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Triumph Repair/1974 Triumph Spitfire Questions

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Question
I am looking at a '74 Spitfire and I have two questions.  While mechanically it seems to be great, and has been gone through by an expert they acknowledge that the driver's floor is not great.  I know this is a common issue, my question is how major a repair is this?  I am not looking for a concours, what I want is a car that I can get in and drive when I want to, without a ton of issue.  That also leads to the other question, Would a 90 mile highway drive to work be an unreasonable expectation?  I believe this one does not have OD.

thank you!!

Answer
Hi Peter,

The rusted floorboards is a common problem with any convertable car and it depends on what you want. To make repairs to make a Collector's car or a Show car it may need to have the floorboards cut out and replaced. However if it is just a "Driver" then most just patch any holes. This can be done without welding equipment by just cutting out the rusted areas and make a sheet metal patch about an inch or more larger then the hole. Grind or sand the remaining rusted areas and spray can the area with a rust resistant paint. Then drill a hole the size of your Pop Rivet and then before you pop rivet the patch in place, spray undercoat (available at any auto parts store) and pop rivet the patch on to the wet undercoat to hold it in place and then drill the holes about an inch or two apart and pop rivet the patch in place. Then spray under coat on top and under the car and let it dry for a day and then spray paint the area with a spray can as close to the car color as you can find. If you or who ever you sell the car to later want to restore the car you can then replace the floor pan correctly.

As for driving the car 90 miles each day to and from work. The Triumph Spitfire was designed to cruise two lane winding back roads by a driver who loves to drive a small good handling sports car. You would be wasting the car by grinding it into the ground driving 90 miles a day to and from work. Especially without and overdrive. You would be far better off buying an old small American or Japanese sedan to use as a back and forth to work car (called a Beater car)and when you ware it out just trash it and buy another and keep the Spitfire as a joy riding car for week ends.

Howard  

Triumph Repair

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Howard M. Fitzcharles III

Expertise

Triumph TR-4 up & Spitfire, and Engine theory

Experience

Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

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Associate member SAE EAA member

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Import Car magazine

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ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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