Lot 185 - 1963 Triumph Spitfire Le Mans Recreation
|Odometer reading||39,380 miles|
|Estimate||£18,000 - £24,000|
|Result||Sold - £20,720|
- Signed by Le Mans legend – Derek Bell
- An attractive early Spitfire with Le mans features
Triumph ran three racing Spitfires during the 1964 and 1965 Le Mans 24 Hours race, they considered entering a six-cylinder Spitfire for the 1966 event under the F.I.A. Appendix J category after Porsche, in the same class, were found to be attaining 160mph. The six-cylinder Spitfire was to be called the GT6R and was to run with either fuel injection or with triple carburettors. The 175bhp was confidently expected to give an estimated top speed of 160mph, however, the 1966 proposed regulations meant that the car would have to run in the prototype category where it would certainly have been uncompetitive. With this and financial strains upon Triumph, the competitions programme at Triumph was run down and the project was abandoned.
This extraordinary recreation of that Le Mans six-cylinder car was constructed on a 1963 Triumph Spitfire chassis, using all composite bodywork and including a fabulous specification. Its registration number echoes the period competition Spitfires who wore the ADU number plates. This Spitfire has an enormous specification and includes a 2.0 litre straight six Triumph engine with a Peter Burgess head, Le Mans oil filter, a Type 9 close ratio five-speed gearbox and a Quaife limited slip differential with triple 40 DCOE Dell’Orto carburettors supply the fuel. The braking system has Lockheed four pot calipers and ventilated discs at the front with GT6 drums at the rear. There is also an adjustable biased twin circuit, as per the original prototype. The suspension includes aluminium hubs whilst at the rear, CV driveshafts and an aluminium lower wishbone conversion stop the infamous Spitfire rear wheel tuck under. Gaz adjustable shock absorbers are fitted on all four corners. The interior is fitted with a half roll cage and F.I.A. four point harnesses with bucket seats. We are informed that on the road the car is stunning to drive with the powerful six-cylinder engine delivering power low-down, but it is not until the revs reach 4,000rpm that this fabulous car takes on another life. With the CV jointed driveshafts and lower wishbones, handling is exceptional and corners can be taken with the utmost confidence.
ADU 5A is UK registered as a 1963 Triumph Spitfire Sports with its 2000cc engine capacity also recorded upon the V5C registration document. The car comes with an extensive history file which includes an current MoT test certificate valid until January 2020. The car has been a regular presence at many events including three times at the Le Mans Classic, during which it was driven and signed by Claude Dubois, the Triumph ‘Works’ driver who co-drove ADU 3B in 1965. During 2018, ADU 5A was viewed and the roof signed by five times winner of Le Mans, Derek Bell. ADU 5A certainly reflects the spirit of the 1960’s Triumph racing cars and represents a fabulous tribute to a bygone age of Le Mans motor racing.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.