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Triumph Spitfire

Triumph Spitfire

Triumph Spitfire

Triumph Spitfire

Year (of specifications) 1962 - 1980
Engine(s) 1.2, 1.3 and 1.5 litre 4 cylinders
Transmission 4 speed manual RWD
Max speed -
0-60 -
Horsepower 63 hp (1.2 L) / 71 hp (1.5 L)
weight 711 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 for sales.

During its 18 year lifespan the Spitfire received many upgrades and improvements.

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 models.

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.

CC 2005 - 2015