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They’re Everywhere! Triumph Spitfires!

'78 Spitfire front right

If you want/need a Triumph Spitfire there seems to be just about enough of them available for all that are interested. This 1978 Triumph Spitfire 1500 is sitting in Espanola, New Mexico and is priced at $3,800. It is listed here on craigslist for your review. As you know, the Barn Finds home team has another Spitfire in the works and you will have up coming progress reports ASAP to look forward to.

'78 Spitfire intr.

This Spitfire, as per the seller, is in “excellent” condition. The 1500 does have an overdrive which is engaged by a switch on the gearshift knob which is convenient. The seats should get some attention in order to continue that “excellent” condition vibe going.

'78 Spitfire rear right

The hardtop is removable and the soft top is included with this purchase. According to the seller the car runs “excellent”. There isn’t an image of the engine bay or of the soft top. The odometer reads 45,000 and we don’t know the total mileage or number of owners? It is nice to have a luggage rack for when you need to carry a picket basket or a box of spares. Do you have some Spitfire history you would like to share?



  1. MH

    These are a dime a dozen where I live. Same car running and driving is $1500 tops. Not even close to being worth almost 4K. Maybe if it was in mint condition.

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    • Mike L

      Please tell me where these cars are. I am looking for another one but missing out on the deals.

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  2. Paul B

    Looks excellent to me. Excellent patina, excellent carpet stains, excellent sheets on the seats, excellent sun baking of the dashboard, excellent leak in the hardtop at the windshield. And no doubt excellent rodent nests in the concealed engine room. In all fairness, it’s described on Craigslist as in “good” condition and running excellent. Still, wthat will we think of next for an advertisement? I love this one.

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  3. van

    This car has been what can only be described as love of the gods of Egypt
    Ra has caressed the paint
    Horus has lovingly dropped blessings on the body
    Sekhmet has groomed the interior
    Hathor has done the maintenance
    Bastet cleaned the wheels
    Offered for sale by Anubis
    Sun, hawk, lion, ram, cat jackal

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  4. Gary

    I have to somewhat agree with the others that $3,800 seems a tad high for this car. But the one thing it does have going for it is the O/D transmission. That would up the value of the car by about $1,500 assuming that it works and is in great condition (only need a gear oil change and would run like new).

    So is the rest of the car worth $2,300 ($3,800 – $1,500)? Probably not. Interior is completely shot. Probably most of the gages will also need replaced $$$. You have to wonder if there is any rust in the floors considering the shape of the interior. The body looks pretty good – I see one ding on the front of the bonnet – so that’s a plus.


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  5. jim s

    needs a rebuild. has been up fpr sale for at least 2 months. if close go do a PI then make the seller an offer. i too think the overdrive and hardtop are a big plus. interesting find.

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  6. Jacob

    I absolutely LOVE the earlier 62-67 models of these cars. They had a super attractive grill and actually had chrome on them rather then ugly plastic.

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  7. Scott

    My dad’s Spitfire was a family favorite….and he was even brave enough to drive it in a few Chicago winters.

    As some may know, floor pan rust can be an issue.

    One deep slushy puddle, one rust eaten floor pan (driver side) – instant water “scoop” directly into driver’s nether regions….

    Not sure he was so in love with the car after that….

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  8. Doug Towsley

    Ive had a few Spitwads, I also rebuilt one with a Datsun motor and 5 speed trans in it which slotted in quite easily. Id agree with the others, Big plus having both tops, I like the hard top for these and had one with one and was nice to have. The Overdrive is also a big plus. The paint COULD be buffed and waxed but really, its shot. IMHO its very much over priced but who knows what could be accomplished with an onsite inspection and piles of cash to wave in front of the seller. My opinion is that only the truly lame try to haggle over the internet or phone. Cash talks, BS walks. Anyone who tries to haggle like that I shut down quick but I will respect a person who makes an appt and shows up on time, and then wants to respectfully haggle. I think its perfectly acceptable to try and figure out if the seller is insane or easy to deal with before making the trip and do so in other ways. But those who hustle me long distance dont get treated nicely by me.

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  9. Jeff Aronson

    I”m on my third Spitfire in my driving life, a ’63, a ’78 and an ’80, all quite used at the time of purchase. Mine have always racked up big mileage, even in winters in VT and ME [they do rust, don’t they!]. Strong components, wicked easy parts availability, great accessibility for repairs, fine handling – especially the later ones – and perfect usability. That barn find will need all new hydraulics and fettlling [assuming it runs], and even with the hardtop and overdrive, isn’t worth $3800, but it’s worth owning and using for a better price. The Spitifre is the most usable budget sports car around.

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  10. van

    Hay doug
    Grass roots mtr sports did a rotary swap
    They had to replace everything because it broke everything
    How did yours work?

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  11. Doug Towsley

    Hmm, a rotary would be a LOT more power. In my case, spotted a late 70s one? along the freeway on way to work. Blue with Black hardtop. Ran the plates and tracked down the owner. Gave them the speech about abandoned vehicles. Guy had bought it and blew the mtr on way home. Wife was mad at him so got it for about 400 dollars as i recall. (mid 1990s). It had a 1500cc mtr, so I had access to a B210 with a 1500 and 5 speed. So we parted the Datsun and used the parts on the Spitwad. Was not hard to adapt it in. Surprising how easy it was. A friend sourced a header and we used a K&N type air cleaner and that was the only mods. Drove it a while and was a lot of fun. Nothing broke. I have a 66 TR4A as well and was collecting parts for both for more work. Had planned to make the spitwad nicer but ended up selling it to fund other projects. It went to a father-daughter team along with the original parts and other bits i collected. I saw them a few years later and apparently they did a nice job with the car painted and upgrades but never saw it again. I did another one with a regular TR4 with a
    2400cc NapZ motor out of a 240SX. Again, fairly easy to drop in. We used a down draft weber and intake from a Datsun/Nissan pickup. It was very quick and fast. The owner planned to beef up the suspension, brakes and rear end. I know many of those rear ends will not last long with any power upgrades. Last i saw of the TR4 it was awaiting funds and parts. Havent seen or heard from him in about 12 yrs. I was debating doing the same to my TR4A but instead Im going to service it, get it running again and sell mine. Too many projects and time and money is catching up to me.
    Some years back, such modifications would get you a LOT of anger directed at you at the regional All British Field meets, but attitudes are changing and seeing more and more such customs which i think are okay as long as you dont butcher anything that cant be returned back original and if it means a car is back on the road again is A-ok with me. I know another guy with a warped sense of humor. He had a Miata I think or one of those Toyota things. Convertible. He put Lotus stickers on it and parked it along the row of Lotus club cars one year at the PDX ABFM. It sat there all day and no one said anything.
    And same guy, THIS is funny! Theres a local guy named Monte Shelton. He owns a exotic car dealership. Races his collection some high end sports cars including a factory racing Porsche. Has his own personal factory trained technician who maintains his race cars. Ben told Monte about “Nice car!” and was thanked, Ben went on a rant of it being such a first class replica kit car, That he heard they were built in a old Yugo factory. Monte was livid. The mechanic (maybe payback towards some slight or other issue?) joined in and went along with the story. Monte stormed off and went to sulk in his RV. It was the funniest prank I had ever witnessed. Heres a website of some of his race entrys over the years. Some exotic machines. I have been watching him race since the early 1970s See: http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/photo/Monte-Shelton-USA.html

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  12. nighttrainx03

    Did anyone happen to notice the red Camino and the Challenger in the back ground? Would it even be worth the call knowing what he wants for the spit?

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