PDA

View Full Version : Considering Taking the Plunge



huck6
11-24-2003, 02:34 PM
I have always wanted an LBC and hope to pick up a little something for the next Summer. I had been looking at minis, but now that I drive an econobox regularly, I'd like to go with a convertible.

How are Spits as daily drivers (overall)? I know that milage varies, but with a stock, good running engine, what can I expect? How are they at speed? I would be looking at a later model given my budget, so I am assuming some loss in hp with emissions, bumbers, etc.

Thanks for your patience. Spitfires have a good reputation for being nice introductions to the world of British cars and they look nice to boot.

vagt6
11-24-2003, 03:18 PM
First, Spits are fun and exciting cars to own and drive. A nicely restored Spitfire will turn heads everywhere it goes. Not a powerful car, but the Spit handles well and is relatively easy and inexpensive to repair and restore. Parts are readily available and lots of good repair advice can be had at a number of excellent, Spit-specific websites and chat rooms.

Veteran restorers will advise you to buy the best car you can possibly afford. Try to get one with little or no rust and sound mechanicals. Body work can be harder to fix and more expensive than mechanical items.

Unless you're a Triumph or LBC expert, take a professional mechanic or highly experienced restorer with you to inspect any LBC you intend to buy -- even if you have to pay for the advice. This is a good investment that will pay off far into the future.

Good luck, please keep us informed of your search!

Mark Jones
11-24-2003, 03:41 PM
I drove my 80 Spitfire quite often to work this past summer. I have overdrive and get about 30 mpg on the highway. I would highly recommend that you look for one with overdrive; it just makes it more enjoyable to drive at highway speeds, but it is more important to buy the best one you can afford.

Mark Beiser
11-24-2003, 11:31 PM
If you live where it gets very hot in the summer and plan the car to be a daily driver, a TR7 may be worth considdering.
The factory air blows very very cold in them.

People who say air conditioning has no place in a sports car have never been stuck in trafic in Texas on a 105 degree day. =x

If you decide on a TR7, watch out for the paint bubbling around the wheel arches, and rockers. Its not surface rust, it started from the inside. There is no such thing as "surface rust" on a TR7.

78Z
11-25-2003, 04:48 AM
Spitfires are likely the best first LBC you could find. They are cheap, good parts availability (for MkIV and 1500 anyway) and probably one of the easiest cars to work on. If you are going to do a daily commute on the highway then definitly go for an overdrive car - it revs pretty high overwise. As far as engine power the Spitfire didn't suffer under emissions as much as say a MGB because the motor increased in displacement so the 1500 models are just as fast (if not slightly faster) than the early models. The autochoke on later ones is apparently junk so I'd switch to manual choke if you are sticking with the stock ZS carb.

also check out http://www.triumphspitfire.com - its a great site!

BOXoROCKS
11-25-2003, 12:40 PM
Ditto on the TR7. The TR7 DHC is one of the best LBC values around

billspit
11-25-2003, 02:57 PM
"There is no such thing as "surface rust" on a TR7."

Yes there is. Its when the rust from the inside reaches the outside!!

sammyb
12-01-2003, 05:22 PM
The thing to keep in mind is that you get "upside down" financially in a Spitfire quicker than in a TR. Now, don't let this be your prime decision making datapoint, since all new cars are in the same boat. A well purchased TR6 can be run for free, since the value appreciation can offset running and maintenance costs.

Also, if you've never run a Spitfire (or similarly sized vehicle) on a freeway with the Ford Excursions and semi-trucks, you might reconsider.

Now, I might be booed off the stage, but I think you'll be better off for a daily driver to get a '95 or '96 Miata for $5K. Just as fun (faster and handles better than any Triumph) plus A/C and a very good top. Parts are cheap, and they're more comfortable. They are also significantly safer, with better brakes, crumple zones and airbags. (Statistically, Miatas are very safe vehicles.) Now as for image...kind of boring, but I never have bought cars on image.

Dale
12-01-2003, 07:03 PM
Hi Guy!
Long time. Are you still in Flagstaff? You'll probably anticipate my advice to reconsider a TR7, but they are a pretty good buy and parts aren't bad. If you're still in the southwest the chances of beating the rust bugs are pretty good.
Lastly, the TR7 contingent on this forum is excellent as well as growing. I don't understand the rational of suggesting you get a miata after you'd clearly stated your interest in an LBC, but any one on this forum at least has their heart in the right place. graemlins/thumbsup.gif

huck6
12-02-2003, 04:01 AM
Thanks for the friendly posts! I do like the TR7, but the Spitfire is my favorite as it looks less "modern" and more "mod".

I will be driving on highways, so I'll look for the overdrive.

Thanks for the advice, I can't wait for summer and saying that as a skier, you know that it must be something special.

sammyb
12-02-2003, 02:45 PM
The only reason I would suggest a Miata is because he stated he wanted a daily driver. If he were talking about a second car/weekender, I'd say "go with whatever floats your boat."

Not only am I a LBC fanatic, but I'm also a weekly Collector Car Columnist, so I don't suggest cars like a Miata on a whim. I see people who try to drive classics every day, and almost everyone I know of who tries to do this with a LBC winds up in a Miata. Those who try it with old Mustangs, Camaros, Imapalas also wind up in newer rigs (usually pickup trucks, for some reason.)

Just remember: you're more likely to die in an accident in a LBC and it will always take you roughly 20 percent longer (or more) to stop. 60-0mph braking on a TR7 is around 145 feet. It's 125 on a Miata. (Almost two LBC lengths!!!)

So just for a daily driver, I would recommend a Miata.

Sam

12-02-2003, 07:31 PM
Dear All,
The only way I can see dying in my LBC is if my wife pulls the jack stands out from under because I spend too much time taking care of it. When was the last time you waved at a Miata whilst cruising down the highway?

Bill

12-02-2003, 07:35 PM
Oh, and I drive a TR6. Along with the big Healey, they are the epitome of the last of the angry sports cars.

Bill

John Bryan
12-02-2003, 08:38 PM
Sammy, I am 6'3" and cannot drive a Miata--my head hits the top supports. I have no trouble at all in my TR6 and I had an MGB and a Jensen Healey in the past, and none of them were a problem. Miatas are okay, I guess, but give me a nice LBC any day! John.

Twinkie
12-03-2003, 12:32 AM
Miatas are more than ok....

ok, ok, Spitfires are nice too, and I would choose one over a TR7, but Spits are not very sure footed at high speeds. Over 110kmh, they feel pretty light....

[ 12-02-2003: Message edited by: Twinkie ]</p>

sammyb
12-03-2003, 12:42 AM
The height thing I definitely understand. I'm 6'4" and that's why I don't own a Miata. It's also one of the reasons I don't own a lot of other cars with a lack of head and kneeroom.

All I can say is: don't knock Miatas until you have a chance to race in one. Those who have understand what I mean.

I wave at Miatas all the time, whether I'm in my Corvette Convertible, old '69 Vette roadster or TR3. I wave, nod, thumbs up anyone who has the soul to drive something sporty, old or has a drop top.

jeff3113
12-03-2003, 01:36 AM
I've now owned my TR6 for 3 years this month. I would say that having a fair amount of mechanical skill is a big plus. I've done u-joints, exhaust and regular tuneup items to keep it on the road during that time. Another TR6 aquantance is not as mech. inclined and it costs quite a bit for him to keep rolling. Of course he really beats the car when driving.
I know the first time I was side-by-side with a full size Dodge Ram 4x4 dually I found myself accelerating past quickly. I think of it as the same as driving a motorcycle in terms of visibility/vulnerability. I don't hang out next to 18 wheelers.
I've used it for short day trips in about a 100-200 mile radius. I've gotten 25mpg highway on a regular basis-without overdrive. Crank it up and that will drop 20-30%.
I'm 6'5", 250lbs and have plenty of legroom. Of course it looks like a go-cart with me in it! LOL Only issue is if the darn gas pedal could be moved forward a bit. I have to have my leg kinda "crooked" to reach it.
It's been very predictable and the engine has run like a top.
Its always neat to have folks talk to you when at a light or parked around town. Don't know what it is but folks like to chat about the cars - whether knowing someone else or having owned one in the past. The TR6, like other LBC's are head-turners to say the least.
All the best and look forward to your chatting.

Jeff

John Bryan
12-03-2003, 10:33 AM
Jeff, the stop light conversations are fun. I was next to a beautifully restored 31 Ford last weekend, in my reasonably well restored 71 TR6. I was on the way to Pep Boys, searching for GL4 Gear oil and they were just out for a cruise. We admired each other's cars and continued on our ways.

Dale
12-08-2003, 10:49 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by sammyb:
The only reason I would suggest a Miata is because he stated he wanted a daily driver. If he were talking about a second car/weekender, I'd say "go with whatever floats your boat."

Not only am I a LBC fanatic, but I'm also a weekly Collector Car Columnist, so I don't suggest cars like a Miata on a whim. I see people who try to drive classics every day, and almost everyone I know of who tries to do this with a LBC winds up in a Miata. Those who try it with old Mustangs, Camaros, Imapalas also wind up in newer rigs (usually pickup trucks, for some reason.)

Just remember: you're more likely to die in an accident in a LBC and it will always take you roughly 20 percent longer (or more) to stop. 60-0mph braking on a TR7 is around 145 feet. It's 125 on a Miata. (Almost two LBC lengths!!!)

So just for a daily driver, I would recommend a Miata.

Sam<hr></blockquote>

Dale
12-08-2003, 10:58 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by sammyb:
The thing to keep in mind is that you get "upside down" financially in a Spitfire quicker than in a TR. Now, don't let this be your prime decision making datapoint, since all new cars are in the same boat. A well purchased TR6 can be run for free, since the value appreciation can offset running and maintenance costs.

Also, if you've never run a Spitfire (or similarly sized vehicle) on a freeway with the Ford Excursions and semi-trucks, you might reconsider.

Now, I might be booed off the stage, but I think you'll be better off for a daily driver to get a '95 or '96 Miata for $5K. Just as fun (faster and handles better than any Triumph) plus A/C and a very good top. Parts are cheap, and they're more comfortable. They are also significantly safer, with better brakes, crumple zones and airbags. (Statistically, Miatas are very safe vehicles.) Now as for image...kind of boring, but I never have bought cars on image.<hr></blockquote>

Darn I wish I wasn't so ignorant about this thing so I could pull out a quote without taking up so much space. Any way the daily driver thing is often a matter of necessity. I drive my TR7 5 or 6 days a week now 25 miles round trip. Am loving it, but painfully aware of the wear and tear on it. It is practical in many ways, but the benefits are largly intangible. Do love your TR3A. Do they still make "Oly" in Tumwater?
graemlins/cheers.gif

sammyb
12-09-2003, 01:05 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Dale:

Do love your TR3A. Do they still make "Oly" in Tumwater?
graemlins/cheers.gif <hr></blockquote>

sammyb
12-09-2003, 01:13 AM
Dale,
Yes I love my TR-3. It provides the best sense of speed of any car I've ever driven (and I've driven all kinds of cars due to my collector car column.) I went TR-3less for 2 years and I went through horrible withdrawl.

Sadly, they don't make any beer in Tumwater anymore. The Olympia Brewery was purchased by Miller Brewing Co many years ago. Then MBC got bought-out by the South African Brewing Co. In July, the SABC closed the Tumwater site down. Too costly. I can't blame them. The labor unions had pushed and pushed for such high salaries and costly benefits that nobody in their right mind would keep it.

Funny thing is that a bottled water company is bidding to buy it, because they can just bottle the completely unfiltered tap water and sell it as "artisian water." (literally, they are going to fill bottles from the main water pipes!! Isn't it great not to have any controls on bottled water?)

Unlike most people down here, I always thought Olympia Beer tasted horrible. I'm originally from Seattle, so when I was younger, if I wanted crappy beer, I drank Rainier.

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Dale:

Do love your TR3A. Do they still make "Oly" in Tumwater?
graemlins/cheers.gif <hr></blockquote>

huck6
12-15-2003, 02:17 PM
Hi Dale and all. I am now in Ohio and must compete with the semi's and SUV's on my daily commute, so the Miata advice is well headed. It looks like I will be keeping my Jeep for a while longer (forever if possible images/icons/wink.gif ). If this is the case, then I will be shooting for a weekend car. I do actually like the Miata's and have considered one, but the hieght issue comes into play. That and I love the Spit's curves. I will also continue to consider the TR7's which I think will rise in value down the road.

Thanks for all of the helpful advice.

chris roop
12-16-2003, 02:08 AM
I don't know where you live, but I come from the rez where 4x4s are predominant. I have no trouble driving my MGB among them on a daily basis.
As for safety, when I worked in a foreign wrecking yard in the early 70's, we only had one drop top fatality come in during a two year span. That was a Midget where the driveline snapped and came up through the tunnel and whipped the woman to death. The headons and rollovers were never fatal.
Sedans were blood buckets.
Times may have changed since then.
Spitfires are prone to go turtle in spirited driving if you are not used to them, compared to other LBCs.
I like them. They are easy to work on, parts are easy to find, and their value is going up.

bmurphy7369
12-16-2003, 03:26 AM
Hello Everyone,

Huck, I can understand your attraction to the Spitfire. It does have beautiful lines and I am sure that values will rise, as they will with any of the cars you are considering. I listed as my previously owned vehicles two 1959 TR3A's and one 1957 MGA... judging from this discussion, I left out two very important prior cars: a 1993 Miata LE, car 154 of 1500 made (Black/Red leather and Aluminum Austin Healey type interior treatment on the door panels and scuff plates) and a 1997 Miata which was also Black with Tan leather and a Tan top. I thought it might be worth mentioning the special edition Miata's and offer a suggestion.
These models were produced each year in limited numbers, sometimes 3500 as with the 1994 and 1995 (maybe even '96 and '97) and sometimes as few as 1500 as with the 1993. A few particular years were especially considered to be tributes to the British roadsters of the past. The first one that I really noticed was the 1991 LE, a shade of green that was called British Racing Green which had a lighter beige leather which I always thought was similar to the Connoly/Jaguar shades used in the Vanden Plas XJ6 models. It was truly a pretty car and they are still available in very good condition, though the prices are probably pretty high compared to a standard Miata of the same year... well worth it though and considered to be a collectible already by some enthusiasts.
The second, my favorite, was the LE made in 1993. I purchased one new, at the end of the model year fully equipped, the only option was the hardtop, which I also purchased. My rationale was this, right or wrong... I had an MGA that I loved to drive, but was having great difficulty finding good mechanics in this area and body shops that took restoration seriously ("Insurance claims are quick and easy money" was the standard explanation, restoration is more difficult, etc...) I was told about the hard to find LE by a local dealer who no longer had one available and discovered that there was one left in the showroom at Speedway Mazda in nearby Indy. I drove the car and immediately felt that I had solved all my problems. It had that roadster feel and truly had a unique charm, not unlike that of the MGA and the TR's and most other British classic roadsters. And it had reliablilty, it turned heads, and it wasn't going to be just like everyone else's Miata. Why not look for a less expensive (but solid) restorable LBC and take your time in turning it into a beauty and also have a dependable and extremely fun daily driver?
The thing that I was having a problem with was the down time with the older British cars. That is not to say that they break down all the time at all, just that there were going to be several long periods in which I could not enjoy the MGA due to waiting on parts, body shops, repair/rebuild shops, etc. I guess I wanted to have the best of both worlds and I found that having a classic car that I could take the time to properly restore and maintain, without experiencing the withdrawal symptoms that Dale seems to have also experienced, was solved by owning a Miata and the LBC of my choice at that time. The ability to hop in the Miata without worrying about being too hard on the car was a comforting feeling. The Miata is a modern roadster that can be driven as a daily driver even in the winter (hardtop and 75 lbs. of salt in the trunk, never had a problem in Indiana snow). I enjoyed driving the MG for true classic roadster-driving pleasure, but would never have considered driving it yearround, for numerous and obvious reasons... but when those beautiful, sunny spring days came, the TR3 or the MGA was there and gave me my much-needed dose of true classic roadster driving pleasure.
The Miata/LBC combination is only a suggestion. If you do consider a Miata at all, research a bit on the special/limited edition models. The more "British-reminiscent" color combinations help true British car lovers to forget that they are driving a Japanese car and its near 50/50 weight distribution of the Miata makes it one of the best driving of all the roadsters, past and present. The Miata may tide you over and give you more time to find that perfect LBC for your tastes. You will know when you find it. When you do, however, if you own a Miata, I doubt that you would trade it in.... I have a feeling that Dale understands the point I am trying to make. Sorry to ramble so long on the subject, but the Miata discussion made me realize how much I have missed mine!
Good luck on your search and enjoy whatever you choose to the fullest.

Twinkie
12-16-2003, 10:36 AM
Some good points, Brian...
Now that I have my Miata, I may find an LBC someday to use for our Brit car shows, etc. I do miss the comraderie of LBC ownership, but I don't miss missing half of our short Canadian summers with an unexpected project. Driving a sportscar is still number one for me over restoring/fixing one. But they go both hand in hand with old cars, and if a person could have both cars, it'd be pretty much perfect.
Until then my '91 Miata will fill both shoes and I haven't regretted the switch over to it yet!

12-16-2003, 09:18 PM
Hey guys,
The Miata is a fine little sports car designed by a group in California for Mazda to recapture the lore of the LBC but updated to be reliable, handle well, not leak (oil or rain), be affordable, fixable and resaleable. But I still like it when I can drive trough a parking garage with my TR6 and set off most of the car alarms with the guttural grunt from my custom exhaust and turn heads at every stop light. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

Bill

64Spitfire
12-21-2003, 10:12 AM
My 64 Spitfire4 has been my daily driver since 1977. I also have a 63. Never had a problem driving the highways. It is hot in the summer if you are caught in traffic and cold in the winter at speed. Mechanically I've had more problems with my 2002 Mini and 94 Chevy Burb. With any LBC you need to listen to your car and stay on top of maintenance. If you do they'll run forever.
Half the fun of owning a LBC is tinkering with it. If that's not your cup of tea then you better go with the rice burner. But you can't compare the two. Driving British is feeling the road in the seat of your pants, the heat of the engine on your feet, and monitoring performance with your ears. Running a Miata is just driving a little car.

Twinkie
12-21-2003, 02:38 PM
"Running a Miata is just driving a little car."

Couldn't disagree more....
I've had five MGbs, three minis, three spitfires, so I know what british car ownership's all about. And I've owned many "rice burners" like our current grocery getter, an '86 Tercel 4x4 wagon. A Miata is quite a different drive than that.
It's quite a simple sportscar, with somewhat modern engineering, probably what an MGB or Elan would be today if they were still being built.
True, you don't get your feet fried, or your filling's shaken out, or rain in your lap with the top up, or reeking of exhaust(spitfire 1500s) and I don't equate that with requirements of owning a real sportscar.
All those "qualities" are part of a brit car's "charm" and I've put up with them in the past, and might again in the future, but I and a lot of other people are sure glad there's an alternative to that.
The huge aftermarket parts and clubs scene is a testament to the Miata's success, just like many other Brit/European sportscars, the only difference is that the miata is somewhat modern, has decent/modern performance(0-60 in 9 sec.), and is reliable, and isn't British.
I don't know if you've ever spent any time in one, but I suggest you do. They're a blast ! Especially around 7,000 rpm coming out of a sweeper... images/icons/wink.gif
Oh, you can "tinker" on a Miata as well...
I do it, just not as much...

[ 12-21-2003: Message edited by: Twinkie ]</p>

BOXoROCKS
12-21-2003, 07:18 PM
Hey Twinkie, couldn't agree more, that blast you describe sounds just like my Dodge truck. V8 Magnum buried to the floor on a two laner. Knowing da%#m well the brakes can't stop it. Very similar to my TR3 driven the same way, with the added bonus of watching the temp gauge peg out.

bmurphy7369
12-25-2003, 06:37 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello Group,

(Disclaimer: This is not mean-spirited or written from a defensive point of view, no matter how it may sound.. all in good fun.)

Just wanted to ask Spitfire64 to re-read (or completely read, whichever applies) what I posted. I don't see any post on this discussion that makes a solid comparison between LBCs and Miatas. The only comparisons made are to the general size, style and driveablility between the two. I thought the days of calling Japanese cars "Rice Burners" were long past. If you care to do a bit of research, Spitfire 64, Honda and Datsun, made beautiful roadsters during the 1960's and possibly beyond, closely resembling the British/Italian roadster designs of that era. These cars are quite sought after and were made long before the Big Three began the smear campaign against small, efficient and reliable Japanese automobiles that, in my opinion, led to such disdain for the great cars being made in Japan. Consider this: The American companies were still calling Chevettes and early Escorts reliable and efficient alternatives to Hondas, Toyotas, etc. (I always believed this to be a smoke screen to hide the fact that they had yet to build anything to compete with "Rice Burners" in the quality sense; therefore, what better way to buy some time than to say "Buy American." We have yet to hear the engine bay of an of an LBC referred to as a "Crumpet Scorcher"...(the mid/late 1970's oil crisis and the inefficient management practices of Ford, GM and Chrysler couldn't be to blame, could it?). From the tone of your post, one might assume that the ideal car for you, aside from your LBC's, might be a 1985 Chevrolet Cavalier convertible. It's not made in Britain, but at least it wasn't produced in Japan. I'm sure it would run circles around the Miata. You could remove the rear seat and call it a roadster.... the styling is simply classic! (please take this in good humour, this is all in jest)

Let's face it: The Miata is a fine car regardless of its country of origin. A Monza (and not that wretched Chevy fiasco) or other aftermarket exhaust system, tuned to the familiar British exhaust note, is available to give the Miata more 'growl', much like the LBC sound.

Test drive a Miata the next time you are hungry for stir fry (they come standard with a Wok under the hood). I don't think that you will be disappointed at all. You may end up buying one! If you do, we won't tell. Promise....

All in good humour, Spitfire64,

Brian

12-25-2003, 09:39 AM
Hey guys,
I appreciate all the laboring over the pros and cons of owning a Miata but this is still a British car forum the last time I checked. Seems some of you are hesistant to jump into your first purchase of an LBC, worried about reliability, cost, etc. This is a hobby, a passion that defies any logic. I think there are very few of you owners out there that truly use your LBC as a daily driver. (notice I said very few and not "no one") Mazdas are fine and do indeed evoke the past with the basic concept of the Lotus Elan and others. Just a the new Mini mimmicks the old Mini, except that it is a German car with a Chrysler engine. (Kinda funny when one shows up at a British car show and is usually snubbed) I drive a restored TR6 because I love LBC's, not LJC's or LGC's. If some of you have a burning need to drive year-round or daily then the Miata makes sense. Just remember that the chief complaint of the early Miata from 50% of the owners was that the door handle broke their nails. Hmmmmm.

Bill

XK4
12-25-2003, 08:42 PM
As has been pointed out, the Miata is NOT a LBC. Just looking at the horsepower you will find very few LBCs which approach the Miata. The one exception to this of common LBCs is a Austin Healey 3000 (or similar) which has similar horsepower to, and weighs less than a Miata.
The Austin Healey IMO is therefore best suited to driving on todays freeways and in todays traffic.

This is not to say the Spitfire cannot be driven as a daily driver, but if you do you should know that you will be running it hard.
When the average sedan next to you and behind you at the stop light has almost twice the horsepower that the Spitfire has you will have to be ready for the car next to you to zoom away and the guy/gal behind you to be riding your bumper.
Without overdrive on the freeway you will be running almost flat out (at least around Phoenix where they drive 65-70 in a 55 MPH zone) and you will have almost no power to accelerate when you see a 4X4 Ram coming up fast on your rear.
The mid '60s Spits can be really squirreley because of its swing axel and all of them are light weight so they are effected by the wind blast off of large vehicles.

Because you will be running it hard most of the time, general maintainance and especially oil changes will have to become a part of your life.

They are HOT in the summer, COLD in the winter and WET in the rain but they were not really designed for the spoiled American driver who throws a tantrum because his power windows and his Super Stereo CD isn't working.

If this is OK with you then go for it. They are a blast to drive and best of all, they don't look like any modern car our there.

[ 12-25-2003: Message edited by: XK4 ]

[ 12-25-2003: Message edited by: XK4 ]</p>

Geo Hahn
12-25-2003, 09:40 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by XK4:
...They are HOT in the summer, COLD in the winter and WET in the rain but they were not really designed for the spoiled American driver...<hr></blockquote>

Brings to mind the stated philosphy of the Triumph Register of America...

" We believe in side-curtains. We believe in engines that last forever. We believe in a rock-solid ride and cut-down doors. We believe that overheating in traffic is an unchangeable, natural phenomenon, just as earthquakes and tornadoes, no matter how unfortunate they might be. We believe that the person inside an automobile who is cold in the winter and hot in the summer--just like the weather outside--is a more healthy person, who will no doubt live longer than those who drive along in a controlled, unnatural environment..."

If you're the sort of person who likes driving that type of car (and many of us are) then logic, reliability and freeway performance don't really enter into the decision.

Eric
12-27-2003, 06:55 PM
I see a general recognition here that LBC's are not cars in the sense my wife would think of them (i.e. transportation appliances), but hobbies, passions, works of art, etc. Looked at in that light, they are wonderful. With only brief exceptions (babies....), I've had LBC's constantly for the past 35 years. I used a Jag XK150S OTS as a daily driver at university, using a winter beater when I could afford both.

As long as we remember a) how maintainance intensive cars in the 50's and 60's were at the tiime and b) how much more maintainance intensive LBC's were compared to most other cars of the era and c) that we're talking about cars that are 25 to 60 years old! I've been using my 73 GT6 as a daily driver during the summer, and I've been occupied in the garage about every second weekend.

This topic is much on my mind lately, as I'm seriously considering a turbo Miata as a daily driver/occasional track car. On the road, the aesthetic experience of the GT6 is unrivaled - it just makes me grin. The look, the sound, the smells, the odd noises.....

However, when I really 'press on', the dynamics are - well, 30 years old. The GT6 is a time machine, but I also love performance, and getting my doors blown off by automatic Civics doesn't go down well. Ideally, I'd have a couple of LBC's, a turbo Miata and a WRX STi. However, if I bought those I'd also need a new wife images/icons/wink.gif

So, LBC as daily driver = large commitment of time and money. As hobby - great fun. People who have grown up with reliable, durable, economical modern cars may be in for a shock, but going in with their eyes open may also have the time of their lives! graemlins/cheers.gif

Twinkie
12-28-2003, 03:14 PM
Huck 6,
I really enjoyed my Spit 1500s, but I didn't have to rely on them as daily transport, and I still had to do quite a bit of maintenance to them. Some of it I enjoyed, some of it I didn't, and that had to do mainly with lack of space(i.e. no garage, just an underground parking lot) to do major projects in like installing my overrive transmission, which I had to farm out at big cost. If I had a garage where I could leave tools out, etc over the course of days/weeks/months, I'd probably still own an LBC.
If you have the space and time, then I recommend getting into the hobby. You just have to be prepared for the reality of fixing more than driving. To many, this appeals to them just as much as driving their gems.
I did it(for twenty years), and then decided it was time for a break from the hobby. No one can tell you that it's a cheap hobby... it isn't(not with my income anyway).
Reasons why I purchased my Miata. I bought it for what a decent, not spectacular chrome bumper MGB goes for around here, and I've owned it for a year, and I've hardly sunk any money into it. Will I lose money on it if I sell it? Heck yeah! But I've lost big money on every LBC I've ownwed.
Spitfires are geat first time Brit sportscars to own, still one of the prettiest designs ever made.
But, best for around town toodling, or short trips with an overdrive. And listen for howling differentials which can drive you insane on the highway...
A spit 1500 with twin HS4 SU's has nice seat o' the pants grunt, but still not nearly as fast as a stock 1600 Miata(which is slow in today's world).
But if you don't care about that, have at 'er then!

64Spitfire
12-30-2003, 04:06 AM
Use of the term ďRice BurnerĒ was not meant as an insult. I agree the early Honda and Datsun 1200ís were fine looking cars (except for the Datsunís tail lights, look like they came off a Checker cab). Iíve owned a few Japanese cars and have nothing but praise for them. I also call Japanese bikes Rice burners and would prefer one to the famous American icon. I guess my point being that I donít believe that Miatas are in the same class as LBCís. They may be of a better class but not the same class. There just isnít enough pain of ownership with a Miata.

Like the song says, ď The more you suffer, the more you really careĒ

bmurphy7369
01-10-2004, 01:50 PM
64Spitfire,

I only suggested owning both........... Just as one would have a Dodge Ram truck and an LBC. Didn't mean to insult you and I rather like the taillights...... goes down to taste, I guess. If we can discuss Dodge trucks here, then why not the obvious daily driver? Just a thought.

Brian graemlins/cheers.gif

BOXoROCKS
01-10-2004, 06:15 PM
Whooooa... Dodge Truck bashing now. I know... I know. No I am not offended. My whole Dodge Truck thing was suppose to be tongue N cheek. Kind of redneck bonding with the Miata group. Altho while I am thinking about it, I would like say

Langelo DeMysterioso
01-10-2004, 09:14 PM
'I think that owning an LBC is like a having a relationship with a woman that you were crazy about and she didn't love you back as much as you did her. The more that you put into it and try to make things work, things work out for a while but soon she craps on you again. You put more work into the relationship and things are lovely for awhile but then BAM! she gives it to you again. When you finally get rid of her, usually because she keeps crapping on you at the most embarassing times you suck up your gut and say its better now that I got rid of that B@*ch but you always think about her and if you are honest with yourself you can admit that you miss her and you really loved her even if she didn't love you. So I find myself looking for another LBC 15 years later. Just like the other one but better and prettier! And she'll treat me just right! Right guys??

[ 01-10-2004: Message edited by: Langelo DeMysterioso ]</p>

Winston
01-11-2004, 02:18 PM
I am honored to be the 40th reply, great thread.
That being said, the voluminous response to the question is ,I believe ,(Res Ipsa Loquitor),
(Latin, meaning "The thing speaks for itself"). overwhelming evidence of the answer to the initial question.
I believe that the fact that many of us sit with our favorite automobile covered in a garage, and it's a constant longing to fire'em up and drive is why we're all here visiting the Forum.

Take the plunge?
The answer is a resounding yes!

LBC's are a journey and we all need a little fun and adventure in our lives and LBC's certainly fit the bill.

Winston 67TR4A IRS

t-rocks69
01-12-2004, 02:06 PM
jump, jump my god man jump off the cliff into the abyss of death otherwise you will always wonder why you didn't and pine for a LBC..it will only hurt the rest of you ownership to the car but damm what memories you will have...
p.s.--land hard its better that way