Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/3/18 10:16 p.m.

So... I'd been eyeing a Spitfire a six-hour drive away, and a slightly cheaper, clean, original one popped up locally, so I went to drive it, to decide which Spitfire to buy.

I came away so underwhelmed that my longstanding "buy a Spitfire" plan has been cast into doubt.

It *could* be that it was old bushings, no-name tires... But it was just so far from crisp and direct. I havne't been driving classics lately, but imprinting on BMW 2002s and Rabbits gave me this notion that direct steering feel was implicit, and you got way more NVH than new cars in exchange for great feedback and an electrifyingly direct driving experience.

This Spitfire (freshened and on sale by a local British specialty shop) just sort of trundled along. The brakes were a suggestion, the steering wasn't sloppy, but the car just didn't feel *instant* in the way I was expecting from something with the Spitfire's reputation for great steering and little weight. It was an '80 and sporting an extra hundred pounds of bumpers, sure, but...

So, I find myself a bit adrift and wondering whether to pursue all the Spitfire acquisition-and-development plans, or just chuck it for some other new experience in the classic world... 124 Spider? Alfa? MGB? Kinda wishing I'd looked at the Jensen Healey that popped up a little while ago... Mini? (Yeah, I know it's not a roadster, but it is heading into fall in the PNW anyhow...)

Oh, and back to the post title: I was reminded that there was a big multi-roadster comparison in CM a while back, but I can't find it. I have most of my back issues of GRM, but let go of CM, so I'm hoping it's online somewhere...

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
9/3/18 11:21 p.m.

The article was called "drop top 60's roadsters " but it no longer seems to be on line.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/4/18 11:39 a.m.

There was another article called "Wind Up Sports Cars", but I'm not sure that one ever went online.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
9/4/18 12:03 p.m.

Thanks wayback machine!

archived version

 

 

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/4/18 12:24 p.m.

In reply to Jumper K Balls :

Awesome, thank you!!

tr8todd
tr8todd Dork
9/19/18 9:59 p.m.

Have you ever driven a TR8?  You won't leave underwhelmed after driving one of those.  Especially one thats had a few performance mods.  The price of Spitfires puts you close to the price of TR8s.  There was a decent white 81 that just sold up your way for less then $5K.  The guy who picked it up has been on the Triumph Experience web site asking questions.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/19/18 11:11 p.m.

In reply to tr8todd :

I haven't... I confess, I thought TR8s were The Coolest when I was a kid (I tended to draw cars that looked like doorstops, and if they had to taper back down at the rear, they had to have louvers), and even had a plastic model of one. But my aesthetic tastes have shifted, and I just can't get my head around them anymore. I'm much more into something in the "classic roadster" vein. I mean, when I see a TR8 sitting low on a whole lot of Panasport, it gets my attention, but it's just not what I'm after.

I've attempted to test drive a couple of MGBs since the first post; one fouled a plug between idling sweetly and setting off for a test drive, and the other had missed some maintenance and had Herculean steering and brake efforts (it was an early, non-power brake, so still wondering just how far from normal it was in that department).

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