Richard Brown's 1964 Triumph Spitfire Race CarOwner: Richard Brown
City: East Hampton, Connecticut
Chassis: 1964 Triumph Spitfire
Engine: 1296cc four cylinder
Race prepared by: Nick Julian
From SCCA to Vintage Racing
Built in the early seventies by a racer in the Atlanta Georgia area, this Triumph Spitfire
has a long SCCA racing history. Richard Brown bought it, and together with his friend
Nick Julian he has been vintage racing it for about six years.
This Spitfire is a consistent front runner. We noticed two details that may contribute to its excellent results. First, it seems to be set up with more negative rear camber than most Spitfires. Secondly, its engine is set up with more modern carburetors that we're used to seeing on a vintage racecar.
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Features and Specifications
|Engine:||1296cc Triumph four cylinder engine.
(Stock dimensions were 2.90" bore by 2.99" stoke. Class rules allow a 0.047" overbore.)
Flat top pistons.
~12.5:1 static compression ratio.
Dual Mikuni HSR series 1.75" carburetors.
Bosch "blue" ignition coil.
MSD spark plug wires.
AccuSump oil accumulator.
|Cooling:||Triumph Herald copper and brass radiator (Stanpart/Coventry Radiator & Presswork Co. Ltd.).
Setrab oil cooler, part# 50-619-7612.
|Exhaust:||Stahl Headers four-into-one exhaust header.
|Transmission:||Spitfire gearbox with close-ratio gears.
|Rear End:||Welded differential.
|Front Susp.:||Carrera coilover shock absorbers.
1" anti-sway bar.
Triumph Spitfire steering rack (unmodified).
|Rear Susp.:||custom, heavier-than-stock transverse leafspring (~175#/inch).
Carrera "Hyper-Charged" steel body shock absorbers.
Strange Engineering axles.
|Brakes:||(master) dual Girling 5/8" bore master cylinders with integral reservoirs and bias bar.
(front) Girling calipers
(rear) Tilton lever-type brake proportioning valve.
|Wheels/Tires:||Panasport Racing 13x6 ("6-JJx13") aluminum 8-spoke wheels.
Hoosier Street T.D. S (A70-13) tires.
|Electrical:||gear reduction starter.
|Instruments:||(left to right)
Jones mechanical tachometer (1000-10,000rpm),
AutoMeter oil pressure gauge (0-100psi),
AutoMeter oil temperature gauge (140-280F), and
AutoMeter water temperature gauge (140-280F).
|Fuel System:||ATL SP108 8-gallon fuel cell.
Holley "red" electric fuel pump.
Holley adjustable fuel pressure regulator (1-4psi).
|Safety Eqmt:||Kirkey aluminum racing seat.
Beltenick six point cam-lock safety harness.
Troyer quick release steering wheel hub mounted on a Mountney of Britain steering wheel.
Kidde handheld fire extinguisher.
1296cc Triumph four cylinder engine.
A fabricated aluminum air shroud directs air into the radiator. A couple baffles and
shields have been added to help direct warm air away from the carburetors.
Dual Mikuni HSR 45mm smoothbore/flatslide motorcycle carburetors.
Mikuni originally developed their HSR series (42, 45, and 48mm flatslide) carbs as aftermarket
upgrades for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Lately, they're becoming a popular upgrade for sportscars
and racecars. Neat adapter flanges attach the Mikuni carbs to this regular Triumph intake manifold.
Mikuni HSR carburetors cost significantly less than Weber DCOE sidedraft carburetors
which additionally require special manifolds and often pricey linkage kits. For those
who prefer to have one choke per cylinder, quad Mikuni HSR kits are also available.
Mikuni HSR carburetors feature "flat slide" throttle plates in lieu of hinged "butterflies". Similar slides
were used many years earlier on race-bred Lucas fuel injection systems. Advantages of Mikuni HSR
carburetors compared to SU carbs include better fuel atomization and greater maximum airflow.
Mikuni HSR carbs feature double-adjustable accelerator pumps for superior throttle response.
This Holley fuel pressure regulator is adjustable from one to four pounds per square inch.
Mikuni HSR carburetors were originally designed for motorcycle installations where fuel is fed via
gravity. To suit use with a fuel pump, Mikuni experts at Vintage Performance Developments always
substitute a smaller float bowl needle and seat (specifically, size 2.3 in lieu of size 4.0). This modest
adaptation ensures the Mikuni HSR bike carbs perform well with typical 3-4psi fuel supplies.
Jere Stahl of Stahl Headers (York PA) has been a pioneer in the header business since ~1963. In the
early 1960s, tri-y headers dominated the market. Stahl pioneered the shift to 4-into-1 designs.
At the time, they were generally called "four tube" or "independent" headers.
Stahl headers are fabricated from mild steel using oxy-acetylene welded joints. Heat from the torch
anneals the area around welds, resulting in headers that are more resistant to cracking. The outboard
side of cylinder head flange joints are brazed to spread loads over a larger area of the mating tubes.
Lucas distributor, Bosch "blue" ignition coil, and MSD spark plug wires.
Note also the drive cable for a mechanical tachometer.
Gear reduction starter.
Engine turned aluminum panels provide a classic look. A Scotch-Bright cleaning disc
mounted in a drill press or milling machine will create this elaborate brushed effect.
Dual Girling 5/8" bore master cylinders with integral reservoirs and bias bar.
Instead of a regular Triumph Spitfire radiator, a larger Triumph Herald radiator is used.
It's stamped "Coventry Radiator & Presswork Co. Ltd." and "Stanpart".
Setrab oil cooler, part# 50-619-7612.
Remotely mounted oil filter.
ATL SP108 8-gallon fuel cell. Holley "red" electric fuel pump.
1" front anti-sway bar.
Carrera coilover shock absorbers with 475#/inch springs.
Spitfires feature swing axle rear suspensions and transverse leafsprings. This particular Spitfire
has a custom leafspring, dimensioned to give a low ride height and a lot of negative tire camber.
Fewer but thicker leafs are used to control "droop" in the unladen wheel when cornering hard.
Carrera "Hyper-Charged" steel body shock absorbers.
Strong roll cage.
The aluminum cylinder on the driveshaft tunnel is an AccuSump oil accumulator. This device stores
pressurized engine oil that the driver can release before starting his engine. For ease of use,
its manually operated valve has been placed within comfortable reach.
Mountney of Britain leather wrapped steering wheel.
Troyer quick release steering wheel hub.
Jones mechanical tachometer. AutoMeter oil pressure, oil temp, and water temp gauges.
Kirkey aluminum racing seat. Beltenick six point cam-lock safety harness.
Removable transmission cover.
Tilton lever-type brake proportioning valve.
At the 2011 Lime Rock Historic Festival, Richard Brown and his Triumph Spitfire placed third of 31 cars
in the Group 5 race for "Small Bore Production" cars. He circled the 1.51 mile circuit with best lap time
of 1:06.675, for an average speed of 81.53mph! Monday's Group 5 race was slowed by rain, but
Brown showed his versatility by finishing 3rd of 23 starters (1:19.575, 68.31mph.)
Classic Triumph livery: the transverse racing stripe evokes a finish-line ribbon.
Whiplash caused neck and spinal cord injuries are real killers. In this regard, the extra weight of a helmet
doesn't help the driver. HANS (head and neck support) devices are engineered to control head motion
and to protect the neck and spine. Most racer don't realize it, but this technology goes back 25 years
to 1986 when professional racer Jim Downing first wore a HANS device in an IMSA race.
Hella battery disconnect switch.
Panoramic view rear view mirror.
How can you tell which cars are quick before they even leave the paddock?
Ride height is one of the best clues. Lower cars usually lead their class.
"My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is
smarter than your honor student"
Wellwood Garage (of Syracuse, New York)
Panasport Racing 13x6 ("6-JJx13") aluminum 8-spoke wheels and Hoosier Street T.D. S (A70-13) tires.
Latest thing: Hoosier's new "S" designation indicates stiffer sidewall construction.
Strange Engineering rear axles. (Strange Engineering Inc., Evanston Illinois.)
Unless otherwise noted, all photos shown here are from September 2011 when we viewed the car at The 29th Annual Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. All photos by Curtis Jacobson for BritishRaceCar.com, copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
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