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Parts Car Included: 1975 Triumph Spitfire

Triumph Spitfire Project

Editor’s Note: We just want to welcome Jeff back onto the BF Staff! He’s a talented writer and we are excited to have him back on the team!

When I was growing up, one of my best friends was part of a father-son duo of British car lovers. Between them they had two Sunbeam Alpines and a gorgeous fire-engine red Triumph Spitfire. The Spit belonged to my buddy’s dad; the better of the pair of Alpines was his summer driver. On the night of the great Northeast blackout, we rode around town in the Alpine through pitch darkness, no traffic lights or train crossings to slow us down. Of course, the car we really wanted to be in was the Spitfire, but his father wisely forbade a couple of teenagers from driving around an unlit town in his pride and joy! This 1975 Triumph Spitfire, which can be found here on eBay, brought back the memories of that night and the car we wished we had been in.

1975 Triumph Spitfire

Like my buddy’s stable, this 1975 Spitfire sent in by reader Jim S comes with a parts car as a potential package deal. As someone who is nearing the end of a multi-year restoration of a 1987 BMW 325is, I’m always a little bit jealous of hobbyists who have the space for a parts car or two. Just imagine how many junkyard runs I could have avoided looking for that switch or harness or seal…. but then again, the junkyard isn’t the worst place to kill a few hours. I still wouldn’t turn down a personal parts car if I had the space, though.

Triumph Spitfire Interior

The seller mentions that the more complete of the two cars was parked in 2006 after the hydraulic slave cylinder failed. In the grand scheme of things, this seems like a minor fix for a car he was using quite extensively up to that point, for which I applaud him! But as many of us know too well, life can get in the way and a quick fix can easily become months of little to no movement from our project car under its own power. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst things that can happen to older cars, especially those with a sporting pedigree. Stagnation is not becoming of a classic Spitfire.

1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500

As many of you will come to find out, I have done a fair amount of detective work on my old E30. That’s why I love the little details the seller mentions about the Spitfire, such as how it was originally a wedding present for the young couple he purchased it from. It’s easy to get lost in the happy memories this car has enabled, both for the newlyweds and the current owner, who recounts how the Spitfire dutifully served him in multiple jaunts near and far. Hopefully, the next owner will get the necessary repairs made quickly so this classic Spit can keep the good times rolling.


  1. fastblackmerc

    The memories!!! I used to have one just like that. Loved the car… life got in the way….

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  2. Jeffry H

    I love your writing, it is causal and direct. the detective work is one of my favorite tasks. Welcome Back.

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  3. Bren

    That rear 5mph bumper is SO ugly, hope it can be replaced with a slimline job.

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  4. scot

    ~ The Spitfire and GT6 have always seemed to me the ideal candidate for a Rover 3.5 alloy V8 transplant. Light and nimble, engine far back of the front wheel center line, clam-shell access. Don’t recall ever seeing more than a couple.
    Welcome home, Jeff !

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  5. Alan (Michigan)

    I see a dash plaque from the SCCA on the ’78 car. Someone had some fun with it at some point. Scot says go for the V-8, (at least, on the engineless car) and that’d be cool. But there are aluminum 4-bangers around which would do a great job, and fit perhaps better. Sure most are Japanese, so perhaps a sacrilege of some sort?

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  6. Jeff Lavery Staff

    Thanks for the welcome, everyone! Great to be back and looking forward to sharing more finds every week.

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  7. ORacer

    Talking memories and Spitfires…it was 1963 I was 16, without a drivers license and car crazy from birth. I was traveling with my folks staying in a motel upstate NY. In the morning as we were leaving, outside was parked a new red Spitfire. I had read about them and seen photos in magazines but had yet to actually see one. My folks took a photo (black & white) of me standing next to it looking like the proud new owner.

    My plan was to show it to every new girl that I would meet, I did, but it did no good as a bicycle was my only means of transportation. It took another 4 years before my first car, a $75 Triumph TR3 but that’s another story.

    Welcome back Jeff.

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  8. Tommy

    My brother owned one sometime around 1987-88? Cool little car!! It was green and from what I understand, he and his now “ex” girl friend bought the car together and when they broke up he had to sell the car. But I loved that car and maybe someday I’ll have room for a cool spitfire project myself. Great find!!

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  9. Brian Buzak

    i am trying to re-wire my speedometer in my 1975 Triumph spitfire , anybody know what two wires go in the back of the speedo. if anybody can help me that will be great. Oh and yes i have looked at the haynes manual wiring diagram and it dose not show the speedo.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Brian, if you are talking about the small rectangular module that goes on the back of the speedometer, it takes two wires with green — that is the voltage regulator for the electric gauges. Can’t remember if they are green with a stripe or just green, I’ll try to look at a diagram tomorrow. You need to attach them for your temperature gauge and fuel gauge to read correctly; not sure if a 75 has electronic tach or not but it might affect it as well.

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