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1970 Spitfire Mk3


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So this is the first post about the restoration project I recently bought. It was an eBay purchase off another Triumph enthusiast who hadn't the time to dedicate to this car due to other ongoing projects. Although the photos show a rusty car, it is mainly surface rust and the body is solid, having previously had a significant amount of work carried out before the project stalling.

I'm aiming to complete within 2-3 years depending on work and study commitments. I'm starting on some of the easier bits (interior rennovation) even though it won't go into the car immediately.

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My first tasks were to replace the clutch pipe which had rusted and temporarily been connected using rubber tubing. Due to the easy access nature of the Spitfire this was a quick and easy job.

I decided to re-veneer the dash, which had reached the point of needing a refresh. Having bought burr walnut veneer sheets I stripped the original dashboard but decided to start afresh as the plywood had begun to separate and fall apart. I bought a sheet of 9mm ply and used the original as a template. Using hole saws, a Dremel and a drill I created the respective holes and then coated the ply in yacht varnish to make it weatherproof. The veneer was soaked in the bath for about 15 minutes and then sandwiched between two pieces of laminate flooring and left to dry out for a couple of days. This was to help flatten it out.

Once ready, the new dash was put into the veneer, which was then roughly cut to shape. I then applied a layer of wood glue to the dash and applied the veneer. This was then put back into the laminate sandwich and left for a couple of days.

After the glue had dried, the veneer was cut to the final shape of the dash using a sharp craft knife and sanded with the Dremel. After a trial fit of the dials and final refining, the veneer was flattened using 1200 grit wet and dry prior to applying the first layer of varnish. In total 8 layers of varnish were used, with flatting every 2 coats, and then a final polish. The results are shown in the attached photos.

  

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9 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:

There are people who would pay good money for a paint-job like that! Honestly!

Is the boot lid present? They can be hard to find in good condition.

Hi Colin.

It was missing the front valance and boot lid. I tracked a boot lid down a couple of weeks ago that needs a bit of work, but I'm still looking for a valance. 

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5 hours ago, mbs2013 said:

but I'm still looking for a valance. 

I have to confess I used a glass fibre one - Honeybourne Mouldings. Looks right and fitted well.  I reasoned that it might last longer than a steel one and was considerably less money.

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9 hours ago, PeterH said:

I have to confess I used a glass fibre one - Honeybourne Mouldings. Looks right and fitted well.  I reasoned that it might last longer than a steel one and was considerably less money.

Thanks Peter. I've been looking at those this weekend and was wondering what they'd be like. That's good to know.

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On 25/10/2020 at 09:21, PeterH said:

I did have to make some brackets to pick up on the mountings. 'Pop' riveted them to the glass fibre.

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Looks great. I did wonder how to attach the brackets. I assumed it would be a case of using fibreglass to make the joints.

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On 25/10/2020 at 08:19, NonMember said:

I went for a metal one (from Canley, I think) for my Spitfire. A very good fit and looks right from both sides.

I'd not thought of them. I'd only looked at Rimmers and Moss for metal ones. TD Fitchett is near to me so I was going to try them, but I'll give Canley a look too. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's a quick update. I've not had any time to make progress due to the demands of work and study, but I have been accumulating parts - as mentioned above, I now have a boot lid, and I've just acquired a set of wire wheels and an air filter box. I bought the air filter box as my fuel line is currently flapping around by the pancake filters and is getting caught each time the bonnet is opened. At the time I thought it was the right one, but I'm not sure - please can anyone advise?

Matthew

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On 27/10/2020 at 17:40, mbs2013 said:

Looks great. I did wonder how to attach the brackets. I assumed it would be a case of using fibreglass to make the joints.

You could bond them in place; I used Tigerseal for the Herald front valences, it saved having any kind of rivet head on the front and believe me once I clamped them in place for two or three days to allow it to fully set, they'll not move again.

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I 'Pop' riveted mine. It's so low down you don't notice the rivet heads once they are painted. If you look carefully at my earlier photo you can just see the inner ones on the outside view. The outboard ones are through the horizontal face and aren't visible with the bonnet shut.

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On 03/12/2020 at 11:27, mbs2013 said:

bought the air filter box as my fuel line is currently flapping around by the pancake filters and is getting caught each time the bonnet is opened. At the time I thought it was the right one, but I'm not sure - please can anyone advise?

Looks the same as mine. I'll try to get a photo but the car is shut away for the winter.

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Thank-you everyone for the help with the filter box and sorry for slow replies - the slots are in the top in the same way as the image from PeterH, so I'm more confident it is right now. Now idea about the needles in the carbs, but I was planning on overhauling them anyway, so will add new needles when I get round to it.

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6 hours ago, mbs2013 said:

 the slots are in the top in the same way as the image from PeterH, so I'm more confident it is right now. 

Well, it does say TOP.... but as with all things Triumph I would have guessed, without seeing that, that the slots were at the bottom to let water out...

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