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Spit 1.jpg

1963 Spitfire

Current Caretaker:

Trey Campbell

When I was young I had a very good friend, Graham. I spent almost every day at Graham’s house. Something I recall from a very young age was not being allowed in Graham’s garage. As we got older, I heard rumors of a “very sweet, red convertible” hiding in that garage. When we were probably 10 or so, we finally snuck in. There was something under a cover; surely a car, but the cover was so tightly tied on and covered with objects that we could not get to the car. Years, later, Graham’s father finally decided to do some work to the car and it was then that I first saw it.

A beautiful cherry red Spitfire. Original paint and in near perfect condition! Unfortunately, Graham’s father had started disassembling the whole vehicle for a frame off restoration and it never got put back together.

See, Mr. S had bought this car at only 17 years old as his daily driver. He had it since 1965 or so and drove it everywhere. He drove it to school, did some autocross, and even went on his first dates with Graham’s mom in this car. This car meant the world to him.

Fast forward to the early 2000’s and he was ready to bring the car back to its former glory. Over the next few years, time allowing, he started the frame off restoration. The chassis was sanded and primed. The body put back on the car. The engine was taken apart and thoroughly gone through; etc. That’s where it stopped.

In 2021 my wife and I were in Panama City, Panama when I got a call from Mr. S. I had not spoken with him in several years. I panicked! What happened to Graham? I stepped away from the tour group and answered. “Trey, its Tom. Mrs. S and I are moving to our lake house in New York.” I’m a realtor, I figured he just wanted advice. This was not the case. See, in close second to the Spit was his passion for fly fishing. “I know as soon as I get to the lake house, I’ll never touch that car again. I refuse to sell it on the open market. Would you want to buy it for (an extremely good deal) and finish the project?” I agreed, along with the heavy stipulation that I would complete the car and let Mr. and Mrs. S take the car on one last date someday.

The car has been in my garage since 2021 now, still mostly apart. I too am very busy. But now I am determined! This summer I plan to make good progress. And this is where I need the help of the group! I have an automotive engineering background; but British Sport is hands down the least-touched type of vehicle for me. I plan to be more vocal this summer and hopefully even get a tech session going at our home! Full disclosure though, our house is also an antique and quite a project as well!

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