May 7, 2014


1979 Triumph Spitfire

I really, really do not want to part with this car, especially since I have so much already invested in it.
But I have three other British cars to finish and no room or time for any of them.
My big loss will be your big gain.
These are such great little cars I don’t want to see this one just sit around. 

I have a blog site (see below) where you can see more details on the car including descriptions and photos of the work already done and the parts included. 

I have so many parts for the car so they aren’t all listed.

55,000 miles on odometer.  Original owner says that it is correct but no way to be certain.  It was a weekend car for most of it’s life so the odometer reading may be accurate.
Car in mid-restoration. Much done so far but no time or space to finish it.
Most of the parts needed to complete the restoration have already been purchased but not installed.
Very little rust on the car and the electrical system is in good shape. All lights, gauges, etc work.
The car ran when the restoration began in 2010. There were carb issues and it last ran in 2012.  It ran very smoothly before the carbs were removed for rebuilding.
The car includes pretty much the entire interior with restored seats and door panels.
Sound and thermal insulation has been added to the entire cockpit.
Interior box sections of the body have been cleaned out and rust treated with rust encapsulation products and painted afterwards.
All hydraulics and brake rebuild parts are included.
All major rust issues have been addressed by cutting out the rusted metal and replacing it with new metal.
All the glass is good
Parts are readily available for these cars and surprisingly inexpensive.

What you will need:
The soft top has a split in the plastic window so you’ll need a new top. The frame is fine.
Tires are old so will need replaced.
There is not battery in the car.
The carb may or may not need rebuilt again.  I know people who can do that in their sleep but I don’t know enough about the Zenith Stromberg carbs to do it myself.


Seats: Refinished, restored and repainted seat frames with new foam, seats recovered with black vinyl
Wood dash sanded and clear coated.
Door and side panels recovered with black/charcoal carbon fiber pattern material, new door backings.
Roll of automotive carpet, needs cut
New ABS plastic transmission tunnel to replace the factory cardboard ones that always rot out.
 (New transmission tunnel has sound deadening insulation already applied.)
Complete Dynamat-type sound-deadening insulation applied throughout entire cockpit along with thermal insulation.

All brake pads, shoes, rebuild kits. Clutch, slave cylinder and brake master rebuild kits plus just aboutall other miscellaneous brake related parts

Rear end air shock absorber conversion kit complete


Door waist seals
Motor mounts
Oil and air filters
Fan belt
Distributor cap
Ignition wire set
Top and bottom radiator hoses
Door tonnaeu snaps
Brake and clutch clevis pins
Thermostat and gasket
New carb needle
Clutch master cylinder
Clutch slave rebuild kit
Brake master rebuild kit
Front brake hoses
Brake kits front and rear
Rocker cover gasket

Bad metal cut out on driver’s floor and new metal welded in place, sealed and painted
All other rust cut out and replaced and sealed
Floors covered in two layers of fiberglass cloth and resin.
Cockpit stripped to metal, three layers of truck-bed coating applied. Then painted and sealed
Dynamat-type sound deadening insulation applied to all cockpit surfaces including ABS transmission tunnel and side walls. Thermal insulation added over top of sound insulation. (if you’ve ever had a small British sports car you know that sound and thermal insulation make a huge difference in the enjoyment of driving the car)
Wood dash sanded and clear coated. Vinyl dash still in good shape.
Interior panels rebuilt with new foam and black/charcoal carbon-fiber-pattern material including back bulkhead panel.
New backer board on rebuilt door panels.
Seat frames stripped and refinished, new seat foam and black vinyl cover installed. Not original pattern but seats are ready to be bolted in.
New foam in headrests and re-covered.
Carpet included but it is raw black carpet and needs to be cut and installed.

Remarkably rust-free.  Main rust was in the drivers floorboards and cockpit front kick panels.which has been replaced.
Looks like there is some rust on the driver’s side sills. But the insides have been treated with rust encapsultion products.
All enclosed sills and box-sections of body have been cleaned out, treated with rust-encapsulation products and them painted.
Some slight rust at the front right headlight nacelle.
A few small surface rust spots on the body.
Some body filler on front of rear left wing
Cockpit stripped to metal, two layers of truck-bed coating applied. Then painted and sealed
Most of the exterior firewall and engine compartment shelf has been cleaned, primed and painted.
Small hole in battery compartment repaired.
Frame is solid and straight.
Inside of front lower apron/valance partial restored/primed
Tilting front hood is straight and in good shape. Car does not appear to have ever been hit.
Trunk cleaned, primed and painted. No rust anywhere in trunk area.
Conversion from the big, black plastic bumpers to chrome bumpers (chrome bumpers included) nearly done.  Chrome bumpers just need bolted up but front under-riders are needed.

Electrical , heating, cooling.
Wiring seems in very good shape. Lucas alternator tests fine and all gauges, switches and lights work with no issues.
Heating and cooling systems work. No leaks found on testing. New hoses, thermostat, etc included.
New spark plugs, distributor cap and plug wires installed.
Windshield wipers, turn signals, emergency flashers, etc. work correctly.
Ignition switch, starter and starter relay replaced.

Suspension, hydraulics and related
Aside from cleaning, degreasing and painting the front suspension, it is untouched. The springs and shocks appear to be good as does the rear end.  There is the slight Spitfire rear end sag that can be cured by installing new spacers in between the rear leaf spring or by installing the included rear air-shock conversion kit.
The car was pulled at speed of up to 35mph and there were no bad sounds or clunks from the rear axle or any suspension components.  Car tracked well and the steering and suspension felt good.
Brakes worked fine when parked but new brake rebuild kits, shoes, pads and master cylinder rebuild kits were purchased but not installed.
A new clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder rebuild kits were purchased but not installed.

Engine, drivetrain and related.
Engine fired up and ran smoothly when parked.  There were some carb-related issues which kep me from driving it.  The carb has been rebuilt but not tested. But beyond that it ran smoothly, compression showed good in all four cylinders and there appear to be none of those big oil leaks you so often see with British sports cars.
The clutch was replaced within 10,000 miles of when I purchased the car but the slave cylinder was almost inoperable (rebuild kit is included with the car) so there was no way to test it while driving. Shifting feels smooth.
The exhaust and catalytic converter are good and the gas tank was also replaced with a new one around the time the clutch was replaced.

Selling the Spitfire :(

Well, I really, really, really hate to say it but I've decided to sell the Spit.

I hate to do it but I have 3 other MG's and no room to restore any of them.

I doubly hate to do it because I now have about $3500 in the car, a big chunk of that being new parts.

But the Spit is really not that far from being on the road again and I hate to see her go to waste by just sitting covered with a tarp.

These cars should be driven and enjoyed so I've decided to find her a new home.

November 25, 2012

November 25 2012

Well much has happened since my last posting.
My wife decided that we really didn't need to be married comment.
So the practical reality is that I had to move while only working about 2 days a week.
What a coincidence that the marriage crashed after my loss of full-time employment.
Also, no comment.
To the point.  I started selling stuff.

I got rid of the 95 Corvette :(

And now I'm thinking of selling the Spitfire as well.

The problem is that it is not running.

It's very close to running.  All that needs to be done is the carb reinstalled and she should fire up.

She ran fine before but the carb was rough so she should be a runner when put back together.

The bigger problem is that winter is rolling in and I have no place to work on the car (along with the MGB GT and the MG roadster.

The biggest problem is that I have about $3500.00 in the car, just about all of the parts needed to make her like new but I just don't have the time or space to finish her.

I have the chrome bumper conversion nearly done, the complete interior ready to go in, just about all of the rust repairs are done.  I even have the paint to make her a pretty dark pearl blue.

So If I try to sell her now I won't get anywhere near what I have in her.  I know you never do when you restore a British car but I don't want to get bent over by selling her.


June 7, 2012

What I've been doing on my British cars lately

I haven't done much with the Spit lately.
I've been working on my other British cars, the 1974 MGB roadster and the 1967 MGB GT

I've done a lot on the roadster lately..
Unfortunately, a lot means scavenging parts to get my 67 GT back on the road.

I spun a bearing in the GT engine just driving down the road so I decided to scavenge the roadster engine and gearbox to get it running again.

I hate doing it but my wife and I are separating and I have 3 British cars and a Corvette that need to be finihsed and the GT is closest to completion so it wins.

You can follow my work on the GT blog. It is updated more frequently (as you can tell) than this one is.

After the GT is on the road again the Corvette goes into the shop (I'm not doing the work) and then hopefully I can get the Spitfire running by my drop dead moving out date of August 1st...I'm hoping at least :)

Thanks for stopping by, see you at the link below :)

The 67 GT with the roadster engine installed

February 26, 2011


I fucked up a bit. When I installed the cockpit acoustic and thermal insulation I neglected to account for the removable center tunnel…which means I sealed it to the body tub with the butyl acoustic sheeting.

No I’m going to have to cut it off so that I can remove the tunnel to get to the clutch slave cylinder. I’ll lose the tunnel piece in the process. But I applied the butyl sheeting the way I did in the first place because the cardboard tunnel was disintegrating anyway so no great loss. Moss and VB both sell the replacement plastic tunnel covers for a somewhat reasonable price thought the shipping is what kills on big items like that.

Speaking of fucking up, the piston on my air compressor decided that it didn’t like the cylinder head so it pushed it right off, shattering the entire cylinder head in the process. It was covered under warranty at Northern Tools but when I took it back, I was told they no longer had that air compressor and was asked if I would like to buy the one that cost twice as much? I answered that I did not.

So I tried buying one from Sears but, sadly, that was a great illustration for me of why people don’t shop at Sears anymore. I’ll probably wind up getting a Craftsman anyway; it’s just a huge pain in the ass to deal with Sears anymore.

I cleaned up one of the tail light assemblies for the Spit. It turned out pretty nice and the chrome was surprisingly pit-free. I replaced the inner lens gasket with one I made myself from thin closed-cell black foam that I bought at a craft store. I’ll be replacing the lamps in the assemblies with the replacement LED units for 1157 and 1156 lamps. I’ll also have to swap out the flasher unit with an electronic flasher unit for the LED’s to work but that unit only costs a few dollars.

February 24, 2011

2-24-2011 Back to least a bit

It is winter and I am notorious for not doing shit when it is cold. Maybe it is the SAD which hits me in the winter or maybe I just don't like freezing my ass off... either way, I do very little in the winter months.
Well it got warm here for a bit and that got me out and working. I cleaned up the garage and got the Spit down off the jack sands and back on her own wheels. I then moved her sideways into the back of the garage so my Wifey can finally get her Mini Cooper into the garage.
The Spit is small enough to fit in with the Mini and the MG roadster in there and still allow me to work on them.
I picked up a 1967 MGB GT. I paid way to much for it and it has more rust than the Titanic but it looks good and it is drivable...if you don;t mind the Flintstone floorboards, leaking rear axle seals, intermittent brakes, bad starter and utterly inadequate charging system.
So I'm doing a rolling resto on that now...uggggggghhhh!

Back to the Spitfire.
I pulled the carb off and sent it off to get rebuilt. A local guy who is a NASCAR mechanic is doing the work...maybe the Spit will go fast when he's done...nah. I also have just about all the parts I need to finish the restoration so I may actually have the thing running in a week or two.

I started de-rusting the lower front apron area beneath the bumper. I'll also have to fab up some brackets to get the front bolt holes on the bumper to line up with the bumper brackets on the frame.
The Wifey says it will never run. I can't blame her, the damned car was supposed to be done last summer.
It WILL be on the road and finished by spring. The GT will also be finished in the next few weeks so I'll go from zero LBC's on the road at the begininning of the year to two finished ones. Then it's just the 74 MG roadster and 95 Corvette and all my cars will be done.

I think I may do an all-electric Spitfire or MG next...

December 13, 2010

12-12-2010 Haven't done squat!!!

That's right, I haven't done squat on the Spit in a few months now. I've been busting ass trying to get the inside and outside of the house finished before the weather turned cold...didn't succeed but at least I'm close.
Actually, I have done work on the Spit, aside from ordering complete brakes rebuild kits and clutch master cylinder.
The seats are completely rebuilt and recovered---total cost, less than $100.00
the interior and door panels are all finished except for the outboard footwell panels I was considering making.
All of the interior sound-proofing and insulation is done and the wood dash fascia has been sanded and refinished-though a few more coats of clear are probably needed.
I replaced the ignition switch--the $100.00+ ignition switch!!! I also replaced the starter relay. The car turns over now.
I got a rebuild kit for the carb and a new metering needle (?) You cant replace the jet in this ZS model carb, just the needle.
I had the car running before, now it just turns over. But it will run for a few seconds if you shoot starter fluid into it.
Quite frankly, I know more about nuclear thermal rocket engines than I do about British carbs.
I emailed Butch, my British car shop owner friend out in Burlington to see if he can do the engine and carb tuning work for me. I'll have to trailer the car out to him but it's worth the time and effort. I'm going to finish up rebuilding all of the braking systems so when the car comes back (barring any major surprises) I can start on the paint and boy work. The Spit will be on the road come spring though that will be about 8 months behind schedule.
then I can get my ass in high gear and get the MGB restoration finished.
God, I hate working on cars in the cold.
I'll keep y'all posted.

Happy holidays