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1981 Triumph Spitfire 1500

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The Project

This 1981 Triumph Spitfire 1500 arrived in May 2024. 

22nd May 2024: Booked in for general engine servicing to get the car back on the road.

> More updates to follow.

The Triumph Spitfire story began when the Standard Motor Company that owned Triumph were looking at producing a sports car that could compete against the Austin Healey Sprite – a cheap and fun two-seater that the everyday person could afford and drive.

Although Triumph already produced sports cars at the time, they were produced to compete with more upmarket makes like the MGs. The company needed to produce a sports car to fill their manufacturing void- a car more competitive in the lower end of the sports car market but superior to the Austin Healey Sprite.

Triumph Spitfire 1500

A new 1.5 L engine produced 71 hp and was paired with a Morris Marina gearbox. The combination of both meant that the Spitfire finally passed the 100 mp/h (161 km/h) top speed mark. However, due to new laws in the US, the US exported Spitfire 1500 were given a smaller engine compression ratio, a single Zenith Stromberg carburettor, and an exhaust system with a recirculation system and a catalytic converter.

This meant that the new US market Spitfire only produced 53 hp (DIN) and reached the 60mph mark in 16.3 seconds. This was far from impressive. European and British Spitfires kept the twin HS4 carburetors and a 9:1 compression ratio which allowed for better performance.

The 1500 came with longer rear swing axles which resulted in a wider rear track. Combined with a lowered rear suspension this improved the car’s stability considerably. Other changes include the significant upgrade of the interior trim with the later models (1977 and onwards) also receiving more modern updates like electric windscreen washers and hazard warning lights.

After 18 years of production the British Leyland felt the Spitfire was no longer competitive in the sports car market due to many factors including constraints of American safety and emissions legislation. The last Spitfire 1500 rolled off the assembly line in August 1980 and is on full display at the British Motor Heritage Museuem in Gaydon, Warwick.

1981 Triumph Spitfire 1500 | Classic Car Restoration | Carrosserie
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I cant recommend Carrosserie highly enough, the service was exemplary from start to finish and the workmanship is second to none. I highly recommend giving the team a call for any work you need doing to your classic car, no matter what it is, you will not be disappointed!
Dr Tim Moss
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Thank you to all at Carroserie who have provided absolute commitment, professional expertise, the ultimate in personal service and 'tender loving care' for my 84-year-old car.

I cannot recommend Carroserie highly enough.
Nigel Cramp
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Great friendly and helpful team at Carrosserie. Highly quality work. This is the second time I've used their services.

Highly recommended if you want quality restoration or paint work.
Phil Sage
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The work carried out here is like magic, the standard the cars leave is fantastic, the cars they restore are works of art!

22nd May 2024

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