Recent Restoration: 1969 Triumph Spitfire Mk III – SOLD!

by | Dec 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

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January 20, 2023, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Completing a car’s restoration is a major milestone in such an undertaking.  However, that often turns out to be just part of the process.  The reassembled car often needs minor sorting here and there before a freshly restored car is truly ready for reliable road use.  This freshly restored, British Racing Green 1969 Triumph Spitfire MkIII, once listed in December 2022 on Craigslist in Gastonia, North Carolina (Charlotte), features electronic ignition and additional insulation as the only enhancements to what appears to be a very stock-looking example.  Based on the seller’s description, it also sounds like this Triumph has been driven enough following the restoration that everything has been sorted properly.

Last offered for $17,499, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is at the higher end of the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for Triumph Spitfires produced between 1962 and 1981.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the Spitfire featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $14,500 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $22,000.

British automaker Triumph produced its entry-level Spitfire from 1962 through 1980 in five distinct versions during those eighteen years.  Conceived for Triumph by Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti, the Spitfire relied heavily on a shortened chassis based on the company’s Herald Saloon minus that car’s required frame outriggers. The Spitfire also used the Herald’s running gear and Standard SC engine.

Using body-on-frame construction,  structural rigidity came from the use of structural components placed within the bodywork, with the rear trailing arms being bolted to the body rather than the chassis. The Spitfire relied on a manual soft-top for weather protection, the design improving to a folding hood for later models. Factory-manufactured hard-tops were also available.

The Mark III, introduced in March 1967, was the first major facelift to the Spitfire. The front bumper was raised in response to new crash regulations, as well as the front coil springs were slightly raised, which made the car sometimes look a little out of proportion. Although much of the bonnet pressing was carried over, the front end looked quite different. The rear lost the overriders from the bumper but gained reversing lights as standard (initially as two separate lights on either side of the number plate, latterly as a single light in a new unit above the number plate); the interior was improved again with a wood-veneer instrument surround and a smaller, 15-inch, wire-spoked steering wheel. A proper folding convertible top replaced the earlier “build it yourself” arrangement.

Starting in 1969, US-bound models were “federalized” to comply with safety and emissions regulations. A reduced compression ratio of 8.5:1 resulted in a slight decrease in power (68 brake horsepower) and 73 ft-lbs of torque. However, the 0–60 time of 14 seconds was still faster than the Mark II. The instrument panel was moved in front of the driver, and new seats were introduced with integrated headrests to help against whiplash.

The Peterson Automotive Museum YouTube Channel features this vintage video of how to drive a Triumph Spitfire properly:

The excellent pictures provided illustrate a nicely restored and highly detailed 1969 Triumph Spitfire Mk III for sale.  Our understanding is that Triumph changed from finished wood to a matte black dashboard for US-bound 1969 models, so we are curious to learn whether the fresh wood dash in this example is an upgrade over the original.

If you are serious about buying this Spitfire, you can start the conversation by calling the seller at (704) 879-9396.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their restored Triumph featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Two-year frame-off restoration completed earlier this year finished in British Racing Green. The car runs, drives, and shifts through all four gears as it should and is a hoot to drive! The twin SU carburetors have been rebuilt and tuned to factory specifications. The driver & passenger seats have been reupholstered by J&J Upholstery plus new carpeting with insulation to reduce road noise and heat transfer into the cockpit. High output alternator is paired with an HEI electronic ignition for easy starts and crisp throttle response.Several original and NOS spare parts are included. Clean NC title in my name. Sorry, no trades…Thanks-​

Show or go: What would you do with this restored 1969 Triumph Spitfire MkIII?  Please comment below and let us know!

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