Corgi Triumph Spitfire, Mk3 Saffron
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Having bucked the car industry's trend towards monocoque construction with their Herald in 1959, creating a small sports car based on its components was a simple and cost effective way for Standard Triumph to earn American dollars with a cheaper companion to their larger 1961 2-litre TR4. The first prototype was produced by Italian stylist, Giovanni Michelotti, at his workshop in Turin in autumn 1960, and was actually built by cutting down a Triumph Herald although the production versions used a bespoke chassis design. The Spitfire was announced at the 1962 Earls Court Motor Show and would go on, through four distinct updates, to be produced until 1980. A total of 314 332 were made.
The Spitfire Mk3 was announced in early 1967 and featured a larger 1296cc engine, which replaced the original 1147cc unit and offered a power increase of 8bhp to 75bhp@6000rpm and a similar increase in maximum torque to 75Lb.ft@4000rpm; this lustier engine improved the driving experience considerably. The front disc brake calipers were enlarged by using the latest Girling 14LF Mk3, a modification that had been proven by Triumph's Competitions Department in both racing and rallying. The Mk3 was also the first Spitfire to use both a negative earth electrical system and a new more user friendly fold-away hood design. However, the most obvious visual difference was the raised front bumper, which was positioned in the middle of the front-grille rather than below it.
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