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1968 Triumph Spitfire

This vehicle has now been sold - click ‘Register Similar’ below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Sold Price

£10,600

  • Mileage~87,809 on clock
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.3L
  • LocationBasildon

SOLD

1968 Triumph Spitfire

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Introduction

Richard Gormley
Professional Consigner and Automotive Photographer

A stunning example - has to be one of the best around after a 9-year labour of love has resulted in a truly special Spitfire.

Code named “Bomb” the Triumph Spitfire came within a hairs breadth of being cancelled. One prototype had been built when British Leyland took control and there were competing demands for resources with many wanting the sports car focus to be on the TR range. However, Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti had already shaped the elegant body and BL approval to develop the project soon followed. Some controversy emerged around the Spitfire name for fear it might encourage spirited driving! Thankfully the name stuck along with the famous RAF WW2 fighter association.

In true Michelotti style the design was inevitably beautiful. Feminine lines and delicate yet purposeful looks made the Spitfire an instant success with the public when launched at the London Motor Show in 1962. 315,000 cars and five iterations later the car ceased production in 1980.

This car is a Mark 3 and arguably one of the prettiest of the designs. Facelifted from the previous versions the front end was restyled while the back retained its unique Spitfire look ahead of the very corporate styling of the later models.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Richard after meeting Chris the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

The rebuild had to be without compromise – with a couple of minor tweaks this car could be a serious show winner.

A surveyor by profession Chris loves classic cars. As well as this Spitfire he owns an MGB GT and a very rare early Midget. Chris certainly won’t be the last person to seek out a Spitfire because he had one in his youth and, for him, it had to be this model. Having acquired the car in 2000 he reports that the car drove well but the bodywork was untidy.

This was no passing fancy. Chris took the car off the road in 2006, stripped it down completely and then a 9 year rebuild began. This included shot blasting the chassis, sourcing a rebuilt period engine, installing a reconditioned gearbox and differential as well as a bare metal respray. The results are incredible - check out the videos and photographs to see the car on the road and appreciate the true quality of the work that has been carried out.

Chris estimates he has spent over £8,000 on parts having carried out much of the labour himself. With too many other projects Chris has decided it’s time for the Spitfire to go to a new home.

Chris
Vehicle Owner

Ask the Owner

CONTACT OWNER

Exterior

The finish is nothing short of stunning - enhancing the car’s elegant lines.

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels are the original style white painted steel and are in excellent condition with no visible dents.

There is good tread on all four tyres including the spare.

Overall presentation of the wheels and tyres is very good with a couple of small chips in the paint on one of the wheels, which can be seen in the photographs but we believe this could be very easily remedied.

Bodywork

The bodywork looks exceptional with no visible corrosion, dents or dings. The underside is immaculate as can be seen from the photographs and reflects the fact that the car has only covered around ~500 miles since the rebuild was completed in 2015.

The panel gaps look good too, particularly around the area where the bonnet closes which is so often a vulnerable area for these cars. The doors, bonnet and boot all open and close cleanly and precisely.

The hood is in good condition and free from rips and tears as well as any significant marks. Chris believes that the hood would benefit from replacement to bring it up to the standard of the rest of the car.

Paint

The paint on this car is nothing short of stunning right across the car. The bright Signal Red has to be one of the best colours for these cars complementing the styling and giving real period charm. We could see no chips or areas of minor damage and there were no noticeable differences in shade or texture.

The finish has been polished to a deep shine resulting in an even and consistent finish. The underside of the car is painted in body colour and looks remarkably clean. The quality of the work that has been carried is exceptional as can be seen in the photographs and video.

Glass and Trim

The glass and mirrors appear clear and unmarked with no issues to note.

The chromework is excellent having been renewed or re-chromed as part of the rebuild. Even the badges are free from pitting and corrosion and absolutely gleam, contrasting beautifully with the paintwork.

Interior

Every inch a Triumph – experience the charm and joy of sixties motoring.

Seats and Carpets

The black seats are in great condition with no visible tears or signs of wear. They are firm, comfortable and provide good support. The seats are from a later model Spitfire and are more comfortable than those originally specified for a car of this year. Chris believes this makes the car more enjoyable to drive but a new owner may wish to source period replacements if they wish.

The carpets are functional with no significant rips or tears. However, they are not quite up to the standard of the rest of the car and, were he keeping the Spitfire, Chris confirms replacement carpets would be next on his list.

Door cards and vinyl are very good and complement the seats and dash.

Dashboard

The polished wooden instrument binnacle is in excellent condition with no peeling or significant marks.

The dial glasses are clear and the dials in excellent condition, as can be seen from the interior photographs. Chris advises that the dial faces and glass are unrestored making their condition all the more remarkable

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

An immaculate Mota-Lita steering wheel has been fitted.

The gear stick and handbrake lever are both in sound condition.

Mechanics

Immaculate engine bay, fantastic accessibility and a lively, urgent four pot to propel you around the country lanes in style.

Engine and Gearbox

When Chris acquired the car it had a non-original engine which was not the right specification for the car. He set about acquiring a correct engine and managed to find a rebuilt example of the right specification.

The car starts well from cold and settles down quickly to a steady idle. The on the road video shows the car pulls well and gear changes seem precise and certain.

As well as a rebuilt engine the car has a reconditioned gearbox and differential.

Suspension and Brakes

As part of the rebuild the brakes were overhauled and new parts installed where required.

Similarly, the suspension has been fully overhauled and restored.

The Drive

Chris tells us the car drives exceptionally well which is consistent with the level of care and attention the car has received over the last 20 years. Please see the mechanical review to witness the cold start and the short drive we joined Chris for.

Electrics and Other

Chris confirmed all electrics work as they should and switches and wiring all appear in very good condition.

History and Paperwork

The history file is a pleasure to read and faithfully records the journey Chris has been on with this car.

Chris has a comprehensive history with the car including literally hundreds of digital photos of the rebuild and professionally shot pictures of the finished product. There are also copies of magazines that have featured the car, MOT certificates and tax discs going back many years, as well as receipts for parts included in the rebuild. All of this history will come with the car.

The car was first registered in February 1968.

We've actioned checks on; Seller ID, V5, HPi clear.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
03.06.2021 MOT 87,785
15.03.2018 MOT 87,660
23.02.2018 MOT 87,657
06.07.2016 MOT 87,385
17.07.2015 MOT 87,272
25.06.2015 MOT 87,267
11.07.2006 MOT 87,193
Key Details
  • ModelSpitfire
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date08.02.1968
  • CC1,296cc
  • Mileage~87 809
  • HistoryGood
  • ColourSignal Red
  • Interior ColourBlack
  • Chassis #FD11366
  • Engine #FD1197HE
  • Matching #sNo
  • RestoredYes
  • MOTYes Exp. 02.06.2022
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes - clear
  • Former Keepers9
  • Security SysNo
  • LHD or RHDRHD
  • Visited24.09.2021
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned20+ Years
  • Key FeatureCondition







Vehicle Sold

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Ask Owner
Show Bids Only
£8,500 bid by rockape 14.10.2021 @ 18:58:57
£7,850 bid by AJG 14.10.2021 @ 18:57:34
£7,600 bid by rockape 14.10.2021 @ 11:50:20
£7,300 bid by RichardA 14.10.2021 @ 11:33:38
rockape
Member
rockape

What impact will there be with the adoption of E10. Do you have any thoughts on which components in the fuel system may need changing?

Chris hart
Guest
Chris hart

As I understand it e10 fuel causes rubber fuel pipes to degrade quicker than older e5 fuels at present the solution is to use super unleaded which will continue to be e5 grade and is what i use. There is some debate as to whether e10 will attack carburettor components seals and floats etc I don’t know what the advice it on this I’m afraid but by sticking to e5 fuel it isn’t a problem. Hope that helps and there is useful information on the TSSC (triumph sports six club) and MGOC (MG owners club) websites

rockape
Member
rockape

Thanks….lots of interesting stuff on this on the US Triumph website as well..

Chris hart
Guest
Chris hart

No problem if I can help any further please let me know

£6,500 bid by jaguarmad1 13.10.2021 @ 21:43:39
£6,000 bid by rockape 13.10.2021 @ 07:53:14
moffet
Member
moffet

I know it’s tight but any chance of viewing ? I’m in Basildon

Chris hart
Guest
Chris hart

Apologies but I have been called away on business this week

£5,001 bid by paulhutchins54 12.10.2021 @ 22:11:36
£4,500 bid by rockape 12.10.2021 @ 11:27:14
£4,000 bid by Alexandru40 11.10.2021 @ 14:26:39
AJG
Member
AJG

Hi Chris – hopefully it’s a silly question but is there any reason why a factory hard top wouldn’t fit your Mk3? In case of an outing on a cold day

Kind regards

Chris hart
Guest
Chris hart

Hello the standard factory hard top does fit as I do have one but it’s in poor condition and needs refurbishing so us not included in the auction

AJG
Member
AJG

Many thanks for that – is there, also, any facility to (re?)install a radio?

Chris hart
Guest
Chris hart

Yes there is a radio slot below the dashboard and a grille behind the seats that you can fit a dashbiard

Chris hart
Guest
Chris hart

Apologies meant speaker not dashbiard

£3,750 bid by rockape 09.10.2021 @ 15:57:51
rockape
Member
rockape

Hi Chris. Lovely car (my wife and I owned one each in the ‘70s)

What is the situation in regards to fuel for this engine?

Cheers

Mark

Chris hart
Guest
Chris hart

Hello Mark I run it on super unleaded and it’s fine. I was told that the engine had hardened valve seats when i bought it which gives protection to the head

rockape
Member
rockape

Thanks….. i will keep an eye on the auction…!

£3,500 bid by hscooper 08.10.2021 @ 08:42:10
£3,000 bid by rockape 07.10.2021 @ 16:16:10
£2,500 bid by Nicks 07.10.2021 @ 13:16:43
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Vehicle Location

Basildon, Essex

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