One of my all time favorite automotive advertisements is one that is titled, “What was it like, going up in a Spitfire.”
The ad reads:
“It was dawn when I climbed into the Spitfire’s cockpit behind the leather-covered steering wheel, and fired up the engine. I was going to make the run from San Diego to Sausalito, and the entire machine seemed alive with anticipation. As the sun crept over the horizon, we took off. Right away, the feeling of control-of driving the car instead of being driven by it was fantastic. All in all, the Triumph Spitfire Mk III with its racing-type rack and pinion steering, independent four-wheel springing, front disc brakes, competition-proved engine and four-forward-speed gearbox made the 500-mile mission seem an enormous sport.”
If ever an automobile print ad made me want a car more I cannot think of what it might be. The allusion to flying a Spitfire aircraft captured my imagination. The fact that the Triumph Spitfire was, and remains, such an affordable British roadster only added to my desire for one of these cars. Sadly by the end of its production, the Spitfire felt very old fashioned but the entire point of the Spitfire was to deliver the British roadster driving experience at an affordable price.
The Pick of the Day is one of these legendary cars, and the single model year of all Spitfires that I personally like the best, a 1966 Triumph Spitfire located in Lebanon, Tennessee.
The car looks as if it is finished in correct color Royal Blue paint with an equally correct black vinyl interior with white piping. The lines of these early Spitfires, which were designed by the legendary Giovanni Michelotti, to me are as good as they ever got. The 1966 car still has the low front bumper treatment that is much better than the later high bumpers. Sure I also like the redesigned Mk4 spitfire, which was also designed by Michelotti, but there is something quite beautiful about the original first generation Spitfire design.
The seller describes this Spitfire as, “An absolutely doll of a classic British roadster that not be more attractive.” They state that this car exhibits no signs of rust or accident history. They describe the quality of the blue paint as beautiful and go on to say the same about the chrome. In addition they also say that the finish on the wire wheels and the entire exterior is excellent.
For the interior they state that the seats, carpets, door cards, dash, and wood trim are all in superb condition. Looking at the many photos accompanying the ad, I would agree with the seller’s assessment of this car. This is a Spitfire that has been restored to a very high level.
The seller goes on to describe the car to be as strong mechanically as it is cosmetically, with a very solid engine, gearbox, and brakes. The photos also seem to show that the seller is not overselling the quality of this Spitfire, and it is one I would gladly own myself.
The underside of the car also looks to be excellent with the floors looking perfect and even the rocker seams looking clean and nice. As these cars are legendary for their propensity to dissolve, this is one of the nicest examples I have seen in years.
In addition, this stunning Spitfire includes a rare factory hard top, soft top, and tonneau cover.
So if after reading the ad copy above that so captured my imagination you feel the need to own a Spitfire, this one, with an asking price of a very fair $18,800 looks like one to own. Sure you can get one cheaper but not one that looks to be as good as this one appears to be. This 1966 Spitfire is the perfect car for a dawn patrol run and to experience the joys that a true British roadster delivers.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.