Best Of Both Worlds: 1978 Triumph Spitfire With Miata Drivetrain – Sold!

May 2020 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

Update: This one got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

You want a classic British sports car but you don’t have the knowledge or time to deal with electrical gremlins and other potential reliability problems.  You like the sound and performance of a first-generation Mazda Miata but you don’t like there are still too many of these virtually bullet proof cars still on the road. Well fellow sports car enthusiasts, we’ve come across the best of both worlds in this Miata-powertrain-swapped 1978 Triumph Spitfire listed on Craigslist in Paterson, New Jersey with an asking price of only $4,500.  Using the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool estimate for a stock version of this car as a proxy,  we learn the private seller has their sports car hybrid priced between the #3 “Good” appraisal of $6,600 and the #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $3,900 when factoring in the factory removable hardtop that’s included with the sale.

As much as we love the concept of this Triumph, we’re sorry, but the tacked-on J.C. Whitney vintage hood scoop has got to go.  We get it was likely added to provide clearance for the Miata’s double-overhead-cam valve train, but we would look at having a metal fabricator integrate a better piece.  In fact, sourcing a different one-piece front-end for the job would also eliminate the BMW-Z3 sourced side gills and the unwanted checkered flag theme.  And since you’ll already have the front end apart, why not go all the way and backdate this Spitfire with a proper chrome bumper conversion?

Okay, all of that can wait until the weather turns bad again and you can fix those ills over next winter.  Until then, you can enjoy the best of both worlds driving this interesting car every chance you get. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Up for Sale is a 1978 Triumph Spitfire in yellow with 3 Tops. Regular Soft Top, One person Soft Top and Removable Hardtop. Previous Owner has done a ton of work on it. Starting with Complete Engine and Transmission Swap from a Fuel Injected Mazda Miata with a 5 Speed manual transmission. With all electrical, Hoses, Brake lines and Brakes and complete muffler have been replaced. New Tires and a New Battery have been installed. The car starts right up drives perfectly with no issues whatsoever. No Leaks or Smoke and shifts smooth in all the gears with a lot of power. Clean and Clear NY Title in hand. First $4500 will take this fun car home. Call or text 212-Seven Two Nine-82 Nine Three..

Do you have a Triumph Spitfire story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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