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1979 Triumph Spitfire (Frankenspit)

Last updated Mar 19, 2013  

Photo of a 1979 Triumph Spitfire (Frankenspit)


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Engine: 2.3L Ford Turbo, factory rated at 190 HP and 240 lb ft torque @3400 RPM, with fuel injection upgraded to Turbo T-bird VAM, computer, and temperature sensor. Wiring harness from 1986 Merkur XRr4ti. Intake modified for clearance. Stock cam. Porsche 944 intercooler.
Exhaust: side pipe.
Cooling: Griffin aluminum radiator.
Transmission: Borg Warner T5 5-speed with 0.79:1 overdrive. Custom driveshaft. Triumph clutch hydraulics.
Rear Axle: second generation Mazda RX7 differential housing with first generation limited slip third member and 3.909:1 gear ratio.
Front Susp.: stock Triumph.
Rear Susp.: custom coilover IRS with unequal length control arms and custom antisway bar (designed by owner.)
Brakes: (master) stock Triumph master cylinder. Adjustable proportioning valve.
(front) 1989 Mazda RX7 GXL 11" rotors and 4-piston calipers.
(rear) 10" ventilated rotors and single piston calipers.
Wheels/Tires: 16x7 Rage 5-spoke aluminum wheels with 205x40x16 BFG g-Force tires.
Instruments: Cobra style 160 MPH electronic speedometer and boost gage. Other gages stock Smiths: fuel, temp, oil pressure, etc.
Body: 1968 GT6 bonnet section raised two inches and welded to the Spitfire bonnet for engine clearance. Aluminum front air dam. Rear license plate relocated to below the bumper, and hinged so that it swings down to reveal a receiver hitch which is used for my Spitfire trailer.
Interior: Mazda Miata seats.
Weight: 2080 pounds.
Completed: November 2004

Front brakes: since the spindle on the Spitfire is removable from the front upright, I machined a spindle with the triumph tapered shaft that fits in the upright and the Mazda profile so that the rotors would be a direct fit. I built a simple adapter plate to mount the calipers.

Bonnet clearance for the engine: I parted out a GT6 and used the top section of the bonnet. I welded in this piece and added one more inch in height compared to a stock GT6 bonnet. I also cut down the upper intake manifold and rotated it 90 degrees, then had it welded to the lower intake as part of solving the clearance issue.

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