Our Cars: Jeff Peek’s 1967 Triumph Spitfire Mk3

Jeff Peek was at Hagerty only six months before being bitten by the collector-car bug. He found a 1967 Triumph Spitfire Mk3 on eBay, and quickly learned some valuable lessons about the hobby.

“My best and worst moments were about 30 minutes apart. My best moment was picking up the car in Grand Rapids. … But I only drove it 30 miles before the engine threw a rod.”

Hagerty employee: Jeff Peek has been a marketing writer with Hagerty since spring 2008.

Car: Jeff purchased a 1967 Triumph Spitfire Mk3 in summer 2008. 

Repairs and modifications (planned or completed): The previous owner repainted the Spitfire; it was red and is now a non-standard metallic green. Jeff had to rebuild the engine in summer 2008. The overdrive option has also been removed. Among Jeff’s plans for the future: new “dampers” (shocks), a new tachometer and new wood paneling on the dash.

Interesting stories: Jeff Peek: “I purchased this car on eBay. I used to own a red 1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500, and I had a lot of fun with that car. It was just too expensive for a college student to keep up, so I sold it. After joining Hagerty – and getting bitten by the collector car bug – I started to get an itch to own another Triumph. I found this one in Big Bear Lake, Calif., did a little research (too little, I’m afraid) and placed a bid that I thought I could afford. When the auction closed, I was the high bidder, with $1 to spare. Unfortunately, I needed that dollar and a whole lot more. My grand plan was to fly to California and drive the car home, but a friend talked me out of it. That’s when the fun really began! First, I had to pay to have the car towed down the mountain at Big Bear because semi trucks aren’t allowed on the road. Then I paid to have it shipped from the base of the mountain to Grand Rapids. To make matters worse, I had to have work done on the engine before I could bring it home. When the smoke finally cleared (literally), the price of the car had doubled. Tough lessons to learn, but when the sun is shining and the top is down, it’s easy to set that aside and enjoy the ride.”

Favorite drive: “I love getting the car out on a beautiful sunny day and driving it to work or to church or taking it for a short trip along the water. I don’t think this car was designed for long-distance travel (or high speed!), so short trips are the best trips.”

Best and worst moment: “My best and worst moments were about 30 minutes apart. My best moment was picking up the car in Grand Rapids. It was a thrill to see it lowered off the truck and knowing it was mine. I felt like a kid at Christmas. But I only drove it 30 miles before the engine threw a rod. It was a horrible, horrible feeling coasting to a stop on the side of the road – after midnight in the middle of nowhere. At least it didn’t rain.”