1975 spitfire 1500 Model?


Asked by estevew Aug 30, 2010 at 11:46 PM about the 1975 Triumph Spitfire

Question type: General

I just took a '75 Spitfire 1500 on a trade. Mostly complete but I'm new to these cars and not sure what model I have. MK4 or ??
The number on the door post plate is FM 42244 U ... There were some trim numbers but i didn't write them down.....
Also, I've noticed, in some reading, there is a overdrive tranny and a non-overdrive. Since this car isn't operational, how can I tell, How is the OD shifted in and out.... Also there is no shift pattern diagram and I'm not sure of how many gears this car has. The gates seem like a standard H pattern and I don't see how it could have more than three, unless you push it down or pull it up.... I need a little basic help here....??
Any help will be appreciated.....


10 Answers


hi steve. yes you do have a 1500 spitfire. there is no difference to the mk4. only difference mk4 has 3 rail gearbox and has a 1300 engine.1500 has single rail gearbox this came out in 1974. all had four speed boxes. the 1500 reverse is right and up. mk4 is left and up. if your car has o/d there will be a switch in the top of the gear lever.or you can look under. o/ is a large unit fitted between the gearbox and the prop shaft. some spitfires have been fitted with a type nine ford 5 speed box. this is a modern upgrade. hope this helps pete.

2 people found this helpful.

Thks Pete.. Your information seems to be right on. I did some other checking with the "comm....." numbers and it appears I have non OD tranny.... I was really hoping it would be a 4 or 5 spd with OD since I want to re-engine it and need the extra gear combinations. (long story and dream).... I did find one OD tranny on ebay that had good pictures of the case and I see the OD section that you discribe..... Not sure how much it might go for since they 10 bids and still hadn't met the Reserve... Also, while trying to look under the car, I found I have rotten floor pans. Do they sell after-market pan inserts?? I can patch them up but would prefer to just replace each pan section up to the frame rails (like we do with the old WV Bugs) the only way to go to get a solid car again..... Thks again....

2 people found this helpful.

hi steve befor buying a o/d box. you need to bear in mind there is a few electrical modifications to do .there are two types of o/d box a j type and a d type. im going for the 5 speed ford box on my spitfire. what part of the country are you in ? could have a look for you. or join the tssc who have local meets all over the uk. very freindly helpfull people. yes you can get new floor pans plus every other panel and all parts. from www.mosseurope.co.uk www.rimmers.com www.canleyclassics.com there are loads more. these are the three main dealers. pete


Hi again..... I just looked at the ford type 9 5 spd info and looks like a nice fit, allbeit lacking the O/D.... I'm "across-the-pond" in Washington state in USA..... I think I can find a type 9 5spd if I search the wrecking yards or ebay.... I'll have to go back to the eBay listing on the OEM Triumph O/D and see what type it is.. The pan inserts might have to be shipped in, unless I find a US distributor.... For the project I'm looking at. It is the Mechanics Illustrated mag. Centurion "home built" diesel car. If you not familiar, it uses the Spitfire X-frame/pans, drive train and suspention. This then is drive by a 17 hp diesel.... The result, with light weight foam and fiberglass body is a 1200 curb weight and 128 mpg mileage.... These plans were developed in the early '80 and I have been watching for a good donor Spit and now have it. To succeed it need O/D in all gears..... Don't be too alarmed at this plan since I will be parting out a very nice and complete body and 1500 engine.... Might serve someone else in their Spitfire here in the US..... Steve

2 people found this helpful.

ki steve. you wont need the o/d with the ford box. in the uk the type nine came out of sieras. if you find one you will have to get someone to shorten the remote. as the lever will come up to far back. remote needs shortening about 2 inches. im sure there are dealers in the us to supply panels. there are loads of spitfires there. i would advise you to join a club. they have a wealth of knowledge. and will allways help a club member out. there lots of kit car builders here in the uk that use the spitfire chassis. the nicest one is the hurricane. then you have the gentry. which looks like an old mg. you wont get o/d in all gears. it only works in third and fourth. thats your choice if you want to build a kit car. i dont know what kit cars you have in the us. but you are spoilt for choice in the uk. pete

1 people found this helpful.

The Spitfire tranny on eBay is a D type, (unsychro 1st) 4 spd with a serial no. FC38500. must be from an early 60s Triumph. I found a US source for the floor pans and they cost about $260 per side. Doesn't include the side or cross rails.... I may not need them for the project car since I'm told I only need the "X" frame to support the drive train and suspension (and of course the custom body... Still looking for anyone who has built one of these cars..... However, I really appreciate the help I'm getting here..... I've learned a lot today... Steve


hi steve. that gearbox wont be any good for you. it has smaller flange on the output. there are two types small square flange on earlier cars. large round flange on mk4 onwards. one thing i forgot to mention about the ford box. you need an adaptor plate between the gearbox and engine. a shorter prop shaft. gear box mounting and speedo cable. these all come in a kit from frontline spridget here in the uk. there is another company called jigsaw racing who do them as well. about£500 if you source your own gearbox. if you want a custom body , there are loads around. but not cheap. made from grp.i looked in to this before i rebuilt mine. far cheaper to weld up the body. plus a lot stronger than grp.im glad you find my help usefull. i totally stripped my car and rebuilt. i know these cars very well now. pete


estevew, I am a recent visitor to this site, I found it by accident. You and I are about as far apart as we can get in the lower 48 I am in SC and also making the Centurion from plans I bought in 1985! I was wondering if you would like to share your experience so far? I just got the frame separated from the body. The Ford tranny sounds pretty good!


Hi everyone i have a 1975 spitfire. I just got done insalling my dashboard and when my key is off and my battery is hooked up all my interior lights stay on can anybody help me pleas thanks:)

1 people found this helpful.

Hi, Carm here, I have a65 triumph spitfire my 2 where is first , second , third & fourth, every time I try to shift into third gear it grinds , can’t seem to get it there I have to bypass into fourth am I shifting correct sequence ?

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