Removing paint from a Triumph Spitfire

Triumph Spitfire

If you are wondering what the best approach is to removing paint from a Triumph Spitfire, then we can help.

The Triumph Spitfire was named as a nod to the World War II fighter plane.  The budget sports car was designed by Michelotti and created to rival the Austin Healey Sprite in 1962.  Production took place at the Coventry factory right up until 1980 – concluding with the Spitfire 1500 and a total of over 300,000 Spitfires produced.

The separate chassis / tub design of the Triumph Spitfire makes it a great car to restore.  The beauty of it (for us at least!) is that the chassis, tub and panels can all be stripped separately making it much easier to get the best results on as many surfaces as possible.

Triumph Spitfire Chassis Cleaning

First of all, the chassis can be cleaned.  To clean the chassis, we need it to be completely stripped down with no wheels etc on it.  This is to prevent any risk of dust getting into places you don’t want it in, but also to ensure we can reach everywhere to clean properly.  We will always used crushed glass for this work – it’s tough enough to remove rust, filler, paint, underseal, and general oil/dirt, but still easy to control so that any damage is avoided.  We do offer the option of paint priming the chassis to protect it during storage and transportation, normally using epoxy primer.

Media blasted Triumph Spitfire chassis


After cleaning the chassis, we generally begin work on the panels.  This includes the doors, bootlid, bonnet and front wings.  Before work begins, a member of our team will check over the panels – photographing, and in some cases marking, any obvious areas of damage.  This helps to build up a record of the work completed on each vehicle that visits our premises.

We use a mixture of processes when working on the panels, but work is mostly completed using soda.  This is to prevent any heat distortion occurring – as soda does not produce any heat during its application.    If there’s thick rust or filler, we will take this off using glass (a photographic record is kept of any areas of concern).  We normally have to clean the inside of panels with crushed glass media too.

Following blast cleaning, we offer a paint priming option.  The panels are transferred to our paint booth, where they are blown out and dust cleaned away.  Our painter is then able to apply an epoxy paint, to protect your panels during transportation and storage.

triumph spitfire bonnet on arrival Blast cleaning Triumph Spitfire bonnet

Triumph Spitfire Tub

Finally, work begins on the body of the Triumph Spitfire.  The process here is much like the process taken with panels.  We will firstly record any areas of concern during a walk around of the shell.  Much of the exterior of the tub is cleaned using bicarbonate of soda, but the interior and underside is normally cleaned using crushed glass.  This removes the rust, filler and any underseal.

Again, we offer a paint priming option following blast cleaning to help prevent the exposed steel from rusting.  Normally the metal is fine for a few days after work is completed, but if you’re not planning to re-paint immediately, we’d suggest priming the metal.

Triumph Spitfire blast cleaned tub

Mobile Welding Services’ Triumph Spitfire

Mobile Welding Services bought their Spitfire project to us to be completely stripped and epoxy paint primed.  We followed the above processes, completing work on the chassis, panels and then the body.

The panels and body had a few obvious areas of damage:

MWS Spitfire bonnet triumph body

rear of spitfire front nearside wing

Upon taking the top layer of paint off, we discovered some areas of filler

This was recorded before being removed using crushed glass:

filler filler on the doors

wheel arch with filler filler around wheel arch

Completely stripped Triumph Spitfire:

Stripped doors stripped bonnet

stripped body shell stripped interior

And finally, everything was epoxy paint primed before being returned to MWS:

paint primed triumph spitfire paint primed bonnet

paint primed paint primed interior

MWS are well underway completing this restoration – you can find out more information about them below: