Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Brit Ragtops For £5k - JAMES SADLIER MAN­AG­ING ED­I­TOR

Flick through our clas­si­fieds and there’s usu­ally at least one Spit­fire that falls well within our £5k bud­get (turn to p62), al­though chances are it’ll be one of the later 1500 mod­els for this sort of money.

We love the Spit­fire. It of­fers the sort of agility that its avi­a­tion name­sake would be proud of, and even with the later cos­metic frip­pery – de­manded by US safety leg­is­la­tion – the Gio­vanni Mich­e­lotti-penned shape looks ut­terly won­der­ful.

Slot your­self be­hind the tiny three-spoke wheel and it’s ad­dic­tive to drive too; lively and alert through the bends, and en­dowed with just the right amount of oomph from its fizzy four-pot en­gine. It shares plenty with the MG Midget 1500 – an­other of our rec­c­om­men­da­tions – but I’d take the Tri­umph any day.

It’s also got Her­ald-based un­der­pin­nings that are easy to look after, parts can be eas­ily sourced from a le­gion of spe­cial­ists and there’s a wealth of ex­perts in the Tri­umph club world who can guide you if any­thing does go wrong.

EN­GINE 1493cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 71bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 82lb ft@3000rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 99mph 0-60MPH 11.8sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 26-33mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed man­ual Later Spit­fire rear styling was clearly in­flu­enced by its big­ger Stag brother. It looks great! SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS

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