Dean Loros' 1967 Spitfire is Powered by a 3.5L V8
(as recorded by Dan Masters)
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!!!
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!)