To keep development costs down the Triumph Spitfire was based on the Triumph Herald chassis and running gear and like the Herald the bodywork was designed by Giovanni Michelotti.
Despite the unrivaled demand for British Sports cars it was a sign of the times that Triumph had to wait until it merged with Leyland before the Triumph Spitfire 4, later known as the Spitfire Mk1 could go into production in 1962.
For the 1964 season Triumph built four Spitfires in pale blue for the works and one in pale green for Stirling Moss to take part in tarmac based rallies alongside the four green Spitfires built for endurance racing at Le Mans.
Stirling Moss entered his light green Spitfire for his secretary Valerie Pirie in five events of which she only recorded a finish on the 1965 Tulip Rally.
Of the rally cars today’s featured car ADU 7B was the most successful having taken part in 5 events from ’64 to ’65.
Rob Slotemaker and Terry Hunter won their class driving ADU 7B on the 1964 Tour de France and Terry Hunter drove with P Lier in the co drivers seat of ADU 7B to finish second overall and first in class on the 1964 Geneva Rally.
In 1965 an additional left hand drive Spitfire was built for Finish works driver Simo Lampinen.
It is believed ADU 7B is the only survivor of the series of Spitfires built for rallying.
Mark Field of Jigsaw who was responsible for the recreation of the ADU 1B Le Mans racer found ADU 7B and restored it to it’s current condition which included returning the steering wheel to right where it had been when used by the Triumph works.
Thanks for joining me on this ” ’64 TdF Class Winner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !