Triumph Spitfire: Buying A New Car

When it comes to small two seated sports car the name comes to one’s mind immediate is the Triumph Spitfire. The car was brought to the market during the 1962 Motor show in London.

Design Inspiration

Design of the Triumph Spitfire was inspired by a 1957 model developed Giovanni Michelotti of Italy. Some of design specifications of Spitfire were as follows.

- It followed the designs of Triumph Herald Saloon in respect of the engines, chassis as well as the gear systems in vehicle.

- Spitfire was constructed in Coventry where the workshop of Standard Triumph Works is located.

Difference in Bodywork

There was however some differences in the bodywork of the Spitfire that distinguished it in the crowd of sports cars of the era. The difference was that the car was an open top as well as convertible model from the inception. A ladder chassis that constituted the vital component of the car was given additional reinforcements as well. All said and done the bodywork was made rigid to make it extra strong and durable.

Periodic Evolution

Like most other vehicles of the era, Spitfire also underwent various evolutionary processes. Some of the evolutions were as follows.

- It had a manual hood initially but sometimes latter the same was substituted by automatic folding hoods in the model.

- Byers were given the option to go for hard tops that were also manufactured in the factory.

Foothold in the Market

Objective of the Standard Triumph in marketing the Spitfire was that they wanted to make their competition in the sports car market qualitative and intense. In fact, it was they who opened up the market with the introduction of Austin-Healey Sprite. Thus they aimed to get a strong foothold in the sports car market as well.

Intelligent Combination

Manufacturers made some interesting albeit intelligent combination to make the car a preference of the buyers.

- Drive train that was inherent in Austin A30/35 was introduced in Spitfire.

- On the other hand the body of Spitfire was kept much lighter in comparison.

- Another adoption was the excellent mechanical features of Herald that was the small saloon introduced by them earlier.

Advantage Point of Triumph

In all these the Triumph Company had one advantage point. They preferred the separate chassis of Herald In comparison to Austin A30 ranges. Intentions were to dress up the chassis to convert the entire construction into a sports vehicle of repute. Benefits that the company was going to derive are that the cost of manufacturing would come down considerably as they dispensed with the requirements of designing some new chassis.

The Michelotti Impact

Designer from Italy, Michelotti who was also the designer of Herald, came up with somewhat traditional features for the Spitfire. Some of the features were different such as –

- Wind-up windows.

- Elimination of side screens; a feature of Sprite/Midget.

- Forward tilted single piece frontal design helped get easy access to engine.

Troubled Times

In the beginning of the 7th decade of the last millennium, in the 1960s to be specific, Triumph walked into severe financial problems. In result they were unable to produce the new car although designs had already been made.

When later the Leyland took over the Company, they made provisions for launching of the car. Strangest part of it was that the design developed by Michelloti was gathering dust at a remote corner of the enterprise. Once they found it, approval was rapid and production followed almost immediately.

Photo Gallery of Triumph Spitfire

Technical Characteristics of Triumph Spitfire

Technical Characteristics of 1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 (USA) produced by Triumph (UK).

Body Type Drop-head coupe (cabriolet; convertible) 2 doors / 2 seats
Weight n/a
Length 4000 mm
Height 1207 mm
Wheelbase 2108 mm
Front Track 1245 mm
Rear Track 1270 mm
Ground Clearance 118 mm
Fuel Capacity 33 liters
Engine location front
Engine alignment longitudinal
Drive Wheels Rear wheel drive
Steering rack & pinion
Fuel Supply System 1 St carb
Max Power 53HP (39 kW) @ 5000 rpm
Max Torque 93Nm @ 2500 rpm
CO2 Emissions n/a
Engine Coolant water
Displacement 1493 cc
Bore 73 mm
Stroke 87 mm
Cam Design OHV - Overhead Valves
Cylinders 4 INLINE
Valves per cylinder 2
Total Valves 8
Compression Ratio 7.5:1
Aspiration Normal
Front Brakes Di
Rear Brakes Dr
Standard Wheels n/a
Standard Tyres n/a
Suspension Front I.W.CS.ARB.
Suspension Rear I.SA.TA.TL.
Transmission overdrive
Number of gears 4
Acceleration 0-100 Km/h n/a
Acceleration 80-120 Km/h n/a
Top Speed n/a
City 8.2 l/100km
Road 5.7 l/100km
Mixt 6.6 l/100km