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Something different - but still a Spitfire


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Hi Everyone, I've been a member on and off since the 1990s, I've had many Spitfires, all have been somewhat controversial by purists standards..

So please let me introduce my latest Spitfire, something truly different.. If triumph were to make a Spitfire in the 21st Century what would it be like. Anyway my take..

My 1978 Spitfire is now powered by a 1.8 20v turbo engine from a VW Passat (to be fair when I bought the car it was just a rotted out shell and chassis, no rolling bits, doors or bonnet).

I decided to make my Spitfire mid-engined, so I mounted the engine where a Spitfire's differential normally sits. The gearbox sits in an Audio A6 quattro rear subframe attached to the Spit's chassis. A space frame chassis then gives the whole thing a little more rigidity. The rear suspension are Lotus ELise Gaz Golds and Audi control arms.

The front of the car has gone through a number of revisions, now I am using a standard Spitfire steering rack and hubs, Canley Classic wishbones and Gaz gold shocks. I did have to raise the suspension towers 2" to fit the 17 inch rims. The Spitfire hubs have been modified to accept Audi 5x112 wheels.

 

The engine has been upgraded, the turbo replaced with a larger T04, injectors and MAF are from an Audi TT and the ecu mapped to about 300 bhp. The car weighs little more than 600 kg. I have also added Methanol/Water injection, which assists in propelling the car from 0-60 in about 3 seconds and 15-85mph in 3rd gear in 3.5 seconds. The car also has a theoretical top speed of just under 200 mph.

The car has been in a number of magazines :)

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Ha! I saw that on Facebook. Glad you found your was (back) here.

Facebook is good for initial contact, organizing events and meet ups and maybe even selling stuff but for in-depth (i.e. long-winded) advice forums are still the place to be.

 

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Well goodness me, Nick!    That is quite an achievement - the MX5 has been said to be descended from the Spitfire, but you have produced a Spitfire descended from its' competitor, the MR2!   

Very well done - the 'dipped in green glass' body work is also impressive.

Do you have/intend a cover for the engine compartment?    It looks a little unfinished without.

John

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8 minutes ago, JohnD said:

Well goodness me, Nick!    That is quite an achievement - the MX5 has been said to be descended from the Spitfire, but you have produced a Spitfire descended from its' competitor, the MR2!   

Very well done - the 'dipped in green glass' body work is also impressive.

Do you have/intend a cover for the engine compartment?    It looks a little unfinished without.

John

Hi John

i have made a cover for the engine, the bit where the filler goes, but tbh i get asked to show the engine all the time!

i might do something out if perspex.. but jury is out..

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3 minutes ago, JohnD said:

If its good enough for Ferrari ....

Ferrari Testarossa Shines with Aftermarket Transparent Engine Cover -  autoevolution

 

More pics, please!  Does the rear section lift up, like a standard bonnet?

Yes John

the rear boot lid opens and exposes the exhaust and gearbox 

the front flips up using audi tt bonnet hinges. My fuel cell is where the engine normally goes 

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Quite an achievement, as you say goes like stink, and presumably has the handling to suit looking at the stance, I wouldn't know where to start such a project, from a namesake well done. It's taking me all my time to think about converting my Vitesse to CV drive shafts!

 

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32 minutes ago, Peter Truman said:

Quite an achievement, as you say goes like stink, and presumably has the handling to suit looking at the stance, I wouldn't know where to start such a project, from a namesake well done. It's taking me all my time to think about converting my Vitesse to CV drive shafts!

 

Hi Peter, thank you! 

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22 hours ago, NickTruman said:

I only have a 5 gallon tank! So might take quite a while :)

I can't help but think that is a major design flaw..... 

I guess it provides the ICE equivalent of range anxiety in an electric car.

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15 minutes ago, thescrapman said:

I can't help but think that is a major design flaw..... 

I guess it provides the ICE equivalent of range anxiety in an electric car.

True, but a 5 gallon fuel cell is all I could afford at the time

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Nick you used a space frame rear set up attached to the Spit chassis, I have a Spit chassis in my garage, all straight and non rusty which was modified by a development engineer at GM Holden for racing I believe it was to use coil over shocker suspension with a Lotus Europa lower wishbone/linkage set up, attached is a pic of a Europa set up, light weight but also very flimsy. The chassis also came with a box of various sized and ended rose joints.

Below are a couple of photos of the extra brackets fitted, I was going to cut them off and convert to a standard chassis Spitfire set up, though I thought I might leave the cross chassis box section stiffening (RHS of first photo).

Arrangement of Spitfire modified suspension for Europa arrangement.JPG

Rear mountings for Europa type of suspension.JPG

Europa Rear Suspension.jpg

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The Rotaflex version of Triumph rear suspension ceases to be a 'swing-axle', instead it is a twin wishbone, with a raher long upper 'bone, that doubles as a spring.     So all the efforts to use coil springs are, IMHO, futile!   Unless you want to be able to change the spring stiffness easily.  The weak points of the Rotaflex are the rubber donut itself, and the MASSIVE wishbone that Triumph used!

By using CV jointed drive shafts, and a fabricated wishbone, these can be corrected.   Here's the wishbone I use on SofS:

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It also uses an MGF upright.

This is version two, as V1, in thinner tube proved too weak.     

The first tube used was about the same as that seen above in the Lotus Europa, but then Colin Chapman was noted for building his cars JUST strong enough, and sometimes not enough!

John

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1 hour ago, JohnD said:

Colin Chapman was noted for building his cars JUST strong enough, and sometimes not enough!

Something I can confirm from when I had a Europa back in 1975-76!  Notwithstanding that it was great fun, and even had electric windows courtesy of Ford Cortina windscreen wiper motor IIRC.

Dick

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  • 3 weeks later...

My latest addition is a rear anti roll bar, I used an Audi TT roll bar and it fitted perfectly, it is almost as though it was designed for my car. It has transformed the way it goes round corners, it is so planted and flat, no understeer.. Still getting used to it, I am wondering if I need to go for stiffer rear springs and loosen off the dampers in the Gaz shocks. 

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And i thought i was a bit low on my setup. Are you thinking of coming to Duxford? Would be great to see it in the flesh. It does make my mods look a bit tame. The rule for making modifications i go by is if it brings a smile to your face then it must be ok. Why not start a thread on the work you have done in the restoration thread. Would be interesting to see it in more detail.

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19 minutes ago, Mathew said:

And i thought i was a bit low on my setup. Are you thinking of coming to Duxford? Would be great to see it in the flesh. It does make my mods look a bit tame. The rule for making modifications i go by is if it brings a smile to your face then it must be ok. Why not start a thread on the work you have done in the restoration thread. Would be interesting to see it in more detail.

Hi Mathew, just Googled Duxford and came up with 3 of them. It depends where, I have no roof (yet) and only a 5 gallon fuel cell. But I really want to go to some Triumph meets..

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Hi, the imperial war museum near the junction of the m11. Pete has a thread on it in club meets/events. Its difficult with no cover , my first spitfire came only with a hard top and no softtop. When you wanted to drive topless you had to leave the top at home. I think the trip is do able, prob with a petrol stop on the way or way back depending on your fuel consumption. Fingers crossed for a nice day. 

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