Classics are for driving – aren’t all car, but let’s be honest, we enthusiasts do spend a disproportionately large percentage of our time cleaning, maintaining, restoring and indeed just staring at them! (That might just be me but I suspect not).
Most of you will have seen my Mk1 1966 MGB Roadster at shows or on runs over the last few years but I have another classic which I’ve owned for 25 odd years that you probably won’t have seen, primarily as it’s spent the last 18 of those years off the road……
She’s a 1968 Mk3 Triumph Spitfire which having been lovingly restored in the mid 1990’s, fell into neglect and disrepair, parked outside our house as life took over.
Many times I was pressed to sell her but when push came to shove I managed not to do it. Finally in 2015 “The Chancellor of the Exchequer” (or Eileen as she prefers to be called) suggested I buy a ‘new’ classic that I could drive and that we could take to shows in exchange for scrapping the Spit.
I agreed, but long story short, the kids didn’t want to see the back of the old girl either and Eileen suggested taking it to bits to teach my son’s how it worked.
It’s in rather poor condition having spent a large proportion of the last two decades exposed to the elements but I’m sure even if we don’t succeed in recommissioning her, we’ll have some fun!
The first thing we did was pull the engine and stick it on a stand. It isn’t the original unit (although it was in the car when I bought it in the 1990’s). It’s a mix of bits as far as I can gather – An overbored Mk4 block with a 1500 head and Mk3 / Mk4 ancillaries just to confuse the uninitiated amateur (Me!)
The clutch had seized in 2000 which heralded (no pun intended) its period of rot & ruin and this was in evidence once we removed the lump after a couple of hours of huffing and puffing.
That pretty much brings me to where we are at – I’ll give you a little history on the car next time and post updates as we strip the engine and hopefully rebuild it over the coming months.