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My 1965 Triumph Spitfire 4 Mk2

Mark Hinchliffe
CarsGuide

2 Jun 2011 • 3 min read

…at Lakeside flat out and went into a wild 360-degree spin in his 1965 Triumph Spitfire 4 Mk2.

The British sportscar hit the wall under the bridge and ended Ezzy's club sprint day.

"I had got it up to 101.01mph (162.6km/h) but I came unstuck and hit the wall.

"But I could still drive it home."

The 57-year-old Gold Coaster bought the car for just $50 from a local wrecking yard in 1978 for his sister.

"She was about to get her licence and we needed a car for her to drive, so I bought it for her," he says.

"Then she got married and didn't want it so I've kept it going all these years, building, building, building, spending and upgrading.

"I once did a Harley custom show bike and I'd always wanted to do a car up."

The Spitfire was a rusted wreck when Ezzy got it, so he bought another body from Melbourne and started cutting the rust and replacing panels until he had a complete car.

He finally got it running and registered in 1982 and has been driving it ever since.

The original Spitfire was painted white with red trim, had a four-speed gearbox and an 1147cc four-cylinder engine with about 47kW of power and a possible top speed of 96mph (155km/h).

Ezzy painted the Spitfire his favourite blue, bored the engine out to almost 1300cc, reflowed and modified the heads, fitted a handmade stainless-steel straight-through exhaust system, bolted on South Australian Globe 13-inch wheels and converted to a five-speed gearbox after the original packed it in while competing in the Speed on Tweed timed sprints in 2009.

"I do all my own work," he says.

"It purs at 4000rpm, but I just want to take the diff down from 4.875 to 4.1."

The paintwork is good, the badges aren't all original and he doesn't have all the Jaeger instruments.

But, as Ezzy says, "all the money is underneath".

Open up that massive one-piece front end and you discover an engine in gleaming chrome.

"All the chrome looks good but it keeps the heat in so I have to get the cooling just right. I'll use more polished stainless steel parts rather than chrome in future," he says.

"Chrome takes a lot to keep clean."

There is also a massive air plate underneath that runs from front to back.

"It's good for a show where they put it on a hoist as you don't see the gearbox and other mechanicals," he says. "It looks a lot cleaner."

That hair-raising wild ride at Lakeside led to two other modifications after he fixed the dented panelwork; a fire extinguisher on the front floor and a roll bar.

"It's about 99 per cent where I want it.," he says "I drive it as much as I can, weather permitting."

When the weather does turn foul, he can deploy either a material tonneau cover or fibreglass hard top.

"There have been a few times I've been tempted to sell it but where do I go to from here?" he asks. "I was offered $22,000 but I had already stopped keeping receipts at $30,0000."

"It's a hobby and part of my life. I'm not married, I have no children, so it's my baby."

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