This was my first Spitfire. I bought it in 1973 for $600. Considering I was in the USAF making less than $500 a month, that felt like a lot of money at the time.|
It seemed like everything that could go wrong with this car, did. It leaked four quarts of oil a week (really). Had a lug bolt strip in the real wheel hub so I couldn't get the wheel off. Lost the same wheel - and hub - on a cold winter day (my own fault, I didn't replace the nylock nut on the axle when I fixed the lug bolt). Burned out a generator, burned out a starter, Sheared the axle key in the left rear hub while autocrossing. Blew out a u-joint on the right side. I couldn't afford a new exhaust system so I was patching up the pipes with beer cans and hose clamps about once a week. Then, when I finally got a new exhaust, I ran off the road in a nighttime rally and over a big rock and tore the brand new headpipe out of the mounting flange on the manifold.
Oh, and it had massive amounts of rust - for a five year old car.
I rebuilt the engine somewhere in all of that and bought a hardtop for it - which helped in for the NY winter. And just fixed things as they broke.
I finally gave up on the car and sold it after the left front lower trunion blew out. Fortunately, I was pulling up to a stop sign at the time.
The Spitfire was dark blue originally. The new owner did a lot of bodywork and repainted the car a metallic brown - with the hardtop on. I have very few pictures of it and actually found some slides of it from when the next guy owned it.
Five or six years after I sold it, I ran into a woman scrounging a foreign car junkyard, looking for Triumph parts. Turns out, she had a '68 Mk III Spitfire. When she described the car I realized it was my old car. Her brother was redoing all the bodywork and repainting the car - red. I got to see it after he got done, but I don't have any photos.
Oh, that's my old housemate in the photo...