Triumph Appreciation Wirral

and friends

1976 Triumph 1500 Spitfire

I built a Marlin Roadster kit car in 1990 which I still enjoy to drive when sunny. I retired from Heswall Group Practice as Practice Manager in 2006 knowing that one of the Doctors had a 1500 Spit which required a full restoration. Like a complete idiot I asked the Doctor that if he paid for the bits would he like me to restore it as a hobby.

He leapt at the chance!!

The job started towards the end of 2006 with dismantling down to the bare chassis. The car had belonged to the Doctor’s brother who then passed it on to their father who in turn had it transported up from Brighton to Heswall. At that stage it was untaxed but a ‘goer’ although there were a suspicious amount of brown coloured blemishes dotted about together with a surplus of misshapen holes where holes shouldn’t be. With good intent every nut, bolt and washer was to be tagged and indexed and archived for later use.

Apart from larger items, all that went by the board and a load of bent and broken bolts, rusted and half cut nuts and wafer thin washers resembled the back end of Campbells yard.

Various photos in chronological order will be interspersed throughout this diatribe where you will see some of the stages that are worth a glance from a pure connoisseur’s position  or alternatively  bored out of one’s skull if you are that way inclined.

Many new bits were sourced from James Paddock Ltd. Chester, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

They cater for all Triumphs, are friendly,helpful and reasonably priced. In the end every nut, bolt and washed was either cleaned and polished and returned to the car in due course or new items purchased ensuring that Imperial sizes were used throughout. The chassis was blasted and powder coated at a spurious ‘cash will do fine Sir’ outlet on the Wallasey dock road and the work of resurrecting non-metal i.e holes in the chassis  by devious welding’ the work being carried out by my good friend Mike Quinn.

He was also responsible for other parts of the restoration in a professional capacity as and when required or when he wanted a free cup of coffee and a nosey on how things were going. The gearbox was refurbished by Alan Voigts of Seacombe. The overdrive unit which was introduced to the car sometime prior to it arriving in Wirral, was switched in and out by a dash switch and wiring put in by the Doctor’s father. We opted for a gear stick switch which was sourced from a very old Triumph gearbox. The top half of the stick containing the switch was cut and was welded onto the then modified stick. It looks o.k. lets hope it works.

The chassis welding took some time with various old structural metal being replaced by new  ‘Triumph’ parts, outriggers, bumper extension struts, sills, wheel arch work, boot floor, a new boot lid, a new door and a re-skinned door and various other time consuming bits.

The re- furbed chassis was a joy to work on with all new front end suspension parts and a selection of re-con and new rear parts. Fotos make the chassis build look quite good!. I rebuilt the engine after it receiving new exhaust valves. I didn’t know until later that swarf had not been removed from the block after machining which you would probably understand why I made several undisclosed grammatical oaths especially with the engine near to completion.

Further photos show the dressed chassis coming together.

 

Too late! When I had progressed threequarters through the chassis build an ‘Expert’ at least I think that was what they called him, indicated that I should have put the chassis to one side, untouched and concentrated on the body.I now know of course that he was perfectly correct. If I had done as he said I would not have touched the dam thing in the first place. Hindsight eh!

It took a long time and a lot of filler, elbow grease, sweat, toil, broken fingernails and just a few carefully selected adjectives before the body and bonnet were ready to be transported to Liscard to be two packed by Garry of H & G Maddocks. A fine job and all wae had to do now after getting it back was to mate the two halves together so that you couldn’t see the join. Electrics were installed, my man wanted a radio system with woofers and tweeters and things most non-compliant with British automobile manufacturing of the ‘70s. Dash in, carpets in, seats recovered and in, glass, all original, in. Brake servo unit installed, electric fan installed, 5 wheels blasted and painted and new tyres fitted.

Wipers and washer pump and bottle all new installed. New steel and chrome bumpers, from Paddocks, installed. The hood, original, was quite difficult, but with a few new bits and a bit of persuasion  it now fits like a glove.

Although the car needs some fettling which will be carried out as soon as the weather improves, it passed its MOT last week on its first attempt and I am most grateful for that. It is to be taxed from March and the insurance will have me included in it so you might see it around the locality in the Spring. I have mentioned several people who have helped me but it would be remiss of me not to mention others who have shown interest and been of unfailing help.

They are:-

Dave Evennett……… 1500 parts manual

Ray Fields…………   his 1500

The Doctor’s wife………… Abundant strong coffee

My wife………………seeing less of me

Bob Spencer, 13 February 2013