Mike's Triumph Spitfire:
Thirty Seven Years of Fun!

Spitfire 1500 Fun & Repairs during 1999

Click on a thumbnail image to view!
outside shop stripped After spending some time in the US Navy and then graduating from college, I finally decided that since I have a good job it was time to get my Spitfire looking better. I got involved in a local club, the Panhandle British Car Association, and going to car shows with them furthered my decision. So then I took the car apart leaving only the body and frame. Next I loaded it on my trailer and brought it to the body shop. This picture is outside the body shop after the body man stripped the old paint off, did body work on the numerous dents and dings, and sanded it down. While waiting for the body shop, I started on designing my British car club's website. I continue to improve and update the site.[February 1999]
engine compartment before This view of the engine compartment shows how bad it was. I didn't think it was that bad until I had taken all the devices off the firewall and removed the engine/transmission. We even discovered a cracked frame area from the original owner's accident. (lower right of picture)
rear panel removed I had the body shop replace the right rear quarter panel because the original owner had and accident in or about 1979 and it was repaired with a LOT of bondo. Because this is a restoration job, I bought a new panel from Victoria British and paid the shop much extra money to remove and replace it.
rear view stripped Rear view showing the trunk lid stripped & sanded, and rear bumper removed.
rear panel replaced In need of flash photography, this picture shows the result of hard work to replace that rear quarter panel with a brand new one.
doors worked on The doors needed a lot of thin surface work. Most do after a while. But on the passenger door there was a large dent and a long deep scratch from a bicycle rider who ran into my car when it was parked on a college campus.
engine area is next The bonnet, rear panels, and trunk have been primered and next work begins on the engine compartment area starting with de-greasing.
doors painted The doors were painted all around after the internal parts were removed.
car painting begins The body painting begins! 
rear painting Close-up of the trunk area during the painting process. I removed the gas tank before delivering the car to the shop because they had to do some welding. I did not want to risk their lives or my car due to an errant spark.
painting done The painting process is finished and the shop has rebuilt the doors, re-installed the rear bumper and hood latches, and painted the wheels (not the centercaps).
back home front view Now I have it back home and getting ready to pull it back into my garage shop. View of the left front, ready for me to put it back together. :-) [April 1999]
back home rear view View of the right rear, ready for me to put it back together. :-)
back home engine compartment view Compare this picture of the finished engine compartment with the second picture on this page. Looks great, doesn't it!
engine/transmission is back in With a neighbor's help, the engine and transmission is back in the car. Then came re-installing all the engine devices, radiator, and firewall mounted devices. Trying to get everything ready for the show in two days is too much, but I will do what I can! [4/15/1999]
Mike with his restoration Spitfire This is me and my project at my club's Pensacola British Car Beach Bash held every April. I received 2nd place in the Restoration Class. I had the turn signals, side marker lights, and rear lights back on. The engine/transmission went back in two days before this show. It was trailered to the show because it was not driveable yet. [4/17/1999]
at the Pace Scottish Festival The next show I attended was the Pace Pres.Church Scottish Festival. I did more work on the car between the PBCA Beach show and this show. First you can easily tell that I now have the front bumper and the underriders back on. I had cleaned and replaced all the engine compartment devices and next did more of the interior. The engine ran and the brake systems were re-installed. But I still did not drive the car to this show due to electrical wiring and no brake pressure. [5/1/1999]
won 2nd place at the Pace Scottish Festival I also had more of the interior done since the Beach show two weeks earlier. Both seats with seat covers, carpet for the area between the seats and in the back, carpet over the transmission tunnel cover, and a new dashpad was installed. I won 2nd place at this small show. [5/1/1999]
my shop Still a work in progress! After putting the transmission back in, I discovered that the clutch would not stop the flywheel to shift into gear. There was plenty of fluid and the clutch line was completely bled. With the transmission tunnel cover off, I could see the lever that the slave cylinder pushes through a small space between the clutch slave cylinder and the bellhousing. When I pressed the clutch, I could see it move forward. But apparently it did not more forward enough to stop the flywheel. So after fiddling with it for two weeks, I decided to learn something and go to the mechanic. He discovered that it was the pivot pin sleeve that had worn down. When I would press the clutch and the push rod pressed one side of the bellhousing lever, the worn sleeve allowed the other side to fall back just enough to not give the clutch enough contact with the flywheel. It was an expensive lesson, but now I have learned something! [7/1/1999]
more work done After not doing any new work for a few months, I finally got back to work on the project when other things slowed down. The frame for the convertible top was rust treated, painted, and reinstalled. I installed a new Robbins top from British Parts Northwest on it. I worked on solving the wiring problem keeping turn signals and brake lights from working. I decided to "modernize" the wiring for brake lights by running them from a non-ignition source. Step on the brake pedal of your modern car and brake lights come on w/o the key in ignition. This is a safety feature that I decided to incorporate into my Spitfire and keep me and it safe. [December 1999]

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