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The Last Spitfire.


DerekS
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The latest Practical Classics magazine has landed this morning, there's an interesting article regarding a Pageant Blue Spitfire for sale at Mathewsons. They believe it to be the last Spitfire built. I've always been interested in this, having one built on the 1st of August and it has been fairly clear for some time that the one at Gaydon certainly is not the final one.

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What's the evidence that this is the Last Spitfire?  And which auction?   This car is not listed in Mathewson's online auction list.

Can Mathewsons say they have looked at the back of the door cards?   I've seen two Spitfires, one French, one British, that had "The Last Spitfire" written there, with signatures of the trim shop workers who fitted it.  Tell me the Reg.No. of the one on sale and I'll tell you if it's the same.

And I've posted before the photograph taken for the line manager on the day, who I've interviewed, of the Last Spitfire leaving the line - and it's a LHD car.

John

The Last Spitfire.jpg

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John, you helped me out with that 5 years ago, thankyou again! The one in the magazine is NND 790 W and the gov website says it hasn't had it's first MOT! "It also had a St. Christopher medallion hidden inside the fuel tank"... what?

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The build of the PC one was February 1981; tax is due August 2020 but there has just been an application for a log book this month too, so it may be on the move.

Here's a link to one of the other last Spitfires...

http://www.triumphworks.co.uk/the-last-triumph-spitfire/

http://www.triumphworks.co.uk/the-last-car-at-canley/

One thing I've noticed is that some sites list the 1500 as 'the last Spitfire' meaning the last variation of the model, but there's nothing listed at Mathewsons for their next auction.

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"Members of the Triumph owners club believe this to be the last off the production line. To verify this, we were asked by the club members to remove the drivers door card. On removal the reverse card revealed a large number of signatures with the words 'The Last Bomb' (well known nickname for the Spitfire). We were also asked to remove the petrol tank guard which revealed more signatures. Finally we were asked to put a camera into the fuel tank which revealed a silver St Christopher, confirming what the club members told us we would find. On checking the build number it confirmed it was a later model than the one in the Gaydon Museum.

**Please make your own enquiries**

The mileage of 21,310 is believed to be correct - please make your own enquiries."

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NND 790W - that's the One!

But "the Triumph Owners Club"??   There ain't no such thing, except for Bikes.    Who have they asked, what authority are they quoting.   

As for "it was a later model than the one in the Gaydon Museum"  that one has the highest VIN, but "checking the build number" is not possible.   Cheeky burggers!

It was the Last because it was taken off the line for quality control corrections, no idea what, and then put back in to be completed, after Gaydon's car.   But as I've said the True Last Spitfire was LEFT HAND DRIVE, presumably the French one.

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pushing a specific car onto the end of line for a photo shoot was a common industry action 

even with trucks  as well  

the highest vin/com number may well not be the last off the line if the  build sequence was scrambled by production control  moving build to suit variations in specifications

to balance parts supply and man hours on the assy lines 

pete

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11 hours ago, JohnD said:

NND 790W - that's the One!

But "the Triumph Owners Club"??   There ain't no such thing, except for Bikes.   

Come on, John - didn't you perform the most basic of Internet searches?

https://triumph-owners-club.co.uk

I've no idea who they are, I might know some of the members but I suspect they've been to Mathewsons recently as there was a local (to me) Spitfire sold there a short while ago. It's got a very recent Fermanagh registration so I suspect the original has been swapped. We tend to end up with some very rare cars over here, but also some great local stories and theories, so things can get a bit anecdotal at times. 

Triumph_Spitfire_TIG1405__56.jpg.f338c00afa989f66747d20cba15db695.jpg

 

 

 

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I did, Colin, and all Argus-eyed Google found was the TrIumph Owners Motorcycle Club.   So thank you.

But who is/are the Triumph Owners Club?   Quote " Northern Ireland's largest independent club " whose News page has as the latest announcement, their Xmas dinner 2017.      Sorry, NI's TOC, if you are still there, I can't think that you could have been the authority that Mathewson's consulted.  They couldn't have found you, anyway.    And anecdote - aka 'hearsay' -is not evidence.    Photographs and personal interviews are. 

Scrapman, that LHD was the last off the line, as proved by the line manager's photo.       The posed picture on the Triumph Works website is just that, as Pete suggests.   They took 'a' Spitfire, a representative one, and posed it with the line workers as a sendoff.     The passing of the actual Last Spitfire Off the Line would have gone unrecorded if it were not for my informant's enterprise.

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3 hours ago, JohnD said:

I did, Colin, and all Argus-eyed Google found was the TrIumph Owners Motorcycle Club.   So thank you.

But who is/are the Triumph Owners Club?   Quote " Northern Ireland's largest independent club " whose News page has as the latest announcement, their Xmas dinner 2017.      Sorry, NI's TOC, if you are still there, I can't think that you could have been the authority that Mathewson's consulted.  They couldn't have found you, anyway.    And anecdote - aka 'hearsay' -is not evidence.    Photographs and personal interviews are. 

It's a curse - or a blessing? - that Triumph also make motorcycles and underwear, so you have to really narrow down any search. :)

We have more breakaway branches over here than the Presbyterians. Remember that bit in Monty Python about the People's Front of Judea, and the Popular Front of Judea etc? Same thing.

Someone orders the wrong menu at a Christmas dinner and half the club leaves and starts up somewhere else. Splitters.

hqdefault.jpg.08d3fe62445f34b6b9fde1cabedbf291.jpg

Actually their Christmas dinner was December 2019 and they've got a list of events on their homepage, about one a fortnight, so seemingly very active.

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