Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Classic Car Buyer Beware...

As I found her...
If all goes according to plan, I will be the happy owner of a 1966 (but maybe a 1965) Triumph Spitfire in the very near future.  She needs some work and is definitely not pretty, but appears solid for an east coast car. She also doesn't run, but the current owner (hopefully soon to be PO) winterized it when he started to do some work on it.  He didn't finish the work so he never brought it out of layup but I was able to turn it over by hand easily enough to tell me it isn't seized but not too easy to tell me there is no compression.

The passenger's front quarter, including that frame outrigger,
Cancer on the passenger front frame outrigger
and the bottom of the boot lid are the only bad areas of corrosion. The sills and just about everything else are solid. The engine, body and commission numbers all seem to be close enough to each other to be considered a match (from what I could gather, you don't expect the numbers to actually match but be close numerically).

I actually found the car on the International Triumph Spitfire Database and the listing has the car as part of a northern Florida Triumph club. This database also has it listed as a 1965. Being used to VIN numbers that are usually easily decipherable, does anyone know any way to be sure the year of this car? I doubt there were significant differences between 65 and 66 that would be giveaways.

Anyway, another curious thing is that the odometer only registers 5781 miles. I see one of two things...either the odometer has turned over through 100,000 miles (surprising, to me, for these cars) or it stopped working early in the car's life... early enough that I would think you would have it fixed by a dealer. The look of the unit doesn't seem to be any newer than the other gauges, so I doubt it was replaced.  The current owner says it was his Grandfather's car and he really only drove it on weekends and to work on nice days, so who knows. Hopefully I will be able to figure it out using other clues (like when I tear the engine apart).
Dash...5781...can't be right!!
I should have an answer by the owner sometime tomorrow...crossing my fingers.

Commission and Body numbers



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