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Ran When Parked: 1969 Triumph Spitfire MkIII

spit front

I have always loved the Spitfire’s Italian styling combined with fun driving. In the sixties they were actually affordable. This fellow is selling several Spitfires, including this convertible listed on eBay in Home, Pennsylvania. The BIN is $1,800 which seems like a lot for a car that likely has a lot of rust issues. Mileage is reported to be 73,000. It’s been sitting for 15 years. He will also be selling a 1966 and a 1967 Spitfire. Thanks Matt K. for the tip.

front left

This Spitfire looks just like you’d expect it to after 15 years in a shed. All we know about the mechanicals is the engine is free and the right rear wheel is locked. The seller does not mention rust issues or provide pictures of areas likely affected. If this has the typical rust, it would not be worth more than a few hundred dollars, would it? Without knowing about rust issues, what do you suppose this Spitfire might be worth?


  1. Avatar photo Jamie Staff

    The spots to look for (and expect) rust on a Spitfire are the floors and the area just in front of the rear wheels on the rocker panels. Unlike most body-on-frame cars, the Spitfire does count on solid rockers for some of its structural rigidity. Oh, and also the rearmost edge of the trunk lid can be an issue, especially on the round-tail 1970 and earlier cars. One more spot, although it’s not difficult to repair, is the battery box.

    Partial floor replacements aren’t that bad in a Spit/GT6. Whole floor replacements are harder but can be done. Sill replacement is harder, although patching the rearmost portion is fairly simple if the rust is contained there.

    If the area where the rear radius arm attaches to the shell is rusty…run away fast.

    I’ve owned over 20 Spits and have three in the family right now as well as a Herald–if anyone has any Spit questions I’ll be happy to try to help. This actually looks like a pretty nice project car to me, although David’s right, I’d try to get the price down a little bit.

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  2. Avatar photo Vegaman_Dan

    This looks like a clean unmolested original Spitfire. It looks like a 69 Mark 3, but a very late one, almost a Spit 4 since the dash is a full width type that was found in square tail late models, though in metal and not wood. Mark 3’s are usually wood center for the dash.

    I’d love to have this as a parts car or a base for a new project. But the price is too much for too much unknown. Rust in the sills and floors is not uncommon. I just replaced this all in my Mk3, and know the work involved. It doesn’t phase me anymore. The parts are cheap and if you are handy with a MIG welder, you can replace them readily.

    Rear boot lid is another matter. These rust out easily and are $600 for a replacement! Used ones that aren’t damaged are hard to find. It took me two years to get a usable replacement.

    A good Spitfire site to ask questions and learn more is http://www.triumphexp.com

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    • Avatar photo Michael Z

      Vegaman_Dan, the commission plate on the side of the cowl says that the car was assembled May 1st, 1969, so definitely near the end of a 1969 model year run.

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  3. Avatar photo Michael Z

    I’m the bloke whose just bought this. :) It’s actually extremely solid the only bad rot being that in the lower valance below the front bumper. The floors, sills, B posts, wheel houses, trunk floors, and frame are all rot free. It’s dirty, but nothing a bath can’t fix. :)

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