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Spitfire Mk3 factory record


AR84
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I currently own a 1968 spitfire in Australia and recently obtained a Heritage certificate with some data some of you may be able to help me out with. 
Built on 3 April 1968 and despatched 23rd April as RHD export, the destination description given is ‘Personal export delivery’. Is there a way to obtain the details of where and who this was exported to, or would that have been included on the cert if the information was available? 
Other information given is that it is an Ex works vehicle. First thought it was a factory race car, but my sensible self believes it has more to do with shipping details of the vehicle? 
Numbers and codes are matching apart from the engine. Originally it was; FD/20518-LE. Current engine is period correct, although the suffix is HE. What are they related to? 
Factory fitted equipment include, heater, seatbelts, steering column lock, whitewall tyres, miles-per-hour  speedo and wing mirror. Most are there (not sure about originality), but was wondering if there are any photos of what the factory white walls looked like to satisfy my curiosity? 

Many thanks and glad I obtained this history on it. 



 

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18 minutes ago, AR84 said:

 Originally it was; FD/20518-LE. Current engine is period correct, although the suffix is HE. What are they related to?

Engine numers were suffixed 'E' to indicate that it's an engine number. On vehicles where export markets might demand it, the suffix was either "HE" for "high compression engine" (normal UK market) or "LE" for low compression. Australia would have been a low compression market because the typical fuel was low octane.

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Interestingly a quick check of the Victorian Registration records shows all the AMI manufactured and personal import Spitfires pre 1984 are all HE suffix? So was it imported to another State or Territory and lived interstate up to 84. & why LE, Aus was a civilized country and had higher octane fuels, maybe places like northern Queenland or Northern Territory at the time were limited.

I state 1984 because that's when Vic Roads computerized new registrations & records and the old card system was handed over to a Vic umbrella group covering ALL classic car clubs, who will do a pre 84 search for a fee.

The primary identification for a car in Vic was its Engine No. and that is how the car is recorded by Make and Eng No. the Comm No is recorded on the card but was secondary and its very difficult to do a search by Comm No, it can be done but it costs? I believe other states don't have the same search ability. 

By the Club Rego & pics it now appears to be Melb, Vic based.

I have a problem with some BMIHT records as it shows my daughters Comm No with a suffix L ie USA LHD export the actual obviously very old Comm Plate has no suffix and the paint code 32 is confirmed by the original paint remnants during a bare metal respray around 1998, which also confirms there is NO LHD to RHD conversion marks on the bulkhead and underdash ie welding, surplus holes, in fact a long established local triumph restoration company who specialize in Spitfires advise there are tell tale marks of an AMI CKD assembly! Who knows the cars 55 years old and suffers from old age forgetfulness?

Peter T

 

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Thanks Peter.

Interesting information on your daughters car.

Yes the club permit plates are VIC and based in Melbourne.

According to the previous owner, he purchased the vehicle from Newcastle in NSW therefore there is a good chance it was initially imported to another state. Need to research if a search can be done through other states road authorities that may have those records. 

The initial reason for obtaining the information was to discover if the car was in fact assembled in the UK or was a CKD through AMI as they informed me they would not have any records if it was Australian built. The commission number on my vehicle does not have the prefix '2FD', which would have indicated it was Australian built. But as you say; allot can happen over a lifetime of these vehicles.

For my own knowledge; was a Personal Import an order that was made from Australia directly through Triumph in the UK by an individual or through an Australian dealer? Is there a reason why this would have been done if AMI were assembling them here at the time?

Cheers.  

Andrew

 

 

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In the 1950's and early 60's with BMC I believe you could buy a car in Aus for supposed pick up and use in the UK on holiday then ship? back to Aus tax free? Someone might be able to advise if Triumph did something similar? 

We used to go back to the UK every 3 years in the 50's and early 60's & dad would buy mum a new car which we used on holiday in the UK then mum would pick up a new car here in Oz, I think there was a little cheating done on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th Morris Minor cars as it was a new BMC loaner in the UK and a different car here. we did it 4 times, I'm sure the first in the very early 1950's was shipped back,

Our Spit doesn't have a 2 Prefix on the Comm No, which infers it mightn't be a CKD, but there is brazing in some areas similar to AMI CKD build that were spot weld on UK builds, so those experienced say high probability its a CKD.

Our Spit by its Eng No. was first registered in Melb 1965 is a Mk2, but with a different Comm No. to now! It's Eng No appears to be a Spit 4 but it is Mk2 spec'd, carbs, manifolds, cam, clutch, and tubular exhaust. Re CKD kits the Eng was delivered assembled and with its specific UK No. but Comm's were assigned by AMI, Triumph UK provided a bulk allocation of numbers.

Peter T

 

 

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I wouldn’t know if my windshield has been replaced as not sure how to date the markings, although the DOT code ‘DOT607’ indicates it was manufactured by PGI Queensland. It does have an E code ‘E11’ which would suggest it was certified in the UK? 

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