I am not a fan of “original” Triumph engines. Matter of fact, they are nothing but glorified tractor engines. In the case of the Spitfire, they are pump engines. However, there are many folks out there that spend generous amounts of cash rebuilding them – I guess to each their own! For those of you , I thought this might be an interesting video.
Here is a time-lapse photography of a Triumph Spitfire engine rebuild.
And yes… Before bowtie6 there was a Spitfire. I actually owned a 1978 Spitfire with the optional factory hard top. This thing was so much fun to drive but it only had a 1500cc engine and the dreadful 4 speed gearbox; no overdrive. At highway speeds this thing sounded as if it were about to self destruct and blow up right there on the spot. This was the primary reason I sold it.
At the time I took this picture, the engine been extensively modified. The Zenith-Stromberg carburetter had a highly modified needle sourced from the UK, the intake had been seriously ported as well as the head. It also had a four-into-one header. The lightweight Panasport wheels were shod with Yokohama A008′s and boy did these things stick. However they were pretty much slicks.
My cousin Jim also modified the rear suspension quite a bit. These cars had a tendency to show some weird handling at the limit: the leif-spring IRS would have the inside tire tuck in during hard cornering and this would cause some “surprises”. To prevent this, Jim made a special control arm that prevented the dreaded behavior from happening.
In retrospect, I wish I still had this little blue car. It would have a 2.2 liter version of the Ecotec in it and a custom-made frame with coilovers and a better rear suspension. Imagine that! With a real engine under the bonnet and a properly sorted out drive train, this thing would be a missile!