1965 Triumph Spitfire Reviews

1965 Triumph Spitfire 2 seater sports 1.1 cc from North America

Model year1965
Year of manufacture1965
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.1 cc Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.7 / 10
Distance when acquired54259 miles
Most recent distance57684 miles

Summary:

A great, timeless classic..

Faults:

Nothing at the moment, may have to change the starter relay as the car sometimes decides not to start with the key, and I have to start it from the starter relay button, (a year when they still included this facility).

And perhaps a couple of electrical, so at least I know it definitely has Lucas electrics.

General Comments:

An excellent California car, you can see it on the Triumph Spitfire International Database, its the Mk2 picture.

I had owned a Mk 3 in the eighties, but I think the 1 and 2 were the best looking, before the bumper had to be raised to meet US regs.

I have had no problems with this car, or with my earlier one, as long as you keep an eye and ear on everything, nothing jumps out and bites you, it is, after all, a simple design, and parts are readily available, and cheaper than they were (proportionally) than back in the sixties.

This is a great, fun, rag-top which is a definite classic, in age as well as design, (good old Giovanni), and I would recommend this affordable classic to anyone who wants to follow the individuality on the road route, and to someone who likes to feel like he or she is "driving".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2007

1965 Triumph Spitfire Mk II 1.1 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1965
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.1 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired65000 miles
Most recent distance67000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

A classy, elegant, fun motor

Faults:

Broke down when I first bought it due to age and neglect of engine. Overhauled carburettors and replaced some fuel lines and ignition parts and got running.

At first service, replaced miscellaneous brake parts and replaced fluid.

Many many loose screws! The previous owner restored the body, but didn't do anything up very tightly. The first few weeks of driving involved listening for metallic chinks and clunks as suspension parts shifted relative to one another.

Shredded a front tire by turning too enthusiastically (the car has an incredible turning circle!)

Hood and tonneau cover in need of repair/replacement.

Clutch hydraulics failed.

General Comments:

This was the last mark of Spitfire with the bumper in the right place (UK)! US regulations meant the US edition and all editions of later models had the higher bumper that has become the recognizable face of the Spitfire.

Due to the age and history of the car I was fully expecting to have to spend time with greasy hands and I have not been disappointed!

That said, the car has never "surprised" me with failing to get me anywhere or failing to stop. Keeping an ear out for bumps and rattles has meant catching problems as the emerge rather than when they really manifest themselves.

The car is a joy to drive. I expected discomfort at speed or over distances, but it is a far smoother ride than other vehicles of the age / size.

The seating is comfortable though I use a rolled-up hand towel for lumbar support. It still beats my 14-year- old Ford Escort for comfort though.

The soft top does not fold away, but comes off completely! This is an inconvenience, but is a great talking point and means you can actually get passengers behind the front two seats!

With the top on you need to be either very short, quite flexible, or ingenious to get in and out of the car without embarrassment/discomfort.

The exhaust makes a great "brum" noise and the gears whine fantastically in first. There's a little wobble at 45MPH, but it cruises comfortably at 70+, although your ears take a battering.

Only four gears (overdrive was an option, not fitted) means quite a lot of noise at speed.

Surprisingly cozy in rain or chilly conditions.

Best driven at low speeds in your best shirt, or high speeds with a warm high-necked jacket!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2003

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 2 reviews