1.3 and 1.5 litre 4 cylinders
speed manual RWD
hp (1.2 L) / 71 hp (1.5 L)
kg / 1568 lbs
The diminutive Triumph Spifire was built from 1962 to 1980.
It was designed to compete against the MGB and other small roadsters
During its 18 year lifespan the Spitfire received many upgrades
The original Triumph Spitfire was based on extensively modified
running gear from the Triumph Herald sedan. The Spitfire featured
a steel box section backbone frame and independent front suspension.
At the rear the original Triumph Spitfires featured high-pivot
swing axle rear suspension. Unfortunately this setup was a weak
point of the car, it sometimes provoked unpredictable handling,
especially in wet conditions. Thankfully this characteristic
was rectified with a new rear suspension system on post 1970
The MK1 Triumph Spitfire was powered by a 1,147 cc, 4 cylinder
engine which developed 63 horsepower @ 5,750 rpm, and 67 ft-lbs
of torque @ 3,500 rpm. Power was sent to the rear wheels through
a 4 speed gearbox (there was no synchromesh on first gear).
Overdrive appeared in 1973.
As the Triumph Spitfire progressed through its various generations
it gained larger and more powerful engines. The Mark 1 and 2
used 1.2 litre engines, the Mark 3 and 4 featured a 1.3 litre
unit, and the final version - the Spitfire 1500, was powered
by a 1.5 litre engine.
The popular Triumph Spitfire 1500's 1.5 litre engine developed
71 horsepower. This gave the car a top speed in excess of 100
mph. Not a blistering speed, but then this was a back road sports
car, not a highway cruiser.
The Triumph Spitfire featured disc brakes up front and drum
brakes at the rear.
As a sports car for the modern day the Spitfire is probably
more suited as a second car. Its size and practicality could
be a problem for some people. However as a classic sports car
for people limited by budget and physical space the Spitfire
makes an attractive proposition. An enthusiastic network of
fans, and readily available parts mean restorations, improvements
and general maintenance are relatively simple.