Triumph Sports Cars

engine swaps and other performance upgrades, plus "factory" V8s (Stag and TR8)

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Graham B
Graham Bingham
Draycott, Derbyshire, UK
(63 posts)

Registered:
09/19/2008 08:26AM

Main British Car:
1974 Triumph Spitfire Rover 3.5litre V8

A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: Graham B
Date: September 07, 2011 02:45PM

I thought you guys would like to see this, if not for the engine then for the sheer skill of the builder.

This Spitfire special was on the Triumph Sports Six Club stand at Stafford UK a few weekends ago.
It is based on a MKIII Spitfire and has a totally hand built aluminium body.
The builder is Martin Harcourt from Somerset UK, Martin (60) and recently retired spent some 2,000 of this spare hours between 2002 and 2010 building the car a single seater based on a 1930's Grand Prix car.
The chassis is Spitfire with the centre outriggers cut off and two 2 inch steel tubes welded to the chassis each side (set parallel,11 inches from the chassis centre line) and cross tubes coming off these to the main rails. This gave the chassis some stiffness and dictated the width of the body.

The body was fabricated first by using a wire frame of quarter inch steel rods to get the correct dimentions and look and then replacing the steel rods with a three quarter inch steel tube spaceframe.
Martin had to do some work with the steering which had to undergo two directional changes, and had to manufacture new longer rear vertical link radius arms and fit a GT6 radiator. Foot the pedal arrangement is slightly different as due to the narrow body and centre seat the Clutch is to the left of the gearbox and the accelerator and brake to the right.

The body is made from 18swg aluminium and because of the complex double curvatures was made in sections and welded together. The body was wheeled in the traditional way using a 1920's English Wheel (which was used during the war to form the skins on the wings of Spitfires!). The panels were shaped to fit the cars spaceframe shape and then welded together. The bodywork was fitted to the chassis by riveting the lower tucked under sections to the chassis tubes, whilst the upper body is held by annealing the body edges around the cockpit and turning and riveting the edgest to the cockpit tubes. The rear is held with screws to the frame as is the front section with the removable hood.
All mechanicals were refurbished, a four branch manifold and custom exhaust fitted along with retro dials and a TR2 seat.
The body is completely polished which has taken six months of going through the various grades of wet and dry.

Following Martin's first test drive which had him not just smiling but laughing with the sheer excitement and joy of the car, the car has done its first 500 miles and is settling in well.

I met Martin briefly at the show as his "work of art" was parked next to my V8 Spitfire on the club stand, I commented on how skilled he must be to work such wonders with metal and he gave away part of his secret - "I should be" he said "I'm a retired aircraft engineer".

All praise to the man, I hope driving the car around to shows gives him as much pleasure as building it must have.

Graham
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bsa_m21
Martin Rothman
Vancouver, Canada
(205 posts)

Registered:
01/06/2009 11:41AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7V8 Rover 3.9L

authors avatar
Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: bsa_m21
Date: September 08, 2011 09:17AM

Awesome!


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5821 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: September 09, 2011 07:59AM

Very nice. But I'd like to know how he got that wear pattern on the seat back,

JB


Graham B
Graham Bingham
Draycott, Derbyshire, UK
(63 posts)

Registered:
09/19/2008 08:26AM

Main British Car:
1974 Triumph Spitfire Rover 3.5litre V8

Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: Graham B
Date: September 09, 2011 10:48AM

Wear pattern on the seat back?

Am I missing something Jim?

Graham


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5821 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: September 09, 2011 10:34PM

Well, you see how it looks old? Kinda worn or faded around the edges.

JB


sellersrodshop
Steve Sellers
Nashville TN
(21 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2010 02:00AM

Main British Car:
1966 Triumph TR-4A

authors avatar
Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: sellersrodshop
Date: September 10, 2011 03:42AM

i think thats just the reflection of the body on the leather, but you can buy artificially distressed leather to get that worn look.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5821 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: September 10, 2011 06:27PM

Could be. It looks very even.

JB



Graham B
Graham Bingham
Draycott, Derbyshire, UK
(63 posts)

Registered:
09/19/2008 08:26AM

Main British Car:
1974 Triumph Spitfire Rover 3.5litre V8

Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: Graham B
Date: September 12, 2011 03:32AM

Jim,
The seat came out of a TR2 so maybe it got worn in that.

With regards to the engine choice, I think I would have tried to get a straight six under that hood.

Graham


martin7189
Martin Harcourt

(3 posts)

Registered:
09/14/2011 04:43AM

Main British Car:


Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: martin7189
Date: September 14, 2011 05:11AM

Hi guys, many thanks for the positive comments about my Spitfire special. To answer a couple of your questions - would have loved to have built the car with the inline six, but due to it's weight the cars handling would have been a nightmare - it's lively enough with the 1300 ! The seat is a TR2 which I had re-upholstered and then "aged" this is done with a special spirit which lightens the dye. More in line with the V8 theme, the car that I am building at present is another special, but I have used a 1936 Ford V8 chassis, I have made the body for it, and at present I am trying to mate the flathead V8 with a Rover 5 speed box - interesting exercise!! I have attached some pics of the car. Nice to meet you at the show Graham, probably see you there next year for the Spitfires 50th anniversary. Cheers Martin


martin7189
Martin Harcourt

(3 posts)

Registered:
09/14/2011 04:43AM

Main British Car:


Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: martin7189
Date: September 14, 2011 05:17AM

seems that the pics have not been attached - have tried again but still not attaching - I presume that you just click on "attach photo" then browse, double click the pic and then click attach ???


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5821 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: September 14, 2011 08:34AM

Martin, you may have to resize the photos to get them to upload. I think there's a 600kb limit.

JB


martin7189
Martin Harcourt

(3 posts)

Registered:
09/14/2011 04:43AM

Main British Car:


Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: martin7189
Date: September 14, 2011 10:19AM

Thanks Jim


Graham B
Graham Bingham
Draycott, Derbyshire, UK
(63 posts)

Registered:
09/19/2008 08:26AM

Main British Car:
1974 Triumph Spitfire Rover 3.5litre V8

Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: Graham B
Date: September 14, 2011 12:28PM

Thanks for emailing the photo's over to me Martin.
I think two of them are far too big to post (at 6.25MB and 5.78MB) I have had a couple of trys with the smaller ones and it has caused mt web connection to crash if I try more than 2 at a time so I'll try them in two 2's.

It looks a very interesting project and I'm sure it will stirr up some comment from across the pond.

Graham
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Graham B
Graham Bingham
Draycott, Derbyshire, UK
(63 posts)

Registered:
09/19/2008 08:26AM

Main British Car:
1974 Triumph Spitfire Rover 3.5litre V8

Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: Graham B
Date: September 14, 2011 12:31PM

That seemed to work, now for the other two.
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qwaii
tom lilley
Haida Gwaii
(22 posts)

Registered:
09/24/2010 11:22PM

Main British Car:
1970 GT6 5.3l jaguar V12

Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: qwaii
Date: September 25, 2011 08:52PM

some absolutely amazing work.

my hat is off to you,sir.

and thank you,graham for bringing this to our attention.



roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(3005 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: A Very special Spitfire/ Mr. Harcourt
Posted by: roverman
Date: September 26, 2011 02:09PM

We love your work and we love British cars, so... how about a "deal" on your intake manifolds for the Rover V8 ? Cheers, roverman.


Mogans


(11 posts)

Registered:
01/31/2011 02:43PM

Main British Car:


authors avatar
Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: Mogans
Date: December 19, 2011 02:58PM

Looks great!!


triumphtr2
tim body
St thomas ont Canada
(87 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2010 10:21PM

Main British Car:
1954 TR2 serial # TS 110 L triumph 2 litre

Re: A Very special Spitfire
Posted by: triumphtr2
Date: December 19, 2011 08:42PM

In respnse to Martin's idea of putting a Rover 5 speed brhind a 38 Ford v8 flathead, I saw a Ford website where they were putting Ford T5's behind a 52 Ford v8 flathead and it was almost a bolt up. Would that be of any help Martin?


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