The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works,1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster  Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE

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Lot 223
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works, 1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster
Registration no. 412 VC Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE

Sold for £ 24,150 (US$ 30,261) inc. premium
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works
1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster
Registration no. 412 VC
Chassis no. X692
Engine no. FC2HE

Footnotes

  • Launched in 1962, the Triumph Spitfire was such a success that the basic design remained virtually unchanged until 1970. The Spitfire was closely based on the Herald saloon, inheriting that model’s all-independent suspension and 1,147cc engine, while the chassis was shortened and reconfigured as a ‘backbone’ type. Disc front brakes were standard equipment and the pretty Michelotti-styled ‘Spit’ was good for 90mph. The Spitfire was better equipped and arguably better looking than its main rival, BMC’s Sprite/Midget, and met with instant success, particularly in North America.
    By the time of its introduction in 1962, Standard-Triumph was under Leyland control and the Spitfire was included in the newly reconstituted Competitions Department’s race and rally programmes.

    The Spitfire offered here, ‘412 VC’, is a very early prototype that was used by the works during 1964 as a development car for the rally effort. ‘412 VC’ started life as a left-hand drive, press demonstrator before being rebuilt in right-hand drive form and assigned to the Competitions Department. There it served as the factory’s ‘test mule’ and was driven on several British events by Roy Fidler and John Hopwood, retiring on most of them but finishing in a magnificent 2nd place in the 1964 Welsh Rally. The valuable lessons learned during the development of ‘412 VC’ served Triumph well. In 1964, the Spitfire’s first full year of competition, the works car of Rob Slotemaker/Terry Hunter won its class in the 10-day Tour de France marathon, defeating the mighty Alpine-Renaults in the process. Jean-Jacques Thuner took a class win in the 1965 Geneva Rally and teamed with Simo Lampinen to take another 1st in class at Le Mans, while Lampinen won the French Alpine Rally’s Prototype category outright later in the year. After such a promising start the Sptifire looked set for a lengthy and successful career. Sadly, an untimely change in the FIA’s Appendix J regulations forced Triumph to redirect its efforts towards the 2000 saloon and the Spitfire was not used after 1965.

    ‘412 VC’ continued to be rallied for several years after its career as a works car had ended before being purchased by Richard Lloyd and restored to an excellent standard in the late 1990s. Rebuilt for racing, the Spitfire has enjoyed considerable success in Richard’s hands at Spa Francorchamps, Pau, Oulton Park and more recently the Goodwood Revival. A significant car in the post-war history of British motor sport, ‘412 VC’ is offered with sundry receipts, FIA papers, Swansea V5C registration document and a full photographic record of its restoration.
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works,1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster  Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works,1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster  Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works,1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster  Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works,1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster  Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works,1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster  Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works,1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster  Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works,1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster  Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE
The ex-Roy Fidler/John Hopwood, works,1962 Triumph Spitfire Hardtop Roadster  Chassis no. X692 Engine no. FC2HE
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