Thursday, February 22, 2018

Toyota 4AGE Power: 1979 Triumph Spitfire

The Triumph Spitfire is a very small British roadster named after an iconic WWII fighter, the highest production British airplane of all time.  The Spitfire vehicle didn't quite achieve the same success as its namesake fighter plane, but it does have a decent cult following and gets lively if you up the horsepower from the spinning parts.  Find this 1979 Triumph Spitfire with Toyota 4AGE TwinCam Power offered for $10,000 in SF Bay Area, CA via craigslist.  Tip from FuelTruck.

From the seller:
1979 Triumph Spitfire 1500 w/ Toyota 4AGE 1600 Twin Cam engine and 5-speed Toyota transmission. California legal with BAR sticker.

Complete tune-up, new fuel injectors, wires, plugs, pulled the valve covers to check timing belts, replaced gaskets, checked complete system for vacuum leaks, replaced temp sensor, cleaned up a bunch of wiring, rebuilt taillights/running lights/replaced headlight, windshield wipers, clutch master cylinder seal...that was round one.

Then new tires all around and replaced the rear leaf spring.

Replaced the external fuel pump with a new Walbro pump and ran new wiring & relay from the fuse box to carry the load. Then pulled the old fuel line that was installed as part of the engine swap and replaced it will braided stainless steel line & new battery.

I've used the car as my daily driver for the past year.

Along with the car comes a spare ECU, full set of old slot mags, tonneau cover, Triumph & Toyota repair manuals.

The top is new with no rips or clouding of the windows. No rips in the seats or cracks in the dash cover. Paint is mostly original, you can see areas that have been sprayed over the years. Body is very straight for a 38 year old car. Not perfect, but a very, very respectable, very, very quick driver.

It's currently running a straight pipe between header and Flowmaster muffler (clamped, not welded). I will provide the buyer with catalytic converter pipe that was on the car when it was smogged last year. It's registered for another year.

Clean title.

Of course, feel free to ask any questions....I'm selling in order to buy a Fiat 500 Abarth.


See a better way to spit fire?


  1. In the case of drive train swaps, the devil usually is in the details, but this looks like a nicely done job. I wonder if he was able to keep the original feel by simulating the oil leaks?

    BTW, I hope he is buying a classic Fiat 500 Abarth and not a new one. Otherwise he may be about to experience a DROP in reliability, which is saying a lot, coming from a British car.....

  2. Should be lots of fun and, well, with a bit of work you can exhume the skinny euro-spec rear bumper with relatively little effort - The front needs a bit more effort with how they covered over the clamshell hinge with those rubber probiscii.

    1. That's amazing that the complete original skinny bumper is still there hiding under all that crap.

  3. the problem with this car, and all small sports car swaps: Miata. There are just too many cheap, reliable Miatas that you can buy for less money, and have just as much fun with...

    1. Ah but what you're forgetting is this: the intended audience for this car is specifically Triumph people who are tired of middling horsepower and poor reliability.

      The MX5 people wouldn't give this conversion a 2nd thought.


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