Dean Loros' 1967 Spitfire is Powered by a 3.5L V8

Dean Loros' 1967 Spitfire is Powered by a 3.5L V8

(as recorded by Dan Masters)

Dean wrote:

The car started life as a 67 MKIII. The body was an early one(single master cylinder brakes). When I found it, it had been sitting outside for over 10 years (in Portland, Oregon - very wet place!). The floorboards were of the see-thru type,so it seemed a body-off resto was the ticket! Well, upon further looking, the driver's side "B" pillar was found to have about 6" of bondo. At this time it became clear that "SOMETHING ELSE" was needed.

I had raced spits for many years (from the late 70's to mid 80's) & always wanted a Spit that didn't have that rear suspend/needed more rubber/looked more like a Cobra. Well, after over four years - this is it!

The bonnet has stayed kind'a the same. The seams that I hated were removed (new outer panels were made out of fiberglass), a hoodscoop was added for "Cobra" effect (and to create a cold-air intake for the carb), and air outlets were put behind to take advantage of the hoped-for low pressure area there(should flow enough to help cooling and decrease the packing problem the Spits had above 120 MPH). Also during the re-make, I started at the headlight buckets & pulled the fender profiles out 2.5" per side.

I did a lot of measuring during the trial fitting of the 3.5V8. I have heard where people extended the front end, but I didn't want to, so I ended up moving the transmission (a TR8 unit) back almost 9". This required lots of interior changes and frame changes. A new transmission tunnel was created, the emergency brake assembly was moved back the same amount, and the frame was reworked at the inside rails (notched/replated & reinforced/new rear mount fabricated). This allowed the engine to sit back far enough to clear the rack & pinion and distributor at the hoodline.

The rear end was a different story. I added 4.5" at each side (right after the "B" pillar. When I cut into the rear, it was found to have a mix of rust, fiberglas, and Bondo, so the result was to cut the entire rear off the car & fab up a new one! The only metal used from the original was the boot surround & boot lid, and the boot lid was massively changed at the rear edge. I had wanted more space back there, so I lowered the floor 6" at the leading edge, which amounted to 8"/10" at the very rear. I created a very "Cobra" lead to the rear fender panels but was unsure as how to finish the tail until I was "polluted" by a car I was helping restore. I had always liked the "can-am" rear treatment, and I was working on a Lotus 30/40 Can-Am for a friend & then the answer for the rear became clear! I have found some people really like it and some hate me for it - there seems to be little or no middle ground!!!

Last, the rear suspension. With the idea in mind that I would be putting 200/250 HP through this car, the 3rd member came under question. I had seen an article in Grassroots Motorsports pertaining to RX7 parts in Spits (Project: Rotary Spitfire by Tim Suddard - great articles!!) and rechecked that out. In brief, take one 86/89 non-turbo differential, remove the pod (ala ford 9"), reinstall 80/85 pod and do lots of welding and grinding, and WA LA!!! A differential fit for HP! I went the next step and used the CV axles/Miata uprights and fabed up my control arms (unequal length "A" arms using rod ends - 4 per side) and introducing the shock load in the rear leg (using stock upper mount). This also uses the stock MK4 spring. I found to my amazement that the Miata parts acted almost like they belonged there!!! This set-up is now in the Second mock-up, soon to be finalized (I Will write up a "tech" article and include pics as soon as I am sure that all the pieces work right). I will talk to anyone who is interested in this setup. (side note: this is wider than stock. You will need at least a wheel well width 6" wider. Mine is a total of 9")

Next on my list of "need to do's" is remaking the bonnet out of kevlar, which should weigh about 75/100 Lb less than what I have now (also better weight transfer and balance), Rework the rims for 14", and finalize the rest of the bodywork & paint(Viper Blue W/White stripes).

My hope is to finish the car for the VTR2000 (being held at the same time as The All British Field Meet, Labor day weekend, in Portland,Oregon!)

Spitfire fender vents

Spitfire hot-rod

Spitfire air dam and hood scoop

CAM tail

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