1976 Triumph Spitfire


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Spitfire Title

Restoration Story

The first big project was to get a convertible top. I didn't have a clue of where to start looking. Not only did I need the new top, but the frame was missing as well. I looked in the Yellow Pages and found British Classics in Markham Ontario, just a few miles away. Simon has an indoor salvaged parts storage and found exactly what I needed. A trip to the annual British Sportscar Flea Market in Ancaster proved fruitful as I met Fred of British Auto Sport who had the top as well as the front and rear stick-on badges that were missing. Fred has helped with numerous items over the last few years.

I have had the entire car, inside and outside, re-painted in a dazzling red that really does the car justice. On the inside the whole interior was either replaced or re-worked, including all new carpet, seat covering, window trim pad finisher, recovered dash top, re-finished dash, transmission tunnel cover, new radio and speakers.

just after paint job Here is the Spitfire just after the paint job. With the "bonnet" off, it so easy to work on the mechanicals. Nice wheels, eh?

In the last year or so, I have been putting the final touches on the trim. A New Old Stock front bumper was snatched up from eBay (thanks Greg Clark) to replace the original that was OK but had a small ding in the left front. The ding bugged me but most people didn't notice it. This past winter, I was able to finally locate a new luggage rack (thanks to Bill Brockschmidt), but it originally fit a TR7 . Using some of the bits of another used rack that was not good enough to put on the car and most of the new rack, I will be able to put a complete rack together that will be showroom condition. It will be installed on the trunk lid where the mounting holes had been since I got the car. I guess the previous owner had removed the rack because it was too shabby and never found a replacement.

A New Old Stock rear centre bumper cover is expected any day now and that will help the rear end shine. There are two little bumps on the rear bumper called capping/finishers that also needed replacement as one of them had been badly scratched. My big hope was to buy them from Rimmer Brothers in the UK as they have them listed in their catalogue. I was disappointed to learn that they can no longer supply them and they are out of production. I fired off a note to a few suppliers and Ted Shumacher of TSI Automotive came to the rescue. He had some after-market ones and some NOS. I jumped at the NOS capping/finishers (thanks Ted).

That wasn't the first time Ted has helped me. The first year owning the car, my wife and I drove to The Roadster Factory Summer Party in Indianapolis Pennsylvania. Ted had a booth there and as I browsed through it, he asked if there was anything I needed. Being new to the Spitfire, I thought is was in pretty good shape but he challenged me that he definitely would sell me something that day. He told me to look at the steering rack to see if it moved while my wife moved the steering wheel left and right. Sure enough it moved and Ted sold me new poly bushings that day that cured the movement and made a big improvement to steering response. Ted KNOWS his stuff.

The car is now at the point, or will be after installing the rear bumper centre and luggage rack, that there isn't much left to improve on the outside. The next stage is to improve the performance while keeping the costs at a reasonable level.