Promising Project: 1968 Triumph Spitfire

Here, we have what may turn out to be a nice project at a great price. This 1968 Mark III Triumph Spitfire found here on craigslist for $1700, is located in Otisfield, Maine. These Triumphs are great starter classics as parts are plentiful and prices of obtaining a good one are still at reasonable levels. The seller is very blunt and states the paint is “not good.” Definitely not a deal breaker because if the ad’s claim that this is a sound car rings true, rust may not be a major concern. However, these little Spitfires tend to corrode with reckless abandon, so a thorough question and answer session with the seller about the undercarriage, floorboards etc… will be required if purchasing sight unseen.

The body looks pretty straight, though only one photo of the outside is provided. I love these in the British Racing Green color scheme, and it would be great to see a fresh coat of it on this one. The lines of the Spitfire have always been pleasing, combining Italian design from one of the masters, Michelotti, with tried and true British mechanicals. These are one of the few roadsters that look equally pretty with a factory hardtop installed. No mention if one comes with this sale, but can easily be obtained.

Talk about ease of maintenance! Just flip forward the hood and everything is at your fingertips. The Mark III Spit’s carry the 1296cc engine, which has around 75hp. More than enough to get a top speed of around 95 mph. The engine bay looks tidy and is said to run. However, it will need a good tune up. One spark plug lead has a different colored boot, which may mean at least some ignition work has been performed. Getting the tune correct on the dual SU carburetors is probably the most difficult mechanical task on this car, but there is plenty of literature available on the web to get those often misunderstood twins set up properly.

The interior is said to be in great shape, and the pictures reflect the good condition the seats are in.  Carpeting is dirty, but it doesn’t seem to be faded or matted, so it may just need a good cleaning. The wooden door panels are a bit odd for me, personally, I prefer the vinyl panels, but it matches the wooden inlay on the center-mounted instrument cluster. The dash looks to have some cracks, and the original steering wheel could certainly use some attention.

The seller is including a complete spare engine and miscellaneous parts with the sale. The Spitfire is still a good obtainable classic roadster which has a great club backing and a style all of its own. If rust is at a minimum, this Spitfire could be back on the road in a short amount of time and driven with pride. I can think of a lot worse ways to spend $1,700!

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  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    OK, which one of you blinked? The ad’s already been deleted…

    • Howard A Member

      I wonder what it went for? Nobody wants these anymore, and a shame, they were fun cars, and simple. Someone in N.Wis.( I know, not the best place to sell a Spitfire) had a car just like this on their front lawn. Beginning of summer, had an $1,800 dollar price. By the end of summer, it was down to $1,000, and I still don’t think they sold it.

  2. James Haviland

    Gone baby gone

  3. ken TILLY

    I wish people would learn how to compose a picture. This one makes it look like the car has a home made canvas top! With all that lovely foliage to use as a background, he chooses a partly built house and a storage tent.

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