Friday April 7, 2017
Classic car owner Keith Edmunds reigned ‘triumphant’ in the Spring final of the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership competition, claiming first place with his 1972 Triumph Spitfire after winning the public vote out of the 20 finalists.
Keith, who is based in Willenhall, West Midlands, was announced by the new Wheeler Dealers Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead at the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show at Birmingham’s NEC on Sunday 2nd April.
Andrew Evanson, Senior Operations Manager at Lancaster Insurance, said: “Seeing the incredible cars featured in this weekend’s display along with the sheer volume of interest in them from show visitors, reinforces the dedication, passion and enthusiasm we have within our community. We would like to congratulate all the owners who were selected for the display and of course our special congratulations goes to Keith, a hugely deserving winner!”
Keith’s Spitfire has the looks of a traditional British classic but has an exciting twist under the bonnet.
“I like ragtops, and I decided I wanted to take the ideal of a 1960s or 70s British convertible and modernise it,” Keith explains. “A friend of mine has a Spitfire track car, so I decided that basing my project on a Spitfire meant I could avoid the pitfalls he’d experienced.”
Under the bonnet, Triumph’s 1300 four-pot has been replaced with a Vauxhall C20XE ‘Redtop’, running through a Ford Type 9 gearbox. It uses Suzuki Hayabusa motorbike throttle bodies, new uprated front brakes, but the original Spitfire rears. It has a full stainless exhaust with a custom 4-into-1 manifold, copper fuel and brake hoses, and upgraded lighting front and rear. The seats are from a Mazda MX-5, and the dashboard has been updated.
“I wanted to do something different with it, and I think I have. It’s like no other Spitfire I’ve ever seen or heard of, and that’s before we look at the power figures.” Because Keith’s Spitfire is no slouch; 185bhp and 192lb.ft of torque at the wheels means this Spitfire’s almost as quick as its aeronautical namesake.
“My favourite feature is the bonnet bulge. I had the bodywork done by experts as I’m not great with bodywork, but the standard bonnet wouldn’t close with the engine in place. I bought a brand new bonnet, and my bodyshop let a Capri 3.0 bonnet bulge into it. I considered a GT6 bonnet but the bulge wasn’t wide enough.” It may have taken seven years, but Keith has a unique classic to be proud of.
Second place was claimed by Ian Mills from Wrexham with his 1967 Ford Cortina 1600E. “I’ve owned Cortinas since I was 15 years old – 29 years of ownership, with at least one in my hands at all times,” explains Ian. “I’ve stripped and cleaned every part, nut and bolt on it. Anything I couldn’t repair was replaced with new old stock parts, I’ve just had all my chrome re-done, and it’s finally as good as I think it can be.”
Michael Hawkins and his freshly restored 1974 Ford Escort RS2000 took third place. “My son and I bought this RS2000 in Ireland in March 2013, and over the past three years we’ve painstakingly restored it to new condition,” Michael adds. “We actually showed at the Restoration Show last year but the car wasn’t finished.”
Entries are now open for the Winter final of the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership where anther 20 finalists will be invited to the classic motoring community’s grand finale at Birmingham’s NEC in November.
To enter, send details of the history of your classic car, including the year, make and model, along with your full contact details and two pictures of your vehicle to features director Andrea Seed by email to email@example.com.