Junkyard Find: 1965 Triumph Spitfire

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

By far the most numerous British sports car in junkyards these days— and, in fact, for the last few decades— is the MGB. We’ve seen many of these cars in this series, but today’s find is just the second Junkyard Find Spitfire, after this ’75. The Spitfire had a long production run, 19 years total, but Spitfires just weren’t anywhere near as sturdy as their MGB cousins and most of the non-perfect examples got crushed long ago. Still, every so often a forgotten project gets evicted from a garage or back yard, and that’s probably what this happened to this battered ’65 that I spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard last month.

The Mark 2 Spitfire was built for the 1965 and 1966 model years and was replaced by a version with a 1296cc engine instead of just 1147cc.

There’s not much demand for tiny pushrod engines these days, nor is anyone likely to buy these cute little SU carburetors.

Many, many years in the California sun for this car.

It doesn’t seem very rusty, but Spitfires just aren’t worth enough to make this one worth restoring.

These cars like to break axles, so perhaps some Spitfire owner will pull the ones on this car.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

More by Murilee Martin

Join the conversation
2 of 40 comments
  • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on Nov 26, 2013

    That car doesn't look that bad really It's a round tail which worth a little more. I have seen worse cars than that restored. I have a 76, very basic car and easy to work on. For 76 they upped the CR so remove the smog junk, add a header, twin SU's or a Weber and they don't have problems keeping up. The optional overdrive is nice but I never drive it on he freeway anyways. Most of the problems I see are due to the extra components that were added to the car in later life to keep it federal compliant or make it more marketable. Removing much of that bogus junk keeps it simple. Parts are easy and "cheap as chips" , the nice thing is switches, and stuff like heater valves etc can often be disassembled and repaired. The car will will never be at Pebble Beach, so originality is not really an issue either.

  • And003 And003 on Dec 02, 2013

    Spitfires may not be worth enough to make this one worth restoring, but I wonder ... what if this Spitfire was given the restomod treatment? Such a project could be along the lines of something like this: http://www.britishv8.org/Triumph/MikeReynolds.htm

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.