Lot 01: Triumph Spitfire MkIV
The prototype Spitfire was produced by Standard Triumph in 1957. It was based on a modified Herald chassis clothed in a swooping two-seater body penned by Giovanni Michelotti. Unlike the rival Austin-Healey Sprite, it featured wind-up windows; also a single-piece front end that folded forward to provide optimum access to the engine bay. There was much support for the car, however production was initially impossible due to Standard Triumph's dire financial situation. Indeed, it was eventually delayed until 1962, by which time the company had been taken over by Leyland. The original production engine was the 4-cylinder 1147cc unit from the Triumph Herald, mildly tuned for the Spitfire with twin SU carburettors. The car featured rack and pinion steering, wishbone front suspension and a transverse leaf swing axle arrangement at the rear. The MKII and III Spitfires featured useful improvements, but it was the MKIV variant of 1970 that embodied the most comprehensive changes made during the model's 19-year lifespan. The front and rear of the car were restyled and the doors treated to recessed handles. The interior was greatly improved and featured a full width facia with the instruments ahead of the driver. The engine capacity remained at 1293cc, as introduced for the MKIII. The rear suspension, however (much criticised on the earlier cars), was de-cambered and redesigned to eliminate the tendency for the wheels to 'tuck in' and throw the car into oversteer when cornered hard. Some 70,021 MKIVs were produced between 1970 and 1974 when the model's final incarnation, the Spitfire 1500, was introduced.
The right-hand drive 1972 Spitfire MKIV being sold is finished in Emerald Green complemented by a black leatherette interior. It is understood both the engine and odometer were replaced at around the 100,000 mile mark (the odometer currently fitted shows an unwarranted 29,228 miles). The vendor describes both the coachwork and paintwork as "generally good" and engine, transmission and interior trim as "average". He tells us that the hard top has recently been refurbished. The Spitfire is taxed until the end of this year and MOT'd into August 2011. Affordable, economical to run and simple to repair, these classic British sports cars are understandably becoming increasingly sought after.
H&H Sales Limited, The Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£1350|
|Engine capacity (cc)||1293|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors||2|