Owner: Mark Durrant
Commission No. FM 78873 UO
Mark writes of this blue beauty:
“As the restoration process for my 1980 Spitfire stagnated (the car suffered from the dreaded tin-worm) and the Vermilion Red car sat in the garage waiting for new sheet metal (three years and counting), I became anxious to drive to TTR meetings and driving events in a Triumph again. I noticed an ad in the paper for a ’78 Spitfire. The car had a broken U-joint yoke on one of the propeller (axle) shafts and a badly dented bonnet, but came with a factory hardtop and overdrive. Since the car only had around 56,000 original miles on it, no major rust on the body, and was a beautiful Pageant Blue, I purchased it in May, 1998.
“I used the propeller shaft and bonnet from the ’80 to get the ’78 in running order. The car ran hot, so I flushed rust and sediment from the heater and engine block water passages and had the radiator ‘rotted out’ at a local radiator shop.
“The car would not pass the stopping portion of the safety inspection, and as the factory brakes are minimal anyhow, the front brakes were upgraded to Wilwood 4-piston disc brake calipers and ventilated rotors. To keep the oil at a reasonable temperature and increase the oil capacity, a 16-row oil cooler with stainless steel braided hoses was installed along with a stainless rocker feed hose to lubricate the valvetrain. I installed additional Smiths instruments to keep track of the engine condition while driving: a combination mechanical water temperature/oil pressure gauge and a voltmeter. Using this setup I only had to drill one additional hole in the dashboard.
“I plan to have the car repainted in the future, but for now I enjoy driving it to meetings and events with my wife, Lorena.”