap-and-cheerful-1976-triumph-spitfire-1500/) and want another one. This would be a 24 hour round trip for me that I am not sure I can pull off… This is a great deal for a fun car to drive and to work on.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Hey, Mike, I can put you up for the night, I live about 5 miles from the seller :-) That way it’s two 12 hour trips!

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