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11 Months, 3000 pictures and a lot of coffee.
June 29, 2012 7:00 AM   Subscribe

If you've ever wondered what it looks like to have a Triumph Spitfire engine miraculously re-build and install itself into a Classic sports car through the magic of time lapse, then your day may just get a little bit better.
posted by Brockles (45 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
I had not wondered about this, ever.
But, as it seems not to be viral marketing, it has indeed made my day better.
That, and Peer Gynt.
posted by Mezentian at 7:06 AM on June 29, 2012


If you've even wondered how anyone over 5'9 can fit inside a Triumph Spitfire ...so have we all.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:06 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


That definitely made my day better.
posted by Think_Long at 7:07 AM on June 29, 2012


Oddly delightful. Thanks!
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:10 AM on June 29, 2012


I'd best not show this to my Dad, who is trying to get a Triumph TR3 engine to behave itself right now. :)
posted by LN at 7:10 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, that brought back memories.

Not triumph memories; chevy V8 memories. But good memories nonetheless.

Thanks!
posted by notsnot at 7:13 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


What I don't know about cars could fill a book so I got really disappointed when I realized that a Triumph Spitfire and a Supermarine Spitfire are two different things. Then I watched the video and that is such an awesome video.

I wish TubeDubber still worked just so you could replace the audio with this, though.
posted by griphus at 7:13 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


So that's what my first car's engine could have looked like if I'd had any mechanical skill whatsoever...
posted by blue_beetle at 7:14 AM on June 29, 2012


That was incredible. I had a friend years back who bought, refurbished & sold old British sports cars, & I only got to drive one of them once -- a '65 Triumph fastback of some sort, but it was an utter blast.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:16 AM on June 29, 2012


Oh god. This needs the NSFW and Porn tags on it.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 7:17 AM on June 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


What I don't know about cars could fill a book so I got really disappointed when I realized that a Triumph Spitfire and a Supermarine Spitfire are two different things.

Try this - it's not a Spitfire engine (quite the opposite, it's from a Heinkel He111 bomber), but they put it in a car!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:18 AM on June 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Having restored a (much, much simpler) machine recently, I have to say it would take remarkable concentration and patience to not only do the job but also take so. many. pictures. Even if you have it automatically taking them you'd have to remember (and be willing...and able) to stand aside periodically. When you are in the depths of "why the crap won't this COME OFF" you don't feel like taking charming little photos.

The "leftovers" were a nice touch too.
posted by DU at 7:19 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


That bit at the end is a nice touch.

Looking forward to what he does to the rest of that heap.
posted by notyou at 7:20 AM on June 29, 2012


Yeah, what DU said. I love this video for itself, but also because I can't really believe that he did this.

Although I suppose that it would be very hard to do in the beginning but maybe later one could be habituated to it. I found myself thinking about having the camera set up with the shutter triggered by, maybe breaking an infrared beam — you'd do something, then step out of the frame and, in doing so, break the beam and taking the photo, then step back in an continue. And so on.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:23 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


The "leftovers" were a nice touch too.
posted by DU


My old man used to say about those tiny, unaccounted-for, left-over parts - "just put them in the gas tank, they'll find their way home on their own".
posted by 445supermag at 7:24 AM on June 29, 2012 [17 favorites]


I did love that... but once he's cleaned and painted the engine like that, it seems a shame to bolt it to a grimey gear box and grotty looking downpipes off that manifold.

And that's how neverending projects start...

Shame we didn't hear the little thing fire up at the end... :(
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 7:32 AM on June 29, 2012


What on earth did he use to clean off those parts? The whole thing practically looked new when he got done with it!
posted by schmod at 7:38 AM on June 29, 2012


Huh. Reverse flow head. Can anyone that's familiar with this engine comment on that particular design choice? Better low-rpm performance?
posted by Rhomboid at 7:42 AM on June 29, 2012


He'd better be careful how he posts this video. I'm fairly certain that it constitutes probable cause for a search warrant for a meth lab.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:58 AM on June 29, 2012


Awesome. My neighbor is working on his Triumph as we speak. I am constantly teasing him about the pace of his work although he works faster than I do with my Jensen. I will send this to him.

Thanks Brockles!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:59 AM on June 29, 2012


Fitting in the car is the least of your worries when you own a triumph spitfire. At 6' I fit fine in mine. It would be kind to say the car was unreliable. You want headlights AND windshield wipers at the same time? Too bad, you can either have it go dark in front of the car every time the wipers switch on or you can reach outside in the rain and move them by hand. Fortunately for you, reaching outside in the rain won't make you any wetter since the roof is only there to be decorative.

Man did I love that car. Sure it felt like I was going to die if I drove the thing faster than sixty miles an hour, but when the leaves were changing it's impossible to beat the pure joy that comes with driving thirty five on a twisty mountain road in the northeast. Assuming of course you remember to park on a hill so you can get a rolling start when you want to get home again.
posted by foodgeek at 8:03 AM on June 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


That was nice, but for some reason I was mistakenly expecting an engine from a different kind of Spitfire to somehow get installed in a Triumph.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:07 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Devils Rancher, was that maybe a GT6? It was a coupe-fied Spitfire with a straight-six, and has a prime spot in my fantasy project car garage.
posted by phl at 8:11 AM on June 29, 2012


Here's a car fitted [SLYT] with a Rolls Royce Merlin engine (the engine in a Supermarine Spitfire).
posted by notyou at 8:13 AM on June 29, 2012


That was pretty cool. It looked like something out of a Švankmajer film; the only thing missing was the part where the car becomes alive and eats the owner (and everyone else), but the "leftovers" mostly made up for it.
posted by daniel_charms at 8:14 AM on June 29, 2012


That was great! My first car was a 78 Spitfire - happy memories :)
posted by zeoslap at 8:15 AM on June 29, 2012


Here's another one (including overwrought Top Gear commentary. Skip to 5:00 or so for the startup procedure).
posted by notyou at 8:16 AM on June 29, 2012


Sure it felt like I was going to die if I drove the thing faster than sixty miles an hour

Pfft. All part of the fun. If you don't feel fear, you don't feel alive. An old housemate of mine had a modified Spitfire 1500 - probably only around 100hp or so but that's PLENTY in a Spit. We went to Cadwell Park for a car club day and he drove around the course for a while. After accusing him of driving like a wet blanket (oddly, he was worried about damaging it, with the 130 mile trip home at the end of the day) he bet me I couldn't do better (heh. What are the chances?) and we spent the next 5 minutes holding off a modified Golf GTi with the owner of the Spitfire sitting next to me alternately screaming as we went around the corners and then busting up laughing and shouting "NOW GO FASTER!!!!". Good fun, that day.

Devils Rancher, was that maybe a GT6?

I assumed GT6, too. Lovely cars. I had a car with that engine (Triumph 2500S) and it was a wonderful, smooth and driveable engine. Loved that car.
posted by Brockles at 8:17 AM on June 29, 2012


Rolls Royce Merlin engine (the engine in a Supermarine Spitfire).

No supercharger. That means it's a Rolls Royce Meteor, use in such notable fighters as the Cromwell, Comet and Centurion tank. In fact, it was a hell of a engine for a tank, and since the block had been built to handle the 1300hp that a Merlin III put out, the 600hp that the Meteor made was trivial load, and it gave the Brits something they'd never had -- a *reliable* tank engine.


Why yes, I'm a fatter, American version of James May with worse hair, why do you ask?
posted by eriko at 8:19 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


A tank engine?

Gah. Nevermind, everybody.

Sorry.
posted by notyou at 8:22 AM on June 29, 2012


Devils Rancher, was that maybe a GT6?

Actually, now that I look around, I think it was an MG like this one.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:35 AM on June 29, 2012


What on earth did he use to clean off those parts? The whole thing practically looked new when he got done with it!

Solvent, brake cleaner and elbow grease.
posted by Mitheral at 8:43 AM on June 29, 2012


Oh god. This needs the NSFW and Porn tags on it.

I know I'm getting old because I thought the same thing. Oh the cleaning!
posted by yerfatma at 9:07 AM on June 29, 2012


Another 6'1" + former owner who loved his Spitfire--and yes it was comfortable--the only car I owned that I could actually do minor repairs--adjusting valves, timing, new generator, etc. And they do go more than 60 MPH safely--but not up a mountain road. Loved the post--thanks for the memories
posted by rmhsinc at 9:09 AM on June 29, 2012


Thank you Brockles, you made my Friday! My babe was a red Spitfire - I used to drag race in her, when her fuel pump wasn't out of commission.
posted by mfoight at 11:06 AM on June 29, 2012


Jay Leno's tank car (engine from a Korean War Patton Tank)
posted by zippy at 11:22 AM on June 29, 2012


This post has been up for 5 hours, and not a single word yet from sonascope. Somebody should go check to make sure he's okay....
posted by schmod at 12:03 PM on June 29, 2012


He's still writing it.
posted by griphus at 12:05 PM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have alerted sonascope via the Book of Face
posted by exogenous at 12:24 PM on June 29, 2012


Happened to be reminded today that BMW owns the Triumph name. They could do something cool. A little modified 1-series (RWD) platform and....
posted by ambient2 at 12:55 PM on June 29, 2012


Oh, that was fantastic!

Awesome. My neighbor is working on his Triumph as we speak. I am constantly teasing him about the pace of his work although he works faster than I do with my Jensen. I will send this to him.

Ha. I was just wondering what dark and aching piece of music would be a fitting accompaniment to my travails with my own Jensen-Healey. Mahler's 9th, probably, over a time-lapse video of the JH sinking to the garage floor as its tyres go flat.
posted by Catch at 4:07 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look at its little valves! Look at its reverse-flow head!

Great find.
posted by jet_silver at 7:41 PM on June 29, 2012


Gah, I only got a brief glimpse of this while I was hiding from a park ranger and watching a mountain burn in the most languid, relaxing way, but the signal sucks three thousand feet up, so I couldn't really comment. Now a scary violent storm is about to tip my motorcycle over and knock a mulberry into my beehive. Unfortunately, my own evil Triumph is safely indoors, instead of out on the street where I would hope Miss Gulch might finally come and collect it.

I'll check back if I don't end up impaled by a piece of broomstraw or fried by lightning.
posted by sonascope at 8:21 PM on June 29, 2012


I'm restoring a Jaguar E-Type at the moment. I started trying to do a film like this with the reassembly and I just couldn't keep going: I need to do everything about 6 times--and no one wants to watch that. I also use a dead-blow hammer a lot more than one would expect from someone who's been doing this for 20 years. I stand around a lot. A soundtrack would definitely be contraindicated.

Plus it's a lot of work to prepare the videos, really, and I would rather work on the car.

I was taking a photo via web cam mounted on the top of my garage cabinets, an image every second. I did learn some things about myself:

1) I'm fat (OK, knew that)
2) I'm really fucking bald. I mean, jesus, the mirror in my bath flat-out lies. "A little thin" is laughably inadequate.
3) My ass crack is on display frequently and it's definitely not an attraction.
posted by maxwelton at 10:06 PM on June 29, 2012


Speaking of the mirror in the bathroom -- I have a side-view mirror from a Triumph Spitfire in my bathroom right now. I look at the back of my hair with it.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 10:08 PM on June 29, 2012


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