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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Triumph Spitfire (1962-1980)


Spitfire was born in 1959 as the "Bomb", sporting a variety Triumph Herald. He took over from her motor with a capacity of 948 cm3, but at the time of entry into production in 1962 already have the power unit with a capacity of 1147 cm3 63 hp. From his "older brother" Spitfire took so actually just slightly shortened frame and record in the world maneuverability - the turning circle was 7.32 meters!

Unfortunately, the maneuverability was accompanied by terrible design errors in abeyance. To maximize comfort, which includes the all-wheel independent suspension, the rear axle is designed as a combination of the broken axle with transverse spring element positioned leaf-spring. As a result, during dynamic driving the car when cornering there have to drastic changes in the slope of the wheels, and high-heel center of body - whatever the problems with the rear wheel turning angle - the tendency to induce a rapidly emerging oversteer. Hence, it is not surprising that the car - although beautiful - immediately gained as many fans as enemies.

Fans stressed the sporty look, performance and comfort, while the opponents are still pointed to the dangers of driving characteristics pathetic cars, creaking of a rigid body is not enough and its leaking. These defects were not eliminated in future versions of the MK2 (produced between 1965 -
-67) And MK3 (1967-1970), although substantially improved the overall quality of finish, while still increasing both the capacity of the engine, its power and performance.

MK3 were produced as another mutation in the same car. Changes compared to the previous concern only minor cosmetic bodywork, engine and increase its power (up to 1296 cm3, 75 hp) and the introduction of motorway electrohydraulic gear (overdrive) in a four-gear box. Theoretically, this option was available since the first "incarnation" Spitfire (with overdrive), but only in the MK3 its use has any sense - except, of course, the technical superiority over the most dangerous competitors, Austin Healey, MG Midget.

Despite his numerous flaws Spitfire enjoyed enormous success. Has sold a total of 314 342 units, of which more than half in the U.S.. The latter information is puzzling, since in a typical U.S. car could hide under his mask, the size of motor drive unit air conditioner compressor Spitfire instead.