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When we moved from Suffolk to the New Forest 13 years go, we gave our spitfire 1500 to our neighbouring farmer, who had ideas of doing it up (just like we had!).  We have just had said farmer to stay, and I asked after the spitfire. It turns out that he has never got round to doing anything with it (just like we hadn't!!), so I asked him if he would like me to get rid of it for him.  The end result is, that I am going to collect it on a trailer and bring it down here.  The last time I saw it was when Ben drove it round to the farm, so it was a runner; sound but starting to get tatty.  I've just found some old photos of it from the time it went to the farm, and it really didn't look too bad.  It has been dry stored in the back of his insulated barn, so whilst the rust worm has probably had a good munch, hopefully it hasn't bred too much and gone completely rampant!  

I'm now feeling very excited:banana: about getting a project and have always fancied the Vincent hurricane body, but does anyone here know whether they are still available?  If they are, I think (hope) I may have the perfect donor car!  Of course, it may be that the original panels are easily repairable and it would be silly to do a body swap.

Plan A is to strip the whole car down and go through everything thoroughly, so hints and tips from those of you who have done such a project would be gratefully received.  Is there anything that you didn't do which with hindsight you wish you had done?  Now is also the sensible time to think about any modifications/improvements to make it an enjoyable and safe road car, so again, what would be a good idea?  Plan B, (which is very boring and not my preferred option) is I will take one look at it and think 'sh*t.....this is way beyond me!' and I will just get rid of it as it is.

So, as I start dreaming...………. I mean planning, my final question is, if you were in my position, what would you choose to do to it? 

Vicky. x

 

 

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I think caburn may now be on an industrial estate in Ringmer. I can make enquiries next week when I get home.

Unless a totally different company, but would seem a big coincidence...they seem to work on classic cars of any variety.

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I’d be inclined to restore the Spit unless it’s really rusty........ You can do a fair amount of body repair for 3k.....

1500 Spit is a fairly well sorted package as standard. Room for improvement but perfectly usable even in today’s world.

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Vicky,

I have got to agree with Nick. An overdrive fitted Spitfire 1500 is a sound car. Panel availability is good and all mechanical parts are available. Spend some money getting the engine sorted, oil cooler addition at the very least and you would have a very good little car. 175/70 tyres, J type overdrive and a 3.63:1 diff, will give approx. 21mph/1000 revs, that coupled with the torque of the engine makes them a good tourer.

Or, how about a Conv GT6 conversion, one only has to look at Dave Langrick's white mk4 Spit with 2.5Pi engine, 6 inches back and see it on the CT events to know what a viable car they can be. 

Also, a Spitfire is a far prettier car than a Hurricane in my opinion, I have never been convinced about the proportions of them. Remember one of the items you will need for the Hurricane that you will not be able to source from the Spit is the windscreen frame. They are around, but as shared with TRs, good quality ones are expensive.

Spitfires are starting to appreciate in price, especially roundtails (My old pale blue mk2 with lots of fast engine mods is for sale by its present owner at present time for £16,450), will not be long before the square tails follow upwards in value. 

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1085287

 

As Phil states, pictures please. All sounds very exciting.

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I had a pageant blue '78 Spitfire for years. The only downfall were the waxstat carbs. The guy who'd previously owned my Spit was a really skilled mechanic and he'd overhauled the carbs and had come up with his own solution for that: leaving the outside untouched, but he'd totally revised the inside.

An oil cooler is a good idea. I would recommend a fine metal mesh in front of the cooler: somehow these low-positioned coolers attract stones! One tiny pebble ruins your trip! (Don't ask how I know...) Cooling is always somewhat of a problem. A proper wide radiator and an elec fan (salvage yard!) do the trick. Even the position of the license plate is something to consider!.

Ultimately, after almost 10 yrs, I sold the car to buy the TR3A I currently own (since 2003).

 

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Put the cardboards between the engine and the wheels back, including the ones in front of the radiator. Those boards 'guide'  the airstream from the fan all to the back of the engine. Especially the last cylinder (the one close to the bulkhead) is the one that needs attention (cooling). 

Currently, with modern-day fuels, which generate more heat than the ones in the past, I would consider the installation of an oil feed line into the cylinder head.

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Without wishing to cause an argument.....

My Spitfire 1500 would run hot when I first got it, but ensuring that the system was flushed and fitting a new wide rad sorted it out for 100% of "everyday" usage.
When we started to really thrash it up mountain sides etc. I found it could get warm, but the main issue was oil temp getting too high and killing the oil.
I've fitted an oil cooler and the side boards in front of the rad, but never bothered with the engine bay side boards.

I wouldn't mess about with oil feeds to the head or rocker areas - I wouldn't want to rob any pressure or flow from the bottom end - even without a feed I find there's plenty of lubrication at the top end of the 1500.

You my 2p worth, your mileage may vary.

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6 hours ago, Sidescreen Ben said:

You should see what she looks like 30 years on. The bodywork needs attention, the joints are siezed up and there's a leak somewhere.........

Oh sorry were you referring to the last picture or the ones before that??!!.......

Oh dear..... someone is going to either have a quiet night or a noisy one!

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2 hours ago, MennoR said:

Put the cardboards between the engine and the wheels back, including the ones in front of the radiator. Those boards 'guide'  the airstream from the fan all to the back of the engine. Especially the last cylinder (the one close to the bulkhead) is the one that needs attention (cooling). 

Currently, with modern-day fuels, which generate more heat than the ones in the past, I would consider the installation of an oil feed line into the cylinder head.

Oil feed into the head is the devils work!!

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Hi Vicky.
my list would be:

Fast Road 83 Cam , K&Ns, Sports Manifold twin exhaust, 3:63 diff, O/D, Full Width Radiator inc screens,, Electrical Fan, Oil Cooler, Slightly Lower & uprate front springs and shocks,  uprate anti - roll bar, rear spring, 165/80 on 5J - ( personal opinion is that they've more feel than 175/70 .. but honestly IMHO quality 155's are fine) EBC Brake Discs, .not a lot !!! .. these are the principle differences between my Yellow MKIV 1500 and my first stock Tahiti 1500 Spitfire - ... worlds apart.... ooh and a quality motolita type steering wheel - it adds the feel of something special.

Welcome to the Sister's Squadron.

 

dcp_0814.jpg

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13 hours ago, Alex said:

Oil feed into the head is the devils work!!

Not my experience: 80K kms trouble-free motoring with the oil feed. That included various trips to the Alps and North Spain in the summer (that was before I had kids). My biggest concern was sun block... 

After I'd sold the car in 2003, it kept on performing - but now I have lost track of the car. It still exists and runs (MoT'ed - Dutch version)

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