1965 Triumph Spitfire G Production Race (Spitwad)
Last updated Jun 7, 2008
A good friend in high school was into sports cars, I had a 57 Hillman Minx and a 69 GTO. We used to work a lot on his Triumph's and had great times seeing what we could extract from that tiny 1157CC engine. He decided to start racing and picked up this car in the late 80's and built what you see. Well it toured up and down the west coast for SCCA events and as the costs got out of hand moved into the garage with the dreams still attached. As time wore on family and career took its toll. The Spit was moved to an outside lean to and then to a barn on the farm. I finally convinced him to turn the car trailer and parts over to me in trade for a 77 Grand Prix for his wife and a 80 Dodge Ram 150 4X4 Pickup for his son. After dragging it out of the berry vines and moving the possums out of the interior we trailered it home. My son's and I decided this was a group project for autocross in our home town and proceeded with a thorough cleaning to see what we had to work with. The car was in good shape all in all, a little lighter due to some nature body thinning techniques but with elbow grease rust encapsulator and paint looked good enough for season one.
The car had sat for ~20 years and the slicks were well let's say flat and hard. They held air and since we were doing this first season to see how we would enjoy it and if the car could be competitive we used it as is. If you want to learn to drive a car sideways I have found the secret and to can be warm and it does not require 100's of horsepower. The Spit do donut at any cone you chose and sometimes when you least expected it. My son came in hot at one event looped the Spit and crossed the finish line backwards. Once realizing he was OK and had not touched a cone he started the car and backed out of the box to complete his run. He was embarrassed but the crowd cheered his ability. We had been told many times we need new tires but we were not ready until a practice before the finals when he blew a tire. Well that was it so new slicks were purchased for the championships. The car was a totally different ride. Our competition went from the corollas to the Vette's and other competition prepared cars in the club. One of the best drivers in the club who drove a full comp Camero came to me after my first run with the new slicks and said "someone got new tires and someone is getting spanked ... ME" I had bested his time on the course by 3 seconds and never was within 8 seconds of him in the past. Well the finals netted us 1st and 2nd and my other son a second in his class! We missed the overall fastest by 15 seconds what a year. We ran the car the next season with some additional work with similar results and now it like my Firebird is sitting in storage for the day when I return home and start the fun again.
HP guess 150 Torque ???. 1/4 mile never even considered trying. Top speed 114 in its full race trim down the front straight, not drafting. In the corners pulls right at 1G and hangs with most anything passing many. SCCA G Production race car.
Full custom flares and chin spoiler, 1157CC triumph engine ported polished, chevy valves, headers, now split dual exhaust (to appease the autocross circuits) spool rearend, full cage, fuel cell, battery relocated to passenger compartment for balance, boxed frame and suspension, high rate springs and roll bars ...
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