The Quest to restore 1978 Triumph Spitfire

The story begins with finding a car on ebay, all looked good and so a bid was made which we won and a price of £2,400 was agreed. The car was described as having TAX & MOT, so we thought great, except that it's in Newcastle and we are in Guildford some 300 miles away. We decided that this just added to the fun. We had one of our engineers (from Vale Communications Ltd) in the area and the seller said that the hard top roof was fitted on the car so therefore, as the soft top roof was not on the vehicle I asked the engineer to pop over, collect the soft top and bring it back in his van and also take a quick look at the car to really see what I had bought. The engineer picked up the soft top and said that the car looked quite good but as the roof was left out for him he did not see it actually run. So the weekend came and we booked a one way flight to Newcastle. We arrived,met the seller, handed over the money and took the keys. We got into the car and turned the key, she did not start! It was on about my 12th attempt before she fired and with most of the cylinders firing, we pulled away. Once we got it on the motorway we thought it should be plain sailing, however the car would not go over 50 mph; not helped by the fact that when I attempted to engage the overdrive I found that it was not functioning, so four gears only or so I thought until I changed down into third and the gear lever got stuck in third gear. So, now only one gear. It was going to be a very long drive home. In fact it took 9 hours to make the 300 miles and despite the smell of oil and the other mentioned problems the old Triumph made it home, arriving in an oily black cloud.

The Progress

The morning after the adventure home.

It was only when we got home  we found that the wheels on the car did not fit properly and that the odd bang we had heard on the way home was in fact the car shedding its wheel nuts. Out of a possible 16, the car only had 11 left.

The Spitefire strip out and getting ready for paint.

The state of the wiring with the original fuse box wiring cut off.

This picture was taken just before the car had a full rub down and then it left for it's re-spray.

There are many more pictures and processes involved before you get to the next picture however I wanted to keep this site sensible so I have only covered the main points.

The Triumph was stripped back in most areas to bare metal and then treated with stabilizing chemicals to help prevent rust the re-spray work took approximately 3 months.

The car is back in the work shop after paint many thanks to ALL IN ONE AUTOS.


Installation of brake, clutch Master Cylinders also window screen wiper motor and washer motor.

 Installation of the wiring loom that has been restored and the original fuse box reinstated, then modified with additions of following additional fuse box to support audio visual system, electronic ignition, amp etc.

In side the car rear of original fuse box and new fuse box installation.

 Internal wiring looms including standard seat belt warning light system wiring.


Preparing original fuel tank and then installed into the boot of the car as seen below.

 Dash board and clocks installed as well as vinyl around screen plus the polished aluminium window screen capping.


This picture shows three parts assembled left is the rebuilt original overdrive; middle the new gear box from JIGSAW TRIUMPH and on the right the clutch bell housing. One small picture but lots of work to get to that point.

 Engine and gear box finally me in preparation for installation back in to the Spitfire.

 The engine gear box and overdrive

now fitted into the Spitfire with out incident.

Now with the engine in and running time to move on with the interior trim.

Stereo system in and rear speakers.




Refurbished seat original leather covers, new foams lots of cleaning and polishing.




Seats fitted and passenger door on.





Drivers door fitted and passenger door finished.





Interior almost finished just the door window and trim to fit.





The bonnet now fitted




This picture shows the rubber seal attached to the bonnet and when the bonnet is shut makes a seal between the bulkhead and wheel arch.





During this restoration project many parts have been reconditioned this gives a small insight in to how this was done.





Headlights being installed.





Bonnet latches fitted.





Stainless steel bonnet catches fitted.





Finally the Triumph Spitfire is finished and ready for an MOT.





The Triumph Spitfire 1500 is ready for the RBRR 2,000 +Miles in 48 hours can not wait roll on October 5th 2012.