Triumph Spitfire Reviews from UK and Ireland - Page 4 of 5

1978 Triumph Spitfire 1500 1.5

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.8 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 miles
Most recent distance71000 miles
Previous carFord Sierra

Summary:

A Mechano kit for adults

Faults:

Overheating.

Rust.

Engine pinking.

Lumpy tickover.

All the above easily and cheaply rectified (apart from rust which can be slowed by preventative measures, but is eventually terminal. Keeping it in a garage would be best).

General Comments:

Excellent engine bay access and parts availability make it a great car to tinker and play with.

Handling is fun but in no way good. Wouldn't fancy using it every day though. Long journeys on fast roads are very tedious. Good fun for the aspiring classic owner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2001

1976 Triumph Spitfire 1.5

Year of manufacture1976
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired66000 miles
Most recent distance66500 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Metro MG

Summary:

The best fun for under 2000ukp

Faults:

The car has had no problems thanks to a full restoration which has included a new chassis and bonnet and was finished in Inca yellow.

General Comments:

The car is the best car for under a grand I have ever seen even if it needed some work.

The handling is one of the best and lots of fun in the wet.

The low ride and general hight are deceptive and in truth the car can take a person of up to 6ft 3.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2001

1968 Triumph Spitfire Mk III 1.3

Year of manufacture1968
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired84500 miles
Most recent distance85800 miles
Previous carVauxhall Nova

Summary:

A superb car with a real personality

Faults:

Chassis, bonnet, lower valance and radiator all replaced following a front end collision in 1978.

As for running problems, I have only clocked up 1300 miles since restoring the car and things have been pretty good.

Initial problems included a low charge on the dynamo (needed servicing) and the oil pressure light flickering on at idle, though that has become rare now.

General Comments:

The low down ride is just amazing. The open top feels great and the look of the car is pure 60's classic sports, which makes MX5's look, well, you know.

Well worth the winter hibernation to get it out on the road in the summer!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2001

1978 Triumph Spitfire 1500 1.5 petrol

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.5 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance125000 miles
Previous carMG BGT

Summary:

Look after it and you will love it like no other

Faults:

Engine replaced 3 months after purchased (big end went). Gearbox replaced (reverse gear went), both at quite high mileages.

Clutch replaced (broken spring in plate).

Sills welded up.

Numerous and continuous minor stuff e.g. number plate light, rear brake adjusters, broken speedo cable, worn jets and needles in carb, alternator gone (twice) etc. etc.

Worst period was first 3 months of ownership fixing inherited problems from the previous owner, mostly reliable since.

General Comments:

Excellent fun car, does need some maintenance but that is only reasonable, it is 22 years old and I do cover 16,000 miles a year in her, rain and shine, summer and winter! Hardtop makes winter driving very agreeable, while the soft-top makes summers a delight.

Light weight contributes to superb RWD handling.

Cabin design makes accomodation perfectly possible for a 6'2" person, but it is a little awkward to get in and out of - mainly because it is so incredibly close to the road. Laugh when you see it park and realise that the roof is barely above the bottom of the window of the car parked next to it!

A very beautiful sports car, stylish inside with proper wooden dash (unlike modern cars with token wood inlays).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2001

1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 1.5

Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10

Summary:

Great and RELIABLE! Fun, everyone should have a go

Faults:

Very little, I have completed 35,000 relatively hard miles with this car, and only trival things have gone wrong. Not bad seeing it is 25 years old. It has never let me down, and I have taken her on quite a few long distance trips.

Recently rebuilt the engine to stage 2 race spec; it now goes like very quickly, and makes thick hot hatch boys look stupid.

Handling is a little dodgy, especially in the wet, but there are loads of modern bits you can fit to sort this. There isn't a new part you can't get for these cars. Also great backing from many Triumph clubs.

General Comments:

Good fun for very, very little money. If you plan on getting one, stop thinking about it and do it!! There are no more being made, and I feel that they are starting to get rare. When did you last see a Spitfire on the road?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th August, 2000

20th Nov 2002, 15:57

I'm seriously considering a Spitfire as my next car. I have a Mk2 Escort at the moment (I know some people don't consider it a 'classic', but its RWD, old, and has pedigree). Anyway.. your review has made me think very hard about getting a Spitfire in the spring, thanks boss.

14th Jun 2004, 09:18

I agree with the review. My 76 spitfire was a bit of a dog in stock trim. After a cam, pistons, roller rockers, carb and ignition swap. I'm surprising a few of the newer imports at the auto cross tracks. One of the easiest cars I have ever worked on. You can remove the entire engine and put it back in during the course of an afternoon.

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 15 reviews