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Lot 077: Triumph Spitfire MkIV

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (2 March 2011)

Spurred on by the success of the BMC Sprite/Midget range, Standard-Triumph unveiled its new sports car in 1962, the Triumph Spitfire. The Spitfire used a Triumph Herald chassis and twin SU version of its engine for ease of production and clothed it with a very attractive open roadster body styled by Michelotti. Thanks to the separate chassis the Spitfire enjoyed the same type of tilt-forward front wings and bonnet assembly as the Herald but also had the same alarming handling on the limit thanks to the poorly designed rear swing-axle.

By 1971 the Spitfire was getting a bit long in the tooth so a major revamp was ordered. The new MkIV featured a completely re-designed cut-off rear end, giving a strong family resemblance to the Triumph Stag and Triumph 2000 models, both of which were also Michelotti-designed. The front end was also cleaned up, and the doors were given recessed handles. The interior was much improved: a proper full-width dashboard was provided, putting the instruments ahead of the driver rather than over the centre console. The engine continued at 1,296cc but was modified with larger big-end bearings and the gearbox gained synchromesh on its bottom gear.

By far the most significant change, however, was to the rear suspension, which was de-cambered and redesigned to eliminate the unfortunate tendencies of the original swing-axle design. The Triumph GT6 and Triumph Vitesse had already been modified, and the result on all these cars was safe and progressive handling even at the limit.

First registered in April 1972, this MkIV Spitfire had just one lady owner from 1992 until 2010. In 1996 it was treated to a full restoration which included fitting a new body shell from a rust-free American import and a full engine rebuild with new pistons at a total cost of over �6,000. A new hood, Corbeau bucket seats and a sports steering wheel have also been fitted. Said to drive beautifully it comes with photos of the restoration, various bills for the works carried out, many old MOTs and is currently MOTd until May 2011.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number077
Estimate£4250-£5250
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£3500
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1972
Condition rating0
Registration numberKPG 866K
Mileage-
Chassis numberFH32140
Engine numberFH28347HE
Engine capacity (cc)1296
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2