When the original Triumph Spitfire first appeared on the scene in 1962, the concept couldn’t have been simpler. Take one Herald-derived backbone chassis, fit twin SU carburettors to the existing 1147cc engine, clad the whole lot with a sexy, sporty body and you had the perfect recipe for an MG Midget and Austin-Healey Sprite competitor.
As you’d expect from a Triumph, the Spitfire came well equipped, boasting luxuries like wind-up windows at a time when the Sprite/Midget’s side glass was sliding. “Take all the refinements that usually go only with high-priced sports cars” explained the brochure. “Put them in a nimble little car with the power to outpace its closest rivals.
Add the mechanical brilliance of the famous Triumph Herald. Assemble the whole with care and attention to detail and quality of work on which the good name of the Leyland Motor Corporation is built. The result is the Triumph Spitfire 4.”