Lifelong Oregon resident '81 Triumph Spitfire 1500

6w ago

I've a soft spot for all things weird and Malaise Era and underappreciated. So naturally I had to get shots of this 1979-81 (confirmed '81 according to the shop foreman) USDM Triumph Spitfire 1500, wearing its factory Michelotti/Leyland hardtop, original license plates, and original dealer plate frame.

The Maple Brown paint is very malaise era, but very cool too, even in its chalky current condition. Years ago I photographed this, but the photos are long gone, and it's nice catching up with it even after sitting outside in Oregon four season weather since the tail end of the Obama years. But it is obviously being revived & obviously loved, given the time & money spent at The Sports Car Shop in downtown Eugene before landing at this muffler shop.

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Comments (8)

  • “Proper safety devices” are lightness, excellent brakes, radial tyres with decent tread, coil over shock independent suspension, no distracting gadgets, being aware of the state of the road and weather, and no back seats. The Spitfire had all these.

    (These safety features are also the reason why I bought a MX5 for my kids to learn to drive in - it’s the safest car on the road for a teenage driver. Active safety means you don’t need passive “safety”. Ask a pilot or a surgeon!)

      1 month ago
  • Those bumpers - horrible. I’ve never understood how a nation which at the time had no seatbelt laws thought that 3 inches of ugly rubber was going to make any difference to safety. Look at the modern truck behind the little Triumph. Even now, lethal - but in 1981 most US cars and trucks were in effect two iron girders on cart springs. So of course, the logical thing to do to a lightweight two seater sports car is glue some pointless rubber to the ends.

      1 month ago
    • Blame British Leyland for being too skint to pay for proper safety devices and the US government for having different regulations than the UK, EEC, Japan, etc.

        1 month ago
  • Whenever I see an old car with faded brown paint, I always think it's all rust at first.

      1 month ago
  • LS swap!

      1 month ago
    • My choice would be a TR6 2.5 six with Spyder Cars UK GT6 suspension/tube frame retrofitted. That mild stamped steel backbone is probably the rustiest part of the whole car if my experience with neglected TVRs, Loti and Deloreans is to be...

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        1 month ago