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Patrick Barber's 74 SPITFIRE 1500

 

Inspiration

Investigation

The Purchase

The Rebuild

Chassis

Engine

Body

Final Assembly

The Refinement

VTR convention

The Wreck

Picking up the Pieces

Inspiration

Every project needs some type of inspiration. Some type of  trigger or spark to get start the mind reeling with thought and ideas.  My inspiration for this project came from the previous owner of my current home.  The previous owner left behind a Spitfire hood (bonnet) which he no longer needed or wanted. I didn't pay much attention to it as much as I thought of ways to sell it or obtain some other type of financial gain from it.

Investigation

It was this bonnet however which did inspire me to further pursue the spitfire as a project vehicle.  Investigation in the the Trading Times (newsprint edition)  led me to find several Spitfire project car posibilities. Most of the vehicles advertised were outside my price range (over $2000).  I was happy to see that several of these were under $2k and this is wen I really became serious about the purchase.  I found several vehicles which fell into the catagory of "a fixer upper" and one which was listed as a 75 Spitfire, 95% restored, $1800 o.b.o. Must sell.... Of course as soon as you see this you know that it has already been picked up, and of course it was. 

I happend across a Spitfire ad in the "Kit Car" section.   Apparently this vehicle was in some unknown state of being rebuilt. I contacted the owner and discussed the condition of the car.  I really wanted to take a look at it.   I was somewhat nervous about the condition of the vehicle, but I made arrangements to see it.

When I arrived the vehice was completely disassembled.  The body was off the frame, the engine was a block which was stripped bear. The owner had so many parts I couldn't believe it. Close inspection of the critical portions of the vehicle revieled that the frame was in excellent condition. It had been shot blast and primed.  The block had been hot dipped and magni-fluxed (to check for cracks) and was ready for rebuild. 

Purchase

74TUB.jpg (31081 bytes)After a night of restless sleep, I decided to purchase the "Basket Case".  The asking price was $1200 and I did not negotiate at all on the price. I did ask that he hold onto the car for a week as it would take several trips to get the thing home. 

The Rebuild

The rebuild was planned in several stages with one main goal in mind, get the car back on the road by July 4, 98. I purhcased this car in March 98 which only gave me about 4 months to complete the task. The first stage was to literially get the nuts and bolts in order. I needed to catagorize and store all the nuts and bolts so I could find them easier when I needed them.

The project had 4 main tasks, Rebuild the chassis, rebuild the engine, prep the body and assemble the previous 3 results. 

 

Rebuild the Chassis

Rebuilding the chassis was the first step.  When I purchased the car the frame was already cleaned, shot blast and primed.  All I needed to do was paint it.  I wasn't too concerned about what paint to use, nor was I concerned about what paint method to use.  The frame was primed with a brown rusty metal primer. I decided to paint the frame with a brush using Rust-o-leum (Gasp!) gloss black paint.

Lessons Learned (Frame Painting):

Frames on Spitfires are painted body color (Not a problem here as the PO painted this spitty black)

Power coating would have been a superior finish

POR-15 has a better product if rust prevention and paint durability are important (IMHO).

I painted the rest of the chassis Rust-o-leum black as well.   Including:

Differential

Half Shafts

Rear spring

Front upper and lower control arms

Steering knuckles

Tie rods and tie rod ends

Steering rack

 

74CHASFRONT.jpg (40091 bytes) 74LFSUSP.jpg (44258 bytes)  74CHASREAR.jpg (35692 bytes)   

Rebuild the Engine

Rebuilding the engine

welder.gif (7165 bytes)

This area is still under development. Please review the pictures.   If you have any questions please drop me a note at patbarber@geocities.com

1500CLEANBLOCK1.jpg (33194 bytes)   1500CLEANBLOCK2.jpg (38989 bytes)   1500CLEANBLOCK3.jpg (39288 bytes)   1500HEAD1.jpg (41866 bytes) 1500HEAD2.jpg (43988 bytes) 1500PISTON.jpg (33615 bytes)

1500PNTBLK.jpg (33144 bytes)  1500PNTBLKFEAD.jpg (39691 bytes) 1500PNTBLKFLY.jpg (30297 bytes) 1500PNTBLKTRANS.jpg (42229 bytes)  1500RINGCOMP.jpg (37963 bytes)

The Refinement

 

welder.gif (7165 bytes)

This area is still under development. Please review the pictures.   If you have any questions please drop me a note at patbarber@geocities.com

74PTASINSTALL.jpg (47147 bytes)

1998 VTR Convention

 

welder.gif (7165 bytes)

This area is still under development. Please review the pictures.   If you have any questions please drop me a note at patbarber@geocities.com

74SPITCAMP.jpg (46931 bytes)

The Wreck

 

welder.gif (7165 bytes)

This area is still under development. Please review the pictures.   If you have any questions please drop me a note at patbarber@geocities.com

74CRASH1.jpg (35826 bytes)  74CRASH2.jpg (41420 bytes)  74CRASH3.jpg (40948 bytes)  74CRASH4.jpg (39436 bytes)

74CRASH5.jpg (43600 bytes) 74CRASH6.jpg (43821 bytes)   74CRASH7.jpg (43922 bytes)  74CRASH8.jpg (39449 bytes)

Picking up the pieces

 

welder.gif (7165 bytes)

This area is still under development. Please review the pictures.   If you have any questions please drop me a note at patbarber@geocities.com