Saturday, February 7, 2015

5k Flash: 1978 Triumph Spitfire, 39k miles

After completing just 39,000 miles, this carotene-hued ankle-biter is listed by the owner's parents. They say he wanted his ownership to be as reliable as possible. You've got to hand it to him for finding the least expensive route of British sports car ownership: not driving it. It's also possible that after parking it in the garage one day, its existence merely slipped his mind. This is an experience many of us have with Idaho. Find this 1978 Triumph Spitfire in Boise, ID for $4,500 via craigslist.

The sub-5k price is the result of clashing attributes. Namely, low miles and militant adherence to originality versus one of the least desirable years for a Spitfire. Impact bumpers, low static compression ratio, and emissions hardware crippling the 1.5-liter scamp with just 50-ish horsepower. It reaches highway speeds in over 15 seconds, during which time most modern vehicles would complete a quarter mile. But its curves and 1,500-pound curb weight keep it in enthusiasts' garages... for a few years, before surrendering to rust or electrical failure. Surely 39,000 more miles in this Spitfire couldn't cause undue anguish, right? 

See another well-kept roadster for cheap? Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. Ewwwww, it's got implants in front AND in the booty.

    Please, someone in a state where the Geheime Smogpolizei doesn't come after you with meathooks and piano wire for anything post-1975 take this thing and clean it up.

  2. Seems like a good deal for an honest DT-er type croc. I wish I had the space. Sure, it's had a colour change. But what other BL product can you get from a relatively dry part of the country for 4.5K?

  3. regardless of everything else, she is still pretty.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I bought one for $4.5k in the early aughties. It was cool as with my cheeks planted I could pick up objects off the ground. It was slow, but it felt fast, since the non-boosted brakes even when working correctly were sketchy.

    Mine had 49k, which was believable because there were plenty of reasons not to drive it. NADA says I should have made a profit on it in the 10 years I had it, but I wound up with a small loss. In this condition, it is likely to remain a $4500 car. I always dreamed of a new engine, like from a rusted out 280z. It would have lent itself well to electric conversion too since it was light, you didn't have to go to far to match OEM power, and didn't have to worry about running power steering, brake boosters or heaters.


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