FIVE WAYS TO MAKE IT BETTER
OIL FILTER 1
Only the 1500 got a spin-on oil filter with a non-return valve. All other Spitfires were fitted with a cartridge-type filter which leads to the big-end bearings being starved of oil on start up. This is a must-do.
Not all Spitfires came with overdrive but it’s well worth having as it makes long-distance drives so much more relaxed. You’ll need to fit an overdrive gearbox (not just an overdrive) and a shorter propshaft.
The GT6 and Vitesse came with bigger front discs and rear drums but this upgrade requires replacement calipers, uprights and hubs; use grooved discs and you’ll notice the benefit acutely.
Smooth and torquey, the Triumph 2.0- or 2.5-litre straight-six (with gearbox) slots in to create a GT6 convertible. The GT6’s suspension, brakes and humped bonnet must also be used, but this all transforms the driving experience, so they’re worthwhile additions.
A lot of Spitfires are fitted with a distributor that’s seen better days. Instead of fitting a new one, many owners just fit electronic ignition for easier starting and smoother running. Fit a decent distributor while you’re at it.