Sports & Exotic Inspiration Wrap Up – Spitfire, Spider, and B

As you might have noticed, I’ve been featuring cars discussed in a recent article in Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car, or at least near relatives thereof. The first two were a Mazda RX-7 and a Porsche 924S (they featured the 944), which left me with the following cars. Given the self-imposed limit of $3000, the search for an affordable example of each was not such a resounding success, especially when compared with the first two. Since these cars were available starting in the sixties, I added an additional constraint of being pre-1975 to make smogging easier for those of us who need to. Since each of these cars has been featured in the past, I’m not going to give each its own article. With that said, let’s get into it:

First up is a 1970 Triumph Spitfire. As a popular older car, parts are not that hard to find or that expensive. Further, it’s not hard to find a mechanically decent example that could use some cosmetic help in the future, while serving as a driver. This car, in Medical Lake, WA (near Spokane), is such a car. The owner invested a lot in the mechanicals, and the car now needs attention to a rough idle (attributed to the cam), along with paint and interior work. Since the work was done a while ago, count on doing some shake-down and then moving on to the looks department.

1970 Triumph Spitfire

The next attempt was to find a Fiat Spider that fit all the constraints. You’ll notice we’re also looking at chrome-bumper cars, a convenient side-benefit of most pre-smog vehicles. Our target car is listed in Marietta, GA by a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer for $2455. Now, it’s pretty rare I’d recommend purchasing a vintage car from a dealer, especially a non-specialist, but I couldn’t pass up the irony (which others have seen elsewhere) of these guys selling a Fiat – maybe they can throw a Chrysler badge on it like they did with the Lancia Delta at the 2010 Detroit show. Hey kids, it’s the new Sebring! See it soon at Hertz, Avis, and Alamo! The car itself looks pretty straight, but would be helped a lot by replacing those wheels with some alloys or deep dish steelies.

1974 Fiat Spider

Finally, an MGB. I’ll admit to this search being a big crunchy bowl of Fail, which might have been more successful if I’d opened up to post-1975 or a BGT. As it is, one of the few decent-looking, allegedly running cars is this blue B in Manitowoc, WI (near Milwaukee). I wouldn’t recommend this car any sooner than the Fiat from a dealer, at least without a thorough inspection. It’s a pretty color for the car, and you get spoke wheels and some extra parts, but count on rust and probably the typical split at the base of the vent window. Rubber bumpers are also on the car, but hey, you don’t have to face the smog nazis every two years. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a driveable project.

Well, that’s been interesting. You can definitely see the more popular cars are not the place to find deals, even if there are plenty on the market competing for new owners. Stay tuned for future ramblings in which I try to take the classic car mags down a notch. To my budget, that is.

1975 MGB

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2 Responses to “Sports & Exotic Inspiration Wrap Up – Spitfire, Spider, and B”

  1. Stephane Benne Says:

    Awesome post! Interesting info to know.

  2. Still Alive? Fiat 128 sedan double happiness « Rusty But Trusty Says:

    […] the same sense of irony (or resignation) in light of the Fiat takeover of Chrysler as the seller of last month’s 124 spider. Find our first example, a 1978 128 sedan, at Mann Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Richmond, KY for […]

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