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Winston Reader
10/24/11 2:13 p.m.


I'm thrilled and scared

Musings: I wonder just how much of a pig this thing will be to steer... I wonder exactly how narrow the driver's footwell is.... (thank goodness I have small feet and several pairs of Pilotis)

Question: Rear wheels (stock) have been widened, fronts are stock width. Should I upgrade, and if yes, what widths? I'm partial to Panasports and the like, but open to options.

-Winston <---British name cred (but I'm a Texan)

egnorant Dork
10/24/11 2:20 p.m.

Be afraid...it's FUN!!

If you ever get to East Texas I will show you Abby.....short for abnormal.

Bruce a.k.a. Igor

Curmudgeon SuperDork
10/24/11 2:28 p.m.

That's pretty cool! Looks overall to have been done pretty neatly. But stock Spitfire front brakes? I think I know where I'd start upgrading.

pete240z SuperDork
10/24/11 2:35 p.m.

This guy put a Mustang V8 into a Datsun Roadster.


nderwater SuperDork
10/24/11 2:38 p.m.

Hell yeah - I'd love a ride in that thing!

Winston Reader
10/24/11 2:43 p.m.
Curmudgeon wrote: That's pretty cool! Looks overall to have been done pretty neatly. But stock Spitfire front brakes? I think I know where I'd start upgrading.

Yeah, me too. I already have Miata spindles and brakes...

Raze SuperDork
10/24/11 3:07 p.m.

I love it, but all I can think of is: "COME ON BAAAA-BY, LETS DO THE TWIST!"

Winston Reader
10/24/11 3:19 p.m.

Hopefully the custom frame is up to the task, but I hear you. Definitely something to look out for.

ditchdigger Dork
10/24/11 3:22 p.m.

What a bizzare ad. That ad reads like a chinese ebay ad or something

ebay seller said: This is a true performance car with the removal of the original stock 4 cylinder frame and having a complete front to back frame custom professionally built frame constructed and installed in its place. With the true design looking at the outside you can see that there are only subtle differences to clue you in on a V8 conversion Triumph Spitfire.

Got to love a "true design" and parts that are the same quality as great manufacturers. Lots of talk about the frame but only one halfassed picture of it.

If that ad was on craigslist I would think it was a scam. I am leery of it but I wish you luck on your purchase.

tr8todd Reader
10/24/11 3:39 p.m.

This web site will come in handy. Lots of similar sick individuals including myself on there.


fasted58 SuperDork
10/24/11 3:42 p.m.

I'd be interested in seeing frame pics too. Is it a one off? There are aftermarket frames being produced.

I have this TR-6 frame bookmarked


MG_Bryan Reader
10/24/11 3:48 p.m.

Having tested one with a warmed of 2.5L out of TR6, I'm truly envious of your purchase.

Keep us updated on it. I'm solidly in the camp of curious individuals on the frame and the cars driving characteristics.

The angle of the photograph of the rear suspension is making it hard for me to tell the relative angles of the control arms... is it triangulated or not?

Winston Reader
10/24/11 3:48 p.m.

ditchdigger: I think that he just messed up some sentences on the ad and was trying to get flowery with the words. He seems legit and has been on eBay even longer than I have (13+ years in his case to my 12+). His email communication seems like normal carguy stuff.

tr8todd: Yeah, I've been poking around (on and off) over there for years :)

fasted58: My understanding is that the frame is a one-off piece.

ArthurDent Reader
10/24/11 4:03 p.m.

Very cool. I wish there were better motor shots but it looks pretty tight in there! Definitely share more once you've got it in your possession.

Winston Reader
10/25/11 9:18 a.m.

In reply to ArthurDent:

I wish there were better shots of everything in general, but I suspect that if the car had been all spiffed up with good pics someone might have snapped it up before me. And what's with those awful trim rings?! At first glance it looks like the tires are flat!

Ian F
Ian F SuperDork
10/25/11 12:22 p.m.
fasted58 wrote: I'd be interested in seeing frame pics too. Is it a one off? There are aftermarket frames being produced. I have this TR-6 frame bookmarked http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/FastCars-TR6-Frame.htm

I was expecting a RATCO link... not that. Nice.

I've talked to the RATCO owners about a Spitfire frame, but they didn't seem interested. Given the relative popularity of the Spitfire, you would think there would be a market for an aftermarket frame, especially one that would allow a bolt-in installation of a different differential and a re-worked front and rear suspension.

It looks like you picked up a nice Spitfire. You have to wonder what the seller was thinking... It looks like they didn't even clean the dust off before taking the pictures.

CLynn85 Reader
10/25/11 8:53 p.m.

Looks neat, the suspense would be killing me! Love the uber-dished rear steelies.

Winston Reader
11/7/11 10:28 a.m.

The Spitfire came in about a week ago. I only drove it from the drop-off point into my garage (maybe 3/4 mile), but it's a handful -- for a few good reasons but several wrong ones!

To cut to the chase, I'm not sure that this car is compatible with a big V8 that sits low enough to fit under the stock body panels. Sure, it's in there -- but at a cost. Steering is a scary proposition at best. The rack is pushed waaaay far forward so tie rod angles are all wrong. The steering column is jointed in about 3 places before it reaches the rack and the first joint rubs your toes as they sit on the gas pedal (though that could be fixed, since there' still a surprising amount of room in the footwell). The engine is hard-mounted to the chassis, which might be necessary because the exhaust has little to no clearance around it as it exits the engine bay on each side.

To me, this is a "look what can be done" sort of car rather than one you would want to actually drive. I'm strongly considering de-V8ing it. The body is quite nice, the custom chassis is well done, and the rear end (narrowed 7.5" Ford traction-lok) is nicely done as well.

So my question to the GRM universe -- what engine? As a guide, it should be narrower than a V8 and no taller than one. I think that restricts me to 4-bangers, which is fine, but you folks are full of surprises. Bonus points if it bolts up to a T5 or can be made to do so with an off-the shelf adapter. Not against a transmission change, though, since I want to go hydraulic with the clutch anyway.

Here's a little pic, sorry for nothing better:

tpwalsh New Reader
11/7/11 10:32 a.m.

In reply to Winston:

Since LSx is for once not the answer.. 'bussa?

ransom Dork
11/7/11 10:32 a.m.

In reply to Winston:

When it comes to wacky Spitfire swaps, I can't shake the idea of using the 2.3-liter triple from a Triumph Rocket III. Comes complete with a five-speed sequential gearbox and shaft drive!

Winston Reader
11/7/11 10:36 a.m.

Fun idea guys, but I still have to pass visual inspection for emissions here in Houston. While some subtle things would probably fly (like a JDM engine, for example) motorcycle engines wouldn't

Woody SuperDork
11/7/11 10:38 a.m.

How about a smaller block Ford: 2.3 Turbo?

Winston Reader
11/7/11 10:42 a.m.

I've considered that, but it's a tall engine. It's been put in Spits before but not without cutting the bonnet as far as I know. 'Course, I think those were with stock chassis. Mine may drop it low enough to clear.

Duly noted. Next!

z31maniac SuperDork
11/7/11 10:46 a.m.

1.8 Miata + boooooooooosssst!!!

tpwalsh New Reader
11/7/11 10:51 a.m.

vr6? More cylinders, more room?

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