The Triumph Spitfire is a British front-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-passenger convertible sports car introduced at the London Motor Show in 1962 and manufactured between 1962-1980.

Styled for Standard-Triumph in 1957 by Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti, the Spitifire was manufactured for the duration of its production at the Standard-Triumph Canley works — and evolved over a series of five production iterations, with a approximately 315,000 manufactured over 18 years.

Developed on a shortened variant of the Triumph Herald saloon/sedan's chassis, the Spitfire shared the Herald's running gear and Standard SC engine.

The design used body-on-frame construction, augmented by structural components within the bodywork and rear trailing arms attached to the body rather than the chassis.

A manually deployable convertible top, substantially improved on later models, provided weather protection and a bespoke hard-top was available as a factory option.

Popular in street and rally racing, Spitfires won numerous SCCA National Sports Car Championships in F and G Production classes; won its class at the 1964 Tour de France rally, coming in second overall, and won the 1964 Geneva Rally. In 1965, a Spitfire won its class in the Alpine Rally.

The Spitfire nameplate refers to the World War II fighter plane of the same name.

Assembled at Canley in August 1980 shortly before the factory closed, the last Spitfire was an Inca Yellow UK-model including the factory hardtop and overdrive options. Never sold to the public, it remains on display at the British Motor Museum.

The Mark III, introduced in March 1967, was the first major facelift to the Spitfire. The front bumper was raised in response to new crash regulations, and the front coil springs were slightly raised. Slightly revised bonnet pressings were carried over.

Rear overriders were deleted and bumper mounted reversing lights became standard (initially as two separate lights on either side of the number plate, latterly as a single light in a new unit above the number plate).

The interior received a wood-veneer instrument surround and a smaller, 15-inch, wire spoked steering wheel. A folding hood replaced the earlier, more complicated design. For most of the Mark III range, the instrument cluster remained centre-mounted (as in the Mark I and Mark II), easily accommodating right-hand and left-hand drive versions.

The 1,147 cc engine was replaced with a bored-out 1,296 cc unit (the bore increasing from 69.3 mm (2.73 in) to 73.7 mm (2.90 in), stroke retained at 76 mm (3.0 in)), as fitted on the new Triumph Herald 13/60 and Triumph 1300 saloons.

A new quieter exhaust gave a sweet distinct note and reduced cabin noise. In SU twin-carburettor form, the engine put out a claimed 75 bhp (56 kW) at 6,000 rpm, and 75 lb⋅ft (102 N⋅m) of torque at 4,000 rpm, and made the Mark III a comparatively quick car by the standards of the day.

Options included wire wheels, factory hard top and a Laycock de Normanville overdrive. The Mark III was the fastest Spitfire yet, achieving 60 mph (97 km/h) in 13.4 seconds, and reaching a top speed of 95 mph (153 km/h). Average fuel consumption was 33mpg.[1] The Mark III continued production into 1971, well after introduction of the Mark IV.

On 8 February 1968, Standard-Triumph general manager George Turnbull drove the 100,000th Triumph Spitfire off the Canley production line.[10] More than 75 per cent of this number had been exported outside the UK, including 45 per cent to the US and 25 per cent to mainland European markets.

The 1968 model featured dual system (aka tandem) brakes with a brake failure warning device. The engine used a revised camshaft and a distributor with idle speed ignition timing retarded to address emissions. The twin SU carburettors now included overrun valves in the throttle discs and anti-tampering features on carburettor fuel-air mixture nuts.

Starting in 1969, US-bound models were "federalized" to comply with safety and emissions regulations. A reduced compression ratio of 8.5:1 resulted in a slight decrease in power (68 bhp) and 73 ft-lbs of torque. However, the 0–60 time of 14 seconds was still faster than the Mark II.

The instrument panel was moved in front of the driver, and new seats were introduced with integrated headrests to help against whiplash. Cosmetically, the wood dash was replaced with a matte black finished assembly intended to imitate an aircraft cockpit.

The Mk. III's final production year (1970) included an integrated rear reverse and license plate lamp, side lamps at the front and rear and new badging.

The separate "Triumph" letters on the front of the bonnet were removed and "Triumph" and "Spitfire" rectangular badges were used in the front, rear sides and rear.

A limited number of U.S. market 1970s were adorned with an RAF style "Spitfire" badge (U.K. models had a plain badge without the RAF roundel) that rested in the right corner (car opposing point of view) of the bonnet.

Additional exterior changes introduced included a zip up rear window, black radiator grille and a black (vs body colored) windshield surround.

Full wheel covers of two styles were used including the 1969 introduced model with "SPITFIRE" circumscribing the hub and a unique derivative without the branding.

Interior changes included a steering column mounted ignition switch, a key-in-ignition warning buzzer, driver's side under-dash courtesy lamp and a new black spoked steering wheel. Under the bonnet, some markets had the twin SU carburettors replaced with a single Zenith-Stromberg carburettor.

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