The Triumph Spitfire is a small English two-seat sports car, introduced at the London Motor Show in 1962.The vehicle was based on a design produced for Standard-Triumph in 1957 by Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti. The platform for the car was largely based upon the chassis, engine, and running gear of the Triumph Herald saloon, and was manufactured at the Standard-Triumph works at Canley, Coventry. As was typical for the manufacture of cars in this era, the bodywork was fitted onto a separate structural chassis, but for the Spitfire, being designed as an open top or convertible sports car from the outset, the ladder chassis was reinforced for additional rigidity by the use of structural components within the bodywork. The Spitfire was provided with a manual hood for weather protection, the design improving to a folding hood for later models. In addition factory manufactured hard-tops could also be purchased and fitted for use in winter months.
The Triumph Spitfire was originally devised by Standard-Triumph to compete in the small sports car market which had opened up with the introduction of the Austin-Healey Sprite. The Sprite had used the basic drive train of the Austin A30/35 in a light body to make up a budget sports car; Triumph’s idea was to use the mechanicals from their small saloon, the Herald, to underpin the new project. Triumph had one advantage, however; where the Austin A30 range was of unitary construction, the Herald featured a separate chassis. It was Triumph’s intention to cut that chassis down and clothe it in a sports body, saving the costs of developing a completely new chassis.
Italian designer Michelotti—who had already penned the Herald—was commissioned for the new project, and came up with a traditional, swooping body. Wind-up windows were provided (in contrast to the Sprite/Midget, which still featured sidescreens, also called curtains, at that time), as well as a single-piece front end which tilted forwards to offer unrivalled access to the engine. At the dawn of the 1960s, however, Standard-Triumph was in deep financial trouble, and unable to put the new car into production; it was not until the company was taken over by the Leyland organisation funds became available and the car was launched. Leyland officials, taking stock of their new acquisition, found Michelotti’s prototype hiding under a dust sheet in a corner of the factory and rapidly approved it for production.
The production car changed little from the prototype, although the full-width rear bumper was dropped in favour of two part-bumpers curving round each corner, with overriders. Mechanicals were basically stock Herald. The engine was an 1,147 cc (1.1 l) 4-cylinder with a pushrod OHV cylinder headand 2 valves per cylinder, mildly tuned for the Spitfire, fed by twin SU carburettors. The Spitfire was an inexpensive small sports car and as such had very basic trim, including rubber mats and a large plastic steering wheel. These early cars were referred to both as “Triumph Spitfire Mark I” and “Spitfire 4”,not to be confused with the later Spitfire Mark IV.
In UK specification the in-line four produced 63 bhp (47 kW) at 5750 rpm, and 67 lb·ft (91 N·m)of torque at 3500 rpm. This gave a top speed of 92 mph (148 km/h), and would achieve 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 17.3 seconds. Average fuel consumption was 31mpg.
For 1964 an overdrive option was added to the 4-speed manual gearbox to give more relaxed cruising.Wire wheels and a hard top were also available.
Spitfire Mark II
In March 1965 the Spitfire Mark II was launched. It was very similar to the Mark I but featured a more highly tuned engine, through a revised camshaft design, a water-cooled intake manifold, and tubular exhaust manifold, increasing the power to 67 bhp (50 kW) at 6000 rpm.The coil-spring design clutch of the Mark I was replaced with a Borg and Beck diaphragm spring clutch. The exterior trim was modified with a new grille and badges. The interior trim was improved with redesigned seats and by covering most of the exposed surfaces with rubber cloth. The original moulded rubber floor coverings were replaced with moulded carpets.
Spitfire Mark III
The Mark III, introduced in March 1967, was the first major facelift to the Spitfire. The front bumper was raised in response to new crash regulations, and although much of the bonnet pressing was carried over, the front end looked quite different. The rear lost the overriders from the bumper but gained reversing lights as standard (initially as two separate lights on either side of the number plate
The 1147 cc engine was replaced with a bored-out 1296 cc unit (the bore increasing from 69.3 mm (2.73 in) to 73.7 mm (2.90 in), stroke retained at 76 mm (3.0 in)), as fitted on the new Triumph Herald 13/60 and Triumph 1300saloons. In SU twin-carburettor form, the engine put out a claimed 75 bhp (56 kW), and 75 lb·ft (102 N·m) of torque at 4000 rpm, and made the Mark III a comparatively quick car
by the standards of the day.Popular options continued to include wire wheels, a hard top and a Laycock de Normanville overdrive, and far more relaxed and economical cruising at high speeds. The Mark III was the fastest Spitfire yet, achieving 60 mph (97 km/h) in 14.5 seconds,and reaching a top speed of 95 mph (153 km/h). Average fuel consumption was improved slightly at 33mpg.The Mark III actually continued production into 1971, well after the Mark IV was introduced.
Starting in 1969, however, US-bound models had to be changed to comply with new safety/emission regulations; models produced after 1969 are sometimes referred to as “federal” Spitfires. The changes included a slight decrease in power (68 bhp) due to emissions control, the instrument panel was moved in front of the driver, and new seats were introduced with integrated headrests to help against whiplash. Also the wood dash was replaced with a matte black finish.
the triumph an individual is additionally a touch english – arrange sports vehicle, introduced at the london engine appear in 1962.the car changed into maintained a technique made for favored triumph in 1957 by methods for italian originator giovanni michelotti. the phase for the vehicle changed into to a stunning amount subject to upon the case, engine, and taking strolls gear of the triumph acquire saloon, and was manufactured at the standard thing triumph works at canley, coventry. as ended up typical for the creation of vehicles all through this period, the bodywork ended up fitted onto a particular helper body, close to the an individual, being conscious as buddy in nursing open high or convertible computer games car from the begin, the ladder case changed into upheld for what’s more rigid nature through crafted by essential components at between times the bodywork. the somebody was given a manual hood for climate security, the arrangement up to a falling hood for later designs. in like manner plant manufactured hard-tops would most likely even be gotten and fitted to be connected in coldness months.
the triumph an individual transformed into at first created by methods for favored triumph to struggle at breaks the little computer games vehicle put it available that had appeared with the introduction of the austin-healey conviction. the conviction had used the basic power train of the city awareness a30/35 over the span of a light-weight casing to make up a spending sports vehicle; triumph’s get ready gone into to use the mechanicals from their no saloon, the introduce, to help the new venture. triumph had one great position, be that as it can; wherein the urban center a30 territory become of unitary improvement, the messenger ensured a particular casing. it have been triumph’s mean to chop that case down and dress it sooner or later of a computer games outline, saving the expenses of structure up an exceptionally new suspension.
italian modeler michelotti—who had viably put away the introduce—moved toward becoming dispatched for the fresh out of the box new endeavor, and composed a tedious, swooping body. wrap up home windows were given (in capability to the sprite/smaller person, that also ensured sidescreens, inside and out expressed as curtains, around at that point), moreover as a lone piece the front quit that tipped advances to offer one and exclusively get section to the engine. toward the beginning of the 1960s, be that as it could, wellknown-triumph was in a terrible job, and undeserving to put the shiny new vehicle into creation; it had been not till the business was seize by method for the leyland alliance property wound up available and conjointly the vehicle changed into impelled. leyland authorities, surveying their new verifying, watched michelotti’s point of reference activity beneath a dash of surface eventually of a feature of the production line and apace certified it for creation.
the coming vehicle changed little from the model, tho’ the whole width back shield become considered for 2 area watchmen twisting round each corner, with overriders. mechanicals have been basically stock get. the engine was partner in nursing one,147 cc (1.1 l) 4-chamber with a pushrod ohv chamber headand 2 valves for each chamber, carefully tuned for the somebody, supported by method for twin su carburettors. the somebody was a reasonable about no amusements vehicle and without anyone else had exceptionally key trim, what’s more as flexible mats friend degreed a bigger than normal plastic handwheel. those early vehicles have been settled each as “triumph somebody mark I” and “sparkler 4”,no longer to be mistaken for the later somebody mark iv.
in joined kingdom assurance the in-line 4 made sixty 3 bhp (forty seven kw) at 5750 rev, and 67 lb•toes (ninety one n•m)of torsion at 3500 rev. this gave a fast of ninety 2 mph (148 km/h), and would win 0 to sixty mph (97 km/h) in seventeen.three seconds. typical gas use transformed into 31mpg.
for 1964 accomplice in nursing overdrive hazard become additional to the four-speed manual bundling to supply heaps of detached cruising.cord wrangles irritating high had been at the whole accessible.
sparkler mark ii
in walk 1965 the somebody mark ii become moved. it have been shockingly completely simply like the imprint I anyway covered an a lot of sensationally tuned engine, by means of a rethought shaft pattern, a cool convoluted, and void confounded, growing the ability to sixty seven bhp (50 kw) at 6000 rev.the circle spring style handle of the imprint I wont to get displaced with a borg and sign stomach spring hold. the skin trim was adjusted with a substitution grille and distinguishing pieces of proof. within trim was ventured forward with upgraded seats and by veiling the more prominent a piece of the revealed surfaces with flexible physical article. the hidden formed flexible floor spreads have been replaced with molded carpets.