Seven Fascinating Triumph Spitfire Trivia
- The Triumph Spitfire was named after one of the most famous and prolific British fighter planes of World War II. The Spitfire fighter plane, also known as the Supermarine Spitfire, played a key role in both the Battle of Britain and the Second World War.
- With its classic roadster looks, the Triumph Spitfire has been a popular model among makers of die-cast toys. Some of the toymakers that produced Spitfire-inspired miniatures are Dinky Toys, Lledo, Vitesse, Sun Star, Minichamps, and Chrono.
- Famous Italian auto designer Giovanni Michelotti was responsible for the looks of both the original Spitfire 4 or Mark I of the '60s and the redesigned Spitfire Mark IV of the '70s. To honor him, a small letter 'M' was placed on the hood latches of some Spitfires.
- The Spitfire has had many well-known fans and owners including Nicolas Cage and Rod Stewart. Nicolas Cage's first car was a yellow Triumph Spitfire. Meanwhile, Rod Stewart said that back in the '60s, owning a Spitfire was a dream of his.
- With Standard-Triumph experiencing serious financial trouble in the 1960s, the Spitfire almost didn't make it to the production line. It wasn't until Leyland Motors took over the company that the project got the go signal. When Leyland's CEO, Stanley Markland, saw the Spitfire prototype that was hidden beneath a dusty cover, he immediately liked the design of the roadster and said, "That's good. We'll make that."
- Over its 18-year production run, the Triumph Spitfire was sold as five different models: Spitfire 4 or Mark I, Spitfire Mark II, Spitfire Mark III, Spitfire Mark IV, and Spitfire 1500. The least-produced model was the Mark II with 37,409 units built. On the other hand, the most-produced model was the 1500 with a total of 95,829-more than twice the number of units produced during the Spitfire's first generation.
- The creation of a small sports car by the Triumph Motor Company was brought about by the release of the Austin-Healey Sprite. Motivated by the success of the Sprite, the car that really started the roadster trend, Triumph immediately called upon Michelotti to work on a prototype. The Spitfire was known as the 'Bomb' during the construction of its prototype.