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Spitfire 1965 Spitfire Project....Thoughts?



Welcome to the forum. Take a light duty magnet to check for bodywork. A small jack and floor stands to look under the car. If the owner won't let you look under it, don't buy it. Take a good flashlight. Also take a screwdriver. Use it to clear away dirt etc. to see how things look around the frame. You can also use it to tap on the frame to make sure things are solid.
I will let someone else who is better versed in Spitfires get into the particulars.


Jedi Warrior
I second those ideas! first you DO need to look under the car for WET areas...Then pull the floor mats back look for rust thru,...in the engine compartment look at the valve cover gasket for leaks especially around the rear of the valve cover & down the back of the engine this area is prone to seepage...the magnet idea IS a good idea...Then behind the carb(s)& under look/smell for gas fumes & leaks.If it doesn't have a heat shield you'll need one.(especially on the single Stromberg)Corrosion at electrical contact points is abundent on Triumph's(this is where Lord Lucas lurks)Causing your intire electrical system to have a mind of his/her own....AND its a good idea to RETIGHTEN ANY bolts you come in contact with.,vibration is a killer with British cars....Then go around and grease & oil everything that requires it.Empty the gas tank & refill with fresh 92 octane gas...some PO's have a tendency to use regular gas which is NOT GOOD....Good Luck
Ken&Whitelightning...Spitfires are one of the few cars that are so easy to work on but PREVENTIVE MAINAINENCE is the secret to peace of mind.

Bob Claffie

Jedi Knight
Country flag
After the obvious items, some specific areas are the rear and front trunions. Not an expensive fix but a PITA. Next are the rear axle u-joints. Can make the car drive funny! Low mileage cars with little use can have caliper rust problems. Gear shift mech prone to plastic wear out. Rumors of thrust bearing wear but no personal exp in that area. Nice thing about Spits is that they have a frame, you can drive a real rust bucket "safely". Bob


Luke Skywalker
Country flag
Looking at the pictures, at least one door has a big dent, the front end looks high however it is hard to tell much else about it.
Go take a look at it, look for damage to the frame, and rust.
Now, taking a wild guess which is totally unsubstantiated, these were fairly cheap cars in their day, and I would not be shocked if it was put in storage do to some major mechanical issue which was not economical to repair at the time.
That said, I like the looks of the early Spits, parts are readily available and fairly reasonably priced, and mechanically they are very simple, easy cars to work on, which is a HUGE plus as a first project car.
Just keep in mind that to get it into good shape will most likely cost far more than the car is actually worth, and will take 2-3 times longer that you expect.


Jedi Warrior
Hmm, that car looks some what screwed around with. Wrong steering wheel, after market gauges in the driver's side glove compartment, later wood dash. Not that any of those things are a problem, but they mean some owner liked to make changes and that make me wonder even more why there are no engine pictures. Would make me skip this car. Who wants to be working on an unknown.

There are plenty of early Spits out there. When I decided I wanted an early Spit, I found about six candidates here in New England within a month. Given the inexpensive prices on the Spits, I'd think it'd be a better and more satisfying project to take a nice driver and turn it into something stunning, rather than take a beater and turn it into a nice driver. Both projects would probably cost about the same.

Here's everything out there in the area on craigslist at the moment for your consideration. I'd also check nasshq.org and triumphspitfire.com



Freshman Member
Thank you all for the input. I did hear back from the seller this afternoon, and she says that the car is rough (as we can see from the pictures), and that the front end is sitting high because "motor has been torn
down to the block and left all the parts that came off
of it are in a box in the trunk." It sounds like everything else is intact.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if someone tore down an engine to that extent and threw them all in a box in the trunk for 18+ years, they probably aren't very useful at this point?

Andrew Mace

Staff member
Country flag
Sean_NH said:
...Correct me if I'm wrong, but if someone tore down an engine to that extent and threw them all in a box in the trunk for 18+ years, they probably aren't very useful at this point?
That could be the case...but then, it could have been the case 18 years ago. On the other hand, just sitting in a box isn't going to hurt most bits unless that box fills up with and holds lots and lots of moisture. And with any engine that came apart for reasons unknown to you, you'll naturally expect to measure and machine as necessary and then obtain new bearings, rings and such to suit.

Three pictures on a craigslist listing don't tell much, but even a "rough" '65 Spitfire could be a great project if the price is right. From what little I could see, I'd not expect to pay more than a few hundred $$$....


Jedi Knight
Personally, I would take that car only if it were free and didn't have sill rust. If you see bubbling on the sills, they are going to rust out eventually. All body parts are available and many are NOS or OEM, not repro. The repro stuff is marginal. Unfortunately the prices of these parts goes up all the time and are getting expensive. Compared to TRs though, not too bad. Go look at it. Make an offer (tow it away for $25!). Most people selling anything British these days think they are selling gold. Be aware, it could easily cost $5,000-8,000 to restore this car. I have 8k+ in may car and I did all the work except engine machine work. And the interior and bumpers have not been done.

But if you want a race car thats another story!

BTW you can always find engines (of all sizes) and transmission almost free.
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