From the start of the Sixties, the UK car industry was going through a major revolution, with an unprecedented demand for new cars, covering every sector of the industry.

The Standard-Triumph Group was as well posed as any to take their share of the market, even more, when they were acquired by the UK truck manufacturing giant, Leyland Motors in 1960.

BL d ecided to focus their considerable resources on the Triumph brand, soon phasing out all production on the few Standard models that had remained in production.

Triumph, who had built a solid reputation producing sports cars over the years, were still one of the market leaders- a standing that they strengthened with the release of the Spitfire Mk I in 1962

The patriotically named Spitfire was Triumph's budget sports car, an interesting alternative to BMC’s MG Midget and larger MGB sports cars.  

All three cars remained popular throughout the Sixties, all of them continuing in production, albeit with modifications, for the next eighteen years.

The Spitfire was another Herald-based offering, designed to compete with MG's Midget.

There had been plans for a sports version of the Herald since it took shape on the drawing board, but these were shelved until Triumph chiefs saw a sketch that their ace designer Giovanni Michelotti had come up with for an attractive and low-cost compact roadster in 1960.

The Triumph Spitfire was based on the Triumph Herald saloon, which had a separate chassis that could be modified to carry a sports body without the need for expensive retooling.

This basic sports car had advantages - like a tilt-forward front end that offered excellent access to the 1.1-litre engine - and disadvantages like swing-axle rear suspension that was liable to cause violent oversteer.

Trim on the Spitfire was fundamental, with the only "luxury" feature was wind-up windows (unlike their contemporary Sprites and Midgets).

Wire wheels and a hard top were available as options.

The Triumph Spitfire went through a number of  evolutions during its production run.

Among there  was the development of  the  coupe version,unlike the MGBs and Cs marketed as a separate model from 1966 to 1973.

The Spitfire Mk II (1965-1967) was handed a relatively minor interim upgrade- the Mk III (1967-1970) a considerable facelift, including a bigger engine.

The final major update came in 1974, when the Spitfire received a 1493cc (91 cu in) engine, ironically the same as used in the 'rival' MG Midget.

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