View Full Version : Dilemma - what to do?

Mark Jones
09-03-2009, 09:09 AM
My next door neighbour has really admired the work I have done to my Spitfire (not blowing my horn) and a few months ago he told me that he has a Spitfire sitting in the mezzanine at his machine shop. He bought the car several years ago, but heís not a mechanically inclined guy, and he says this car needs as much body work as mine needed, so he just put it up in mezzanine.

A couple weeks he told me that he would like to give me the car since he has no intention of ever restoring/driving the car. I need another car like I need another hole in my head. But to be nice I stopped by his shop yesterday after work to take a look at the car.

Well what did I see but a 1970 Spitfire; just about the most desirable of them all. The car is complete but it does need new floors and probably new sills; certainly inner and middle, and rear dog legs. But the rear fenders and the bonnet are in good shape; even the chrome looks good. My friend did have the car licensed and drove it for a summer, but hasnít moved in a couple years.

So what should I do? I only have a two car garage presently; home to my recently restored 1980 Spitfire and my 11 yr rolling restoration 1973 MGBGT (just finished putting a new interior into it). Do I say thanks but no thanks or do I part of my GT? I canít see Judy letting me sell the í80; she loves to drive it. I love the RAF badge; looks so cool. But Iíd have to sell one of my present cars to finance the Ď70s restoration. HELP!

09-03-2009, 09:12 AM
Sell the 7, drive the B-GT and fix the Spit!!! :devilgrin:

09-03-2009, 09:34 AM
So, are you looking to us to help you rationalize the acquisition, or to talk you out of it?

I'm in a similar strait (2 car garage, too many cars). The difference being I'm in Arizona, so a car outside for the winter isn't a big deal here. Were it me, I'd take the car in a heartbeat, and then find a place to stash it until spring. If for no other reason than that being in the car hobby you might be able to find a better home for the car.

Short of the body work / paint, Spitfires are, on the whole, relatively inexpensive cars when it comes to parts (I'm comparing this against what it's going to cost me for my AH 3000 resto). I would hazard a guess that the car could be mechanically sorted fairly inexpensively, especially if you're doing all the labor. 90% of the body work (short of the doglegs) is fairly simple welding, so that, too, could probably be done fairly easily at home with the right equipment.

So, I'd take it, but then, I'm a masochist. Put it in storage for the winter, take a welding course (if you don't already know how to weld) and then get started on it in the spring. :smile:. If you can set your pennies aside during the cold months, you'll have a little bank from which to draw parts money when it comes time to work on it. (Another option, which I do frequently, is clean out your garage and ebay all the unnecessary spare parts you've got stored up. It makes it much easier to justify spending the money on parts, when it's money you recieved from selling parts. :smile:


09-03-2009, 09:48 AM
What's this: "Selling unnecessary parts" thingie you speak of, Jody? :devilgrin:

Mark Jones
09-03-2009, 09:51 AM
The body work needed by the '70 Spit is a piece of cake; I restored the body of my '80 Spit two winters ago; turned out very well.

I guess I just have to figure out if I want to part with my MGBGT or not. A square tail and a round tail in the garage would be neat and I really do enjoy driving the '80 Spitfire.

I guess these are the good types of problems to have.

09-03-2009, 10:40 AM
Is having a coupe in the mix helpful given your climate? Properly sorted BGT's are pretty darn good cars....

09-03-2009, 11:24 AM
Well, I have a 2 stall and 3 old cars along with 4 other cars that are the daily drivers of wife and kids. Here are the options.

1. Buy a cheap tent garage and put one car under it for the summer and then find a place to store the 80 and GT in the winter so you can work on the 70 in the deep winter months.

2. Leave one of the cars in the driveway.

3. Buy a two post lift and store one car under the other so you can put 3 cars in the garage.

4. Take the car and I will meet you somewhere and take it off your hands.

5. See if he can't store the car a bit longer until you sort out some storage or can you store the GT in its place for a while.

6. It is easier to ask for forgiveness then permission when it come to items with the wife.

Mark Jones
09-03-2009, 02:53 PM
Maybe a couple sets of auto dollys to help squeeze a third car into the garage. :smile:

I wish I had a stash of excess parts to sell off, other than the GT :wink:

Maybe I'll think about this more tonight over a couple Spitfire Ales.

09-03-2009, 11:04 PM
That's true, you're talking about little British cars. You should be able to fit 6 in a standard two car garage! :laugh:

09-03-2009, 11:55 PM
Take the Spit, you'll make it work. I was like that for years. Though my girlfriend at the time and I split because of it, I think I made the right choices...

09-04-2009, 08:18 AM
When a friend of mine had this same problem he wnt out and bought a storage hoist so the he cold fit three car in his two car garage. (his) Problem solved. The hoist has since been great for (a bunch of us) maintenance.

09-04-2009, 11:01 AM
I'd take it off his hands, but let him know your gonna try to find a good home for it. I'm you've got a friend or 2 around your area who would like to have a project car. If you got a Spit and an MGBGT then you've got it made! No reason to part with either for a car that's been rotting for some time.