1979 Triumph Spitfire 1500, 1493cc. Registration number GED 830V. Chassis number FH 133903. Engine number FP 48619E.
The Spitfire was conceived by Standard-Triumph to compete in the small sports car market against the Austin-Healey Sprite. The Sprite had used the drive train of the Austin A30/A35 in a lightweight. The Spitfire used mechanicals from the Herald. Where the Austin A30 used monocoque construction, the Herald used body-on-frame — a chassis Triumph was able to downsize, saving the cost of developing a completely new chassis-body unit.
Giovanni Michelotti, who had designed the Herald, styled the bodywork, which featured wind-up windows (in contrast to the Sprite and Midget, which used side curtains) and an assembly of the bonnet and wings that opened forward for engine access. The Spitfire's introduction was delayed by its company's financial troubles in the early 1960's and was subsequently announced shortly after Standard Triumph was taken over by Leyland Motors. When Leyland officials, taking stock of their new acquisition, found Michelotti's prototype under a dust sheet in a factory corner, it was quickly approved it for production.
The Mark IV featured a redesigned rear design similar to the Triumph Stag and Triumph 2000 models, both also designed by Michelotti. The front end was revised with a new bonnet pressing eliminating the weld lines on top of the wings/fenders, door handles were recessed, the convertible top received squared-off corners. The interior was revised to include a full-width dashboard, with instruments ahead of the driver rather than over the centre console, initially finished in black plastic and beginning in 1973 finished in wood. The 1500 followed in 1974.
GED was first registered in December 1979 and by 1991 was with Mr Prescott of Hornsea, followed by Mr Lane in 1992, the mileage at this time was 78,989.
Our vendor bought it as project in December 1996 and started a body off restoration, a spare body tub was sourced from California, the chassis was blasted and painted, a new bonnet, boot and door skins came from Rimmers as was the exhaust system. All components were giving a refresh and the car was repainted in the original Inca Yellow and a new hood fitted.
Completed in 1998 the speedo was reset and an MOT obtained, used very occasionally ever since, the mileage is now only 1,494 miles.
A testament to the custodian the car has not deteriorated since and started with ease for the journey to the saleroom.
Sold with the V5C, MOT's 1998-2003 and 2019, a variety of receipts from the restoration, some from its past and various Spitfire manuals.
It should be noted that the engine block is from a MG Midget 1500.