1971 Triumph Spitfire

Sealing up our Spitfire

Our 1971 Triumph Spitfire arrived with us last week with leaks all over the place. Ady, our specialist engine technician has been diagnosing the faults

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New Arrivals!

We’re always excited to see fresh classics arrive at our workshop here at Bridge Classic Cars. So, here’s a first look at the new arrivals

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Refitting the Spitfire

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Been a busy day in the workshops today with our 1971 Triumph Spitfire arriving back from the paint shop looking gorgeous. With a shelf full

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A friendly face is back

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Last month we introduced you to Mrs King’s pride a joy, her 1971 Triumph Spitfire. It was brought in to Bridge Classic Cars to

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New arrival: 1960 Rover 80

Mary who we have known a few years loves her Triumph Spitfire and we have looked after it ever since our first encounter.

Unfortunately for husband Bill she is not so keen on the Rover 80 that has been taking up valuable space in the wood store and coming up to another winter of non-restoration it was definitely on borrowed time.

Mary contacted me (Gordon) and said would I consider buying the car as they really wanted to see the car restored. How could I say no?

Tomas and myself had a mammoth task of releasing the Rover from its comfortable home and onto a trailer that we doubted we could remove from the their small cottage garden and driveway.

2 hours of loading and constantly telling Mary that we may fail in our quest and with the reply that the winter logs were being delivered it was never a doubt that Bills Rover was destined for departure.

We managed to get a few pictures between, swearing, turning wheels with flat tyres and desperately not trying to destroy the pergola. You can see the joy on Mary’s face and the not quite so happy Bill.

I even got a message from Mary the following day thanking us for all our efforts and tell us that the logs had arrived. 

Spitfire In For Service

Scott has been working on our 1971 Spitfire to identify the source of an oil leak. He discovered that it was the timing cover gasket so we’ve ordered a new part to fix it. Scott then had to fix the heater vent control lever as it was jammed and then look at a poor starting issue. Scott tried turning the idle speed up as it was very low. In doing so he noticed that some fuel lines had perished so he has replaced those too.

Soft Spot For The Spitfire

We’ve had this beautiful 1971 Triumph Spitfire in for work before, so its nice to have it back in for another check-up! Unfortunately, the diagnosis is a blown gasket, but its no trouble for our skilled technicians. This red beauty will be back up and running in no time!

The blown gasket:

The new gasket:

Sealing up our Spitfire

Our 1971 Triumph Spitfire arrived with us last week with leaks all over the place. Ady, our specialist engine technician has been diagnosing the faults and working out what needs to be done.

“I’ve taken the sump off and taken the cover off the engine” Ady explains, “then cleaned an replaced all the seals”.

We won’t know until the engines all put back together if this has solved the problems, but we hope it has. Check back in again soon for what happens next!

Remove Rinse Replace Repeat

Our good friend Mary’s 1971 Triumph Spitfire is a little lighter this week as her engine has now been fully removed. Work continues to get her oil leaks and unusual noises diagnosed and repaired.

Our expert Technician Peter has cleaned and blacked the engine bay whilst the engines out. Hereafter work can begin repairing the engine itself.

The team have started with replacing all the lower engine gaskets and have sent the gearbox away to our specialist gearbox team.

Otherwise, there’s lots more planned on this little convertible sportscar. Including; fitting a new sump gasket, a new timing chain cover gasket, new valve cover gaskets and a new oil filter and fuel pump gasket.

Phew! That’s a lot to do! Looks like we have a busy time ahead with our little red Spitfire.

The Spitfire’s Spitting Oil

Our lovely little 1971 Triumph Spitfire is back with us to repair various leaks she’s developed over the last few months.

Her owner Mary has been bringing her jolly Spitfire to us for years, and we just love keeping her in tip top condition.

This time around, our expert classic car technicians had to completely remove the engine to locate several oil leaks.

Pete, one of our specialists, tells us about the work; “There were leaks from the engine and gearbox” he explains “it turned out a baring had gone in the alternator so we’ve replaced it.”

There’s still some further investigation to do on some strange noises coming from the engine. We’ll keep you posted with our findings…

New Arrivals!

We’re always excited to see fresh classics arrive at our workshop here at Bridge Classic Cars. So, here’s a first look at the new arrivals joining us this week.

First up, it’s our 1996 Nissan Patrol. In for a paint job, re-chroming and body preparation.

Our 1958 Jensen 541R has arrived with us with gearbox issues. The specialist technical team are on hand to diagnose the faults and get her back up and running.

These Ford Escorts are both sitting comfortably at the Hanger in Bentwaters.

The light blue Ford Escort RS Turbo belongs to a customer, she’s being kept with us in our secure storage facility where we watch over many of our customers prized possessions.

The other is our very popular 1979 Ford Escort RS2000 that believe it or not, is a competition prize where one lucky winner will be handed the keys to this beauty! For more information on our competitions click here.

Lastly, this stunning 1971 Triumph Spitfire has come to us to sort a couple of problems out. Firstly, to investigate a strange noise coming from the engine along with fixing some oil leaks.

It’s great to follow a classic cars journey from their first day with us, to when we say goodbye.

Make sure you check back on our current projects page for all the latest updates on everything we’re working on at Bridge Classic Cars.

Mrs King – Ipswich, Suffolk

“The car looks and sounds stunning, we got there in the end! I am thrilled with it, thank you so much and thank the guys too…I love them all. I love glitter too!”

1971 Triumph Spitfire all done and ready to go home

Our Triumph Spitfire engine rebuild is now complete and after various drives we are happy to let her go home.

…and her owner Mary is certainly happy to see her too after all this time.

…and we are happy to see Mary!!

Thanks for the Doughnuts.

Here she is sitting outside Bridge Classic Cars HQ waiting to be collected.

Removal of our 1971 Spitfire engine, for rebuild

We are now about to start rebuilding the engine of our lovely 1971 Triumph Spitfire. The engine has been fully removed and will be stripped of all components.

The head will be bored out, hardened valves for unleaded fuel, new piston rings, new water pump and oil pump.

The engine bay will be cleaned up ready for the ‘new-look’ engine to be re-fitted.



Touching up the wheel arch

We are now mid way through repairing the scrape on the nearside rear wheel arch. Here we are having prepped the body ready for the Signal red application later this afternoon.

Completing the remedial work on our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Having completed a full restoration at the back end of last year, we welcome back our 1971 Triumph Spitfire for it’s regular check up and service. Along with the full service we have accepted a list of remedial tasks required to be carried out.

  • Fit rubber cones under the bonnet.
  • Secure and hide wires from under the steering column.
  • Fit correct driver’s wiper.

  • Fit new door card.
  • Fit new stow-away brackets.

  • Adjust the direction of the fuel cap.

  • Fit but do not connect up new aerial.
  • Fit new seat belts.

  • Replace and re-cover foam on passenger’s from seat.

  • Fit and wire up a new boot light.

As a youngster I was always told of the little man in the fridge that switched the light off once the door had been shut.

He sat between the ham and the butter and that was all he had to do. He was on call night and day for whenever we needed anything from the fridge.

No one ever knew whether he done his job but we all assumed he did. We are pleased to have secured the duties of his son and now, with all this modern technology we are able to check to see whether his son has followed in his father’s footsteps.

Here he is in one of the most ‘interesting’ videos we’ve ever recorded at Bridge Classic Cars. I’m not sure if this will reach over the 1 million viewing mark of one of our older videos but let’s give it a go, so far, we are on 2 and that’s both been me checking to see that it works![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_hELCpzhWY”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The best way to lower the hood on a Triumph Spitfire.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Having recently completed the restoration of our 1971 Triumph Spitfire, this week we had her back in our workshops for a general check over. We offer this service on all of our major projects to make sure the nuts and bolts are still tight and to iron out any imperfections that may have been found.

1971 Triumph Spitfire restored at Bridge Classic Cars, Ipswich

Here at Bridge Classic Cars, we don’t just finish a car and send it on it’s way never to see it again.

Our Customers and our Projects are very important to us so our after sales care is just as key to any other part of our business.

When you see your restoration project complete for the very first time it’s very exciting, your mind is more geared up to seeing the bigger picture and getting in it for a drive. It’s not until you really settle in to the drive do you discover things that you most probably have missed on collection day.

One of the concerns that Mr and Mrs King had on their 1971 Triumph Spitfire after taking her home was that they felt the hood was a little stiff.

Although we used the original hood frame, it was removed and completely refurbished before being fitted with a brand new hood. As components are new, they take a little time to settle and that’s exactly the case with the hood,

Here is a step by step guide, beautifully demonstrated by Asa and John of how we feel it is best to lower a Triumph Spitfire hood.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=breXMSRJi-M”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

1971 Triumph Spitfire, now on her way home

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We had a fantastic few months with Mary, Bill and their Triumph Spitfire. Having originally come into our workshops for some re-upholstery to the front driver’s seat the car she has now been completely sympathetically rebuilt and ready to get back on the road.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”6982,6983,6984,6985,6986,6987,6988,6989,6990,6991,6992,6993,6994,6995,6996,6997,6998,6999,7000,7001″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here’s Mary and the Bridge Classic Cars team outside our Ipswich workshops.

Mary and the Bridge Classic Cars team

From left to right: Asa, John, Lauren, Mark and Mary

We take all sorts of payment here at Bridge Classic Cars; cash, cheque, cards, cakes…

Cakes at Bridge Classic Cars

Thank you so much to Mary and Bill, we look forward to many years working with you, looking after your lovely little Spitfire and we can’t wait to see your Rover![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Brand new rear tyres have now been fitted

Fitted with a brand new pair of 156/80 R13 tyres on the rear, our little Spitfire is now complete.

One final test drive and a thorough clean and she’ll be ready to go home!

1971 Triumph Vitesse Tyres

1971 Triumph Vitesse Tyres

Age related issues – checking the hoses

Age can often take it’s toll on the engine; upon further inspection, things that look and function perfectly fine can often be showing signs of wear and tear.

Take the cooling hoses for example. The engine runs and functions as you’d expect but as you’ll see from the images they can be just a fraction away from causing longer lasting damage.

Here is one of the hoses from our 1971 Triumph Spitfire.

1971 Triumph Spitfire Hoses

Another one of the hoses had lost its flexibility entirely, this is not a good sign. When rubber no longer flexes it is time to renew. What makes this example worse is that the tube has expanded too.

1971 Triumph Spitfire Hoses

1971 Triumph Spitfire Hoses

Refitting the Spitfire continues…

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

This is the fun part of a restoration; piece by piece, day by day the car starts to take shape. Everything has been cleaned up and all looking fresh and shiny.

Today Asa, John and Mark have all been getting stuck in to our 1971 Triumph Spitfire rebuild.

1971 Triumph Spitfire Engine

If you’d been running around for 45 years you’d too probably start to look a little tired and that’s exactly what we found under the bonnet, a tired looking engine.

Mechanically, she run’s like a dream but after a little bit of cleaning and painting in places she also looks wonderful too.

1971 Triumph Spitfire Engine

1971 Triumph Spitfire Engine

We have resprayed underneath the bonnet and arches with a very hard wearing coating. Being finished in black really finishes it off. Not only does it look great but is a useful technique to help hide any future dirty and grime that starts to build.

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Today, we also resprayed the newly refurbished shocks, springs and discs. It’s the smaller detail that makes a big difference to the overall appearance. Why spend all this time and effort on a fantastic outer body and then leave the smaller visible components thinking that they are not worth doing…everything is worth doing!!

1971 Triumph Spitfire Wheelarch

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Moving on to the interior, John has been busy fitting the brand new Triumph Spitfire door cards.

Speaking from experience, if you are restoring your own classic vehicle and your door cards look perfectly fine then please do not be too hasty at deciding to keep them. We very rarely have cars come in to us with horrible door cards. Door cards are more option that not still in good working order but when you have gone to all the effort stripping, respraying and rebuilding, the door cards you thought looked perfectly fine will most probably look tired next to a freshly painted exterior.

It’s absolutely worth that extra thought…

1971 Triumph Spitfire Door Cards

1971 Triumph Spitfire Door Cards

Here we are nearing the end of the day; the brand new handles have been fitted, the rear chrome surround trim is also in place, the rear lights are looking lovely and one of the rear black strips is also in position.

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Soon be time to head home, get a good night’s sleeps so we can crack on for day 3 of the rebuild. Before the team leave off for the night we refitted the original chrome bumpers and badges.

The refurbished chrome bumpers have come up like new..but the great thing is that they are all original. This was one objective that Mrs King was really hoping we could achieve, from day 1 the original bumpers were always the preferred choice over a set of new and we couldn’t have asked for a better result.

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire

Refitting our 1971 Triumph Spitfire



Refitting the Spitfire

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Been a busy day in the workshops today with our 1971 Triumph Spitfire arriving back from the paint shop looking gorgeous.

With a shelf full of new, polished and re-chromed parts Asa, Mark and John have been hard at work re-fitting her back up, getting her ready to be back on the road.

The brand new light fittings have been positioned, the door handles are back in play and the rear chrome strips have been added to.

We’ve kept the original bumpers but have had them re-chromed and polished. They will be arriving with us tomorrow, thanks to Tony and the guys at Wyatt Polishing in Thetford for working hard on them for us. Sometimes cost plays a big role in whether to keep original parts or opt for brand new. As much as brand new is lovely and is often the cheapest option, where we can rescue the original parts for a reasonable price we will do that.

In this case, the bumpers have been restored which is a fantastic result![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”6781,6782,6783,6784,6785,6786,6787,6788,6789,6790″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Our 1971 Triumph Spitfire is now resprayed

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here she is looking absolutely stunning with her new re-spray.

Trevor worked late into the night and all day Saturday to ensure we have her back at the beginning of next week. Sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances projects and tasks over-run. We have a very solid record of managing our time and budgets on restorations but unfortunately due to holidays we are a few days behind on this one.

…it’ll be worth it though!

What a huge transformation to this little gem. All that’s left to do is the refurbishment of the wheels and then back she comes to our Ipswich workshop be re-fitted.

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1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer

Mrs K, we decided your car would look pretty in pink! Hope you like…

(haha don’t panic, it’s not, it’s primer)

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

Was a bit of late night for Trevor in our paint shop tonight as he caught up on the Triumph Spitfire project.

The great news is that the bodywork is all done and as you can see, the car is primed and ready for paint.

Hopefully by this time tomorrow she’ll have a fresh new coat. The next time we see her will be Saturday morning and we can’t wait.

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire in primer at Bridge Classic Cars

Freshening up the tired interior

A trip down the A12 for Craig today as he takes the Triumph Spitfire interior to Bridge Classic Car’s upholsterer Kim.

In a past life, Bridge Classic Cars repaired the driver’s seat of our little Spitfire so we know, first hand, that the majority of the interior is still in a sound working order. As they say ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’…in this case, the interior is great so why mess around with it?

A bit of a clean to bring it back to life wouldn’t hurt but generally the seats are all good and ready to be refitted.

One thing to consider when you are restoring a car, when you strip a body and freshen up the paintwork it is only then you realise what parts of the interior are looking tired…in this case, what you see in the picture is exactly that!

But when you have a upholstery genius like Kim, this pile on the floor is nothing! Within a few weeks all of these components will be brought back to the workshops looking wonderful once again.

1971 Triumph Spitfire upholstery requiring a refurb

As for the boot mat, I’m afraid to say that this one has gone.

Unfortunately there’s no going back here but as we have the original on hand, remaking this is a piece of cake.

1971 Triumph Spitfire boot mat being remade

Not long now til we see her back from the paint shop. Everything is waiting on shelves, ready to be refitted. Tomorrow I have arranged a visit to the paint shop to inspect the work that has been carried out so far.

1971 Triumph Spitfire Stripped

Work is now well underway on the 1971 Triumph Spitfire. As you can see, we’ve stripped the car of it’s components before we repair and prepare the bodywork ready for paint.

1971 Triumph Spitfire Stripped at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire Stripped at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire Stripped at Bridge Classic Cars

1971 Triumph Spitfire Stripped at Bridge Classic Cars

A friendly face is back

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]1971 Triumph Spitfire

Last month we introduced you to Mrs King’s pride a joy, her 1971 Triumph Spitfire. It was brought in to Bridge Classic Cars to have work done on the driver’s seat. Over time, the base had started to sag (technical word) and was becoming a little uncomfortable to use.

1971 Triumph Spitfire

As with everything that is used regularly, these things do happen but it’s great that it does. It means this little beauty is being used for what she was built for. She’s not being stored away for years on end not enjoying the Suffolk roads.

This is a relatively simple task to carry out, if you have the skills and tools to hand that is. We re-upholstered the seat so she was once again as good as new.

1971 Triumph Spitfire Driver's Seat

But the story doesn’t end there.

When Mrs King popped in to our workshops on Deben Road to collect her car and discuss some future works that may need to be carried out she noticed the work that was being carried out on our 1966 MG Midget and that got her thinking!

A month later, our 1971 Triumph Spitfire returns for the extra work we discussed but also a few special alterations…

  • The fuel pipe clips are missing so replacements will be required.
  • Inlet manifold hose is believed to be incorrect and most likely not to be up to standard so a replacement will be required.
  • There is an engine oil leak and diff oil leak, these will need to be thoroughly cleaned up to assess the area and investigate where the leaks are coming from before we can fully commit to the work and parts that will be required.
  • The tappets need to be adjusted. A new rocker cover gasket will be fitted which MAY resolve one or all of your oil leaks.
  • Off-side and near side front chassis members, the rear boot floor and the off-side rear chassis itself all show signs of corrosion so these will need welding repairs to be carried out.
  • Finally, the off-side front track rod end gaiter has split and will require two new track rod ends.

But it doesn’t end there, we are very pleased to be taking the project that one step further and…

  • To strip car of components
  • Replace rotten areas of wheel arch, weld in new where necessary
  • Paint
  • Refit
  • Chrome-work including new bumpers
  • Sundries
  • New Hood
  • Replace carpets throughout

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Triumph Spitfire requiring re-upholstery

We are often asked whether we only do full concours restorations and the answer is…absolutely not.

In a nutshell, we can do anything you wish on your classic and vintage vehicle!

This is certainly something we have the skills and knowledge to be able to do but not everyone who owns a classic car wants or feels the necessity to have a classic in concours condition. In fact the majority of us would prefer to have a classic that can be enjoyed all year round.

We offer our services, large or small, in: restoration, engine rebuilding, service and repairs, paintwork and as Mrs H from Belstead village recently found out, we can help her with her interior, trim and upholstery enquiry too.

1971 Triumph Spitfire

1971 Triumph Spitfire

1971 Triumph Spitfire

1971 Triumph Spitfire

The driver’s seat was beginning to lose it’s shape and the back had started to collapse.

1971 Triumph Spitfire

Our first task was to remove the seat in question and assess what work needed to be carried out.

1971 Triumph Spitfire

1971 Triumph Spitfire

1971 Triumph Spitfire

A simple task but a task that will make driving her beloved car much more enjoyable for Mrs H. A new seat cushion was required.

1971 Triumph Spitfire Seat Cushion

24hrs later the seat has been repaired with new cushioning and webbing and it’s now back on the road.

1971 Triumph Spitfire Driver's Seat

1971 Triumph Spitfire Driver's Seat

And one very happy customer.

1971 Triumph Spitfire