EXCLUSIVE: Junkyard Find Triumph Spitfire Pair

As some of you know, I spend a fair amount of time in salvage yards. On a recent visit to a usual haunt of mine, I spotted this pair of Triumph Spitfires which are chock-full of good parts for anyone hunting for spares. It’s doubtful they’ll return to the roads given their prolonged state of decay, but they haven’t gone out into the yard yet – so there’s a chance you could take the whole carcass home. Contact me using the form below for more information.

What Makes It Special? Well, it’s not often vintage sports cars come into salvage yards these days in anything but completely destroyed condition. Rusty floors, no interiors, extensive panel damage – the works. From what I could see, these were complete cars that did have rust underneath due to being in New England. The good news is there’s plenty of trim, from bumpers to hubcaps, left to salvage.

Body Condition: Various dings, dents, scrapes, and rust abound. While the panels are usable, nothing is what I’d consider “perfect.” I didn’t inspect extremely closely underneath, but did see some rot-through. However, the panels did not show any signs of wanton abuse or neglect – and the delicate bits, like the lenses and chrome pieces, all looked quite decent.

Mechanical Condition: I didn’t ask whether the engines still turned, but can certainly find out. The ancient Rhode Island registration stickers in the windshield would indicate that these cars have been sitting for at least 25 years. While the mechanical components may still be useful to some, I’d look at this pair of Spitfires as potential treasure troves of hard-to-find trim and other fiddly bits. Contact me below and I’ll put you in touch with the salvage facility.

  • Price: Varies by requested part
  • Location: Providence, Rhode Island
  • Mileage: TMU
  • Title Status: Missing

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    To see cars like this mixed in with run of the mill junkers, tells me nobody wants these anymore. Years ago, this would have been a great find, couple hundred bucks, you could make at least one run, but today, people just don’t do that anymore. It’s why they are here.

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  2. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    Hey, Howard, I still do. I’ve owned 19 Spitfires over the years (2 and a parts car at the moment). Pretty sure these are both 1969 Mk. III’s. Honestly, you can get a decent one for less than you’d have in one of these (especially if there’s no title) by the time you restore it, but something like this DOES allow you to spread the costs out. My son-in-law is starting with a 1970 Spitfire AND a 1970 GT6 (no Spit-6, he’s keeping them as two cars) and they are in comparable condition to these or worse. However, he does have my 40+ years of Spitfire parts to draw from.

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    • Howard A

      You are the exception to the rule, my friend. Interest is just way down for any roadsters. You’d think in Colorado, a roadster would be a hit, but in the year and a half I’ve lived here, I haven’t seen one,,,NOT ONE! I think I saw more in Wisconsin, for heavens sake. Their loss, a Spitfire is about the best entry level roadster one could get, again, sadly, for the most part, they are ending up here. I have no place to work on one, or I’d have one by now.

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  3. ClassicCarFan

    I think the author is correct, that these are “valuable” but most appropriately as parts cars. I’m a big fan of Spitfires, having owned, restored and driven one over many years .I agree with Howard A, they are about the best, most affordable, entry-level classic car. Few others offer as much fun and driving enjoyment for the buy-in and operating costs. Extremely easy to work on, great parts availability, inexpensive parts. They tend to suffer from some snobbery in the classic car world, from owners of more glamorous marques? but if you just want a fun car to work on and drive, and not some check-book, trailer-queen trophy car to impress your friends… they are hard to beat.

    However, they are stuck in that unfavorable spot where prices for good drivable cars are still low enough that it just doesn’t make sense economically to restore a rough one, unless you just want to – or have some sentimental attachment to a particular car (that’s how I happened to restore my 1976 which had been in the family for a while).

    Cars in this condition are worth far more in parts than as restoration prospects, which is a real shame because it means many viable cars will get taken out of commission entirely – and they sure aren’t making any more !

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  4. bobhess Member

    For a reason I can’t explain the Spitfires got to be throw away cars. We’ve helped save 4 or 5 GT6s over the years but the 4 cylinder cars just keep getting scarce. My step son has a ’78 that to this day is a day to day maintenance piece. He bought it cheap with minimum rust, which we have managed to subdue. Fun to drive but the body on frame hurts a stock car’s handling and complicates keeping it running. Nice looking cars initially but with the advent of kam back design and rubber bumpers all of the British cars got pretty ugly.

    • Howard A

      The interest just isn’t there anymore. When I lived in Wisconsin 2 years ago, it was a northern town, not the best market for one, but plenty of warm weather, someone had a Spitfire like these on their front lawn all summer, wasn’t bad either, newer top, much better than these, I believe toward the end, it had a sign $1,100, a grand would have taken it. It never sold, and was parked “around back”.

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  5. Mike S.

    Spitfire prices are on the rise but certainly less costly than other Brit roadsters. . I attribute this to the price increases in other British makes and models being pulled higher in price as Healy’s continue to go for big numbers.. For less than $10k you can find a very nice Spit that is ready to enjoy. Spitfire restoration is for the love of the car
    or the hands on work enjoyment and certainly mot any financial gain.

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    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      And there’s the key. If you’re doing this purely for financial gain, well, it’s a business at that point and driving something solely because you enjoy it becomes irrelevant.

  6. Little Cars

    The thing I like about Spitfires is they are on frames. I was given a field-find 1970 Spitfire back in 2011 with a body that had rusted away. Sold it a few weeks later to someone who was able to use the frame. I’d sold off the bonnet, working radio and motor before he happily hauled it off for his show-winning Spit. The MG Midgets I love so well are headaches when the tin worm does it’s dirty deed within the monocoque structure.

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