The beginning

The Triumph Spitfire is a British built two-seater sports car produced between 1962 and 1981. I'm documenting here my efforts to restore a 1978 Spitfire 1500 that had been rotting away in the garage for about 10 years.

The story started when was much younger. My dad bought the Spitfire in a very run down state having been abandoned a local mechanic's yard. In his words, "It seemed like a good idea at the time!". The car was towed home, wasn't running, had the wrong engine and gearbox and a neglected body featuring plenty of nasty looking rust. My father completely stripped it down to the chassis (and beyond) with the idea of doing a complete rebuild. Thats as far as it got! The disassembled car stood in our garage untouched for the following 10 years of so.

Around 4th year in secondary school, after developing a interest in anything mechnical or with engines (as most boys do!), I started dreaming about getting the Spitfire back on the road. I wanted to take over the project myself, however with the car in the state it was, I knew it would require a lot of time and money. I started at the bottom, with a drill and wire brush, removing the layers of rust which had formed over the years on the chassis. Being young and poor I didn't progress very far.

When I finished university in June 2003, with more cash and time to work with, I got stuck in again on doing something about the mess that has monopolised the garage for over 15 years. Of course, by now, it has deteriorated even further. The body looked like it will be the biggest hurdle, there's more rust on it than metal. Likewise for many of the other parts. Fortunately the chassis is in good condition. The engine and gearbox will ideally be replaced with an original Spitfire 1500 engine (the current engine is from an earlier Triumph Dolomite). And there would be a list a mile long of parts that will need replacing!

This project is going to involve copious amounts of time and money but hopefully one day, it will all pay off.