5k: What’s A Cobra? 1978 Triumph Spitfire V8 4-Spd

The Spitfire is a diminutive British roadster build by Triumph from 1962 to 1980 in five slightly updated generations.  The Spitfire was named after the most successful British fighter plane of all time and while small, it is well proportioned to hide its diminutive stature in photos – the opposite of a facebook selfie.  Imagine a world where legendary Texan Carroll Shelby had made a deal with Triumph instead of AC Cars for his Cobra, this is what it probably would have looked like.  The biggest problem is finding a name for it…Cobrumph, Triobra, mess?  Find this 1978 Triumph Spitfire V8 4-Spd currently bidding for $2,550 on ebay, in Newburgh, NY with a few hours to go.

The Spitfire was penned by noted Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti who also designed the BMW 1600/2002 New Class
and number of full sized trucks for DAF & Scammell before he hit the big time and starting working for Italian firms like Ferrari, Lancia and Maserati.  Personally, I think the Spitfire is beautiful car and its
proportions are classic, but this one looks like Captain America after Steve Rodgers is given a few injections of radioactive serum.  If you think the fender flares, side exit exhaust and wheels are racy — wait till you pop the hood.

Under the Spitfire’s forward hinged hood-fender carapace is a 350 cubic inch Chevy small block V8, devoid of fuel metering equipment, but mated to a super T10 4-speed gearbox for NASCAR style action.  Power…specs?  Who knows!  The seller describes the car in two brief sentences, but does mention that it uses a Jaguar rear end.

A peak at the inside confirms that this will be a project, but it really doesn’t look that bad – the aside from some missing carpet which you could get from various Triumph parts suppliers, it looks mostly complete but filthy. 

See a better use for your weekends in the next six months than to restore this classic? tips@dailyturismo.com