Mid-engined turbo Triumph Spitfire

By NickT
( 6 )

16 minute(s) of a 36 minute read


Today’s mission with my mid engined spitfire was to try and sort out the steering. I am using BMW 1 series hubs and lower control arms with a spitfire steering rack.
The BMW track rod sends were m12 x 1.5 thread and the spitfire 3/8 unf
So the challenge he was to put the BMW tie rods on to the spitfire rack.
 Turned out quite well!!


Today I finished the underside if the mid engined spitfire. It looks great!
I wire brushed it all and gave it a coat on black primer. I’ve fitted a lifting hook at the centre balance of the tub, cos this thing will be coming off quite a bit
I have test fitted the tub on the chassis and it fits beautifully.
It’s way too high, the rear is still the same height as a vw Passat and the front has no weight.
The engine fits nicely in the back, and it looks like I will have some storage ?
 Need to fab up some nice rear arches for the extra track


Today I sorted out the ride height and rear suspension. I had to lengthen the upper control arm by 20mm or the rear tyres had so much camber they were at 20 degrees! So I have set them at 3% and it looks so much better. 

The ride height is at 120mm so quite low. A stock spitfire is 111cm to the highest point of the screen surround, mine sits at 110cm. 

The rear shocks are from a lotus Elise, cost £11.40 on eBay!

Also got a couple of bucket seats, they were £18 ?

Next I’m going to add a space frame to give the rear some rigidity.


Today I finished the jobs I was putting off, all the interior. I made a couple of inner sills and completed welding the inside of the car.
I am going to raise the ride height a bit, as it’s way too low.
Next job clean all the triumph stuff from the bulkhead and clean that up, also make some spacers for rear shocks and some kind of adjustment thingy, so I can raise the car. Also need to lose 20mm off front springs.
 Loads of steel coming, but not until next Friday (20th)


 I have now lowered the car to its correct ride height, the front looks awesome! I had to raise the front turrets 50mm. This bought the lower wishbones and track rod ends all into the right place 

 I have ordered some more steel, so no, I’m not keeping the wood supporting the front suspension ? (someone is bound to ask)

 So there you are, BMW front hubs mounted on a Spitfire!

 I also fitted the BMW callipers. 

 I raised the rear by 25mm so the car now has a nice tilted forward look. 

 I have also stripped all the triumph stuff from the bulkhead, so more holes for me to fill!!


Today I made the rear wings or fenders. I think they came out quite nicely. I tried to keep the style in keeping with the car and make the longer wheelbase not look too out of proportion. Worked out quite well

For the moment one is finished and pop riveted on, I’ll complete the other one tomorrow.  Also got some doors, and yes they do fit!

I test fitted the boot lid to make sure everything lines up, and so far so good ?


 Today having a day off, but i took some high res pictures with my DSLR. Next i am going to make the rear valance and fill the hole where once there was a gearbox.

 Still trying to find a bonnet for the car that isn't 100s of miles away of costing mega money (as I am going to be cutting most of it up anyway.

 Also need to fit the inner wheel arches.

 My MIG welder is also playing up, the wire keeps getting snagged in the liner, so I have ordered a new liner, should be with me by Friday.


That’s it all the major welding is done. The 2 rear wings/fenders and the rear valance are fitted and both rear wings de-seamed.
The old inner wheel arches have also been refitted.
I did lift the body 10mm to give some wheel clearance but it’s not enough.
So I need to work on that next. In theory all the major rot spots are gone, just a few little patches to be sorted out.
 I took a picture in the wing removed, looks kind of cool.


 Hi all, spent the day welding up all the inaccessible bits, so another job off the list, also painted the new metal with red oxide paint. 

 Then I tried to figure how I’m going to make the parking brake work. There is no route for the cable; the sump is in the way.
So I was thinking I could go electric parking brake, running off a switch on the handbrake.
 I guess the only question is whether the electric callipers will fit to the hubs I have. Has anyone used these electric callipers?


 Over the past week I have removed the body from the chassis and today removed the engine from the chassis!
The sump had a nasty crack in and was pouring out oil so I have had to replace it.
I also fitted the engine wiring loom, strangely it fits quite well, the section that would normally run across the Passat’s bulkhead runs nicely up the centre tunnel, the ECU sits where the gearbox would normally sit.
 I have also finished all the underside welding and made the inner wings (fenders). Been quite busy!

 I’ve also bought a bonnet (hood) and steering column, will be picking them up at the end of the month.


Yesterday I picked up a bonnet for my car, a 320 mile round trip, but it was worth it. The bonnet only cost £20.

To be fair there was some rust, the nearside front had rotted away and there was some rot on the offside, but a few welds later and all sorted..

When the body is back on again I will sort out the front arches, they need extending by 2" and making much larger to accommodate 17" rims. 

Next job get morse cables for gear selector, brake pipes and fuel hose...


Today I fitted the clutch and brake pipes and secured to chassis in the original Triumph locations. I used VW pipe clamps and they are really good.
Next week I’m fitting the body for hopefully the last time, and then for the first time since 2007 my little car will start to look like a car again.
Still loads to do including the electrics, brakes, front arches etc etc etc


The body is back on the car for the last time, I’ve also added a new cross brace between the rear shock mounts, and more robust ties to the body.
The gear selector works nicely, the fuel and brake are all fitted along the chassis where the prop shaft would have run.i have fitted the bonnet/hood and cut the panels to suit the rims; still need to get some more steel to make the front wheel arches.
 It’s starting to look like a car now.


It’s been a while since I posted an update on here, but I have been busy!
Firstly I now have a working clutch, I used the spitfire brake master cylinder mated to a Porsche slave cylinder and it works perfectly.
Then the brakes...
The rear brakes are Audi and the front bmw, i also want to do a dual circuit system.
The rear Audi callipers had to be completely rebuilt, new pistons and seals, they came out really nicely. The bmw callipers are perfect.
For a master cylinder I used an Audi one, but removed the vacuum booster, there is simply not enough space in the front for one. I mounted the master cylinder on a bracket to replicate the oem triumph one. Looks nice. All plumbed in so brakes more or less sorted.
Then I started the electrics. I want the car to look spitfire(ish) so I wanted to keep the dashboard as standard as possible. I have used a Passat dashboard and managed to mount it in exactly the same space as the spitfire’s gauges went.. and it all works. I haven’t demobilised the ecu yet, so the dash isn’t happy and can’t quite work out what’s happened to it. All sorts of alarms going off.
 I have chopped out so much wiring and I am sure there is more to go. I have used a standard spitfire ignition switch and mated that to the Audi loom. I would in theory be able to spin the motor over on the key, but the starter needs replacing, the magnets in it are shattered and the thing is seized solid.


Great to see this again!

Posted by Diggymart on 3/7/21 @ 5:47:46 PM

It's good to see someone modifying a triumph - the time put into sorting the panel gaps has paid off!

Posted by Jim_builds on 10/26/20 @ 1:10:48 PM

What a transformation! If Triumph were making cars today I could see them building something like this.

Posted by CCmyVW on 10/25/20 @ 1:14:55 PM

Wow impressive!

Posted by Diggymart on 10/11/20 @ 2:08:22 AM

You really are an artist with the welder. Looks like a modern version of a classic design. Well done!

Posted by miatamatt on 10/9/20 @ 1:07:39 PM

Nice work! definitely not something you see everyday.

Posted by MPower on 10/1/20 @ 7:51:48 PM

Beautiful car, bet it’s a riot to drive

Posted by stevegolf on 9/26/20 @ 3:33:18 PM