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My Favorite Car: '80 Triumph Spitfire, James Garey, 63, Valrico

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Published Nov. 21, 2016

'80 Triumph Spitfire

I have several old British cars, but my 1980 Spitfire has become my favorite. I am only the third owner and it is still in its original paint so is classified as a "survivor" at car shows. Spitfires were built from 1962 through 1980. In the later years, the U.S. government required unsightly large rubber bumpers, so I have replaced those with the sleek chrome bumpers from earlier years. A few weeks ago, I added chrome wire spoke wheels to replace the original steel wheels. The car is tiny, but a dream to drive. It has a small engine, but with its stock overdrive transmission, it can cruise just fine on the freeway, although it is best on windy country roads. It has been said the Spitfire offers the most fun you will ever have at 45 mph. I drive it from Valrico to my job at the University of South Florida in Tampa at least once a week on a back-road route, and of course it goes to car shows whenever I have time.

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