Spitfire buyers guide - Chassis
Although when buying a Spitfire you will probably not see the chassis like the above photo it gives you a good idea what it actually looks like as most of it is hidden under the bodywork.
The main areas to look out for are:-
- The front cross member holds the 1/4 panels in place and is and area which collects a lot of dirt and salt thrown up by the front wheels. On my Spitfire I had to cut off one end and replace it as it had completely dissolved. The other function of the front cross member is to hold on the bonnet boxes so it must be solid as when the bonnet is open all the weight is transferred through these.
- This is why the bonnet boxed themselves must be in good condition as a Spitfire bonnet is very heavy.
- This area is where the radiator and engine sit, it is important to check for corrosion and any signs of accident damage which may have distorted the chassis. The turrets behind this area is where all the front suspension attaches so it must be solid.
- These are the outriggers which attach the body to the chassis at the front of the car. These can rust badly as dirt and salt can get trapped in and around them. These can be changed relatively easily with new ones if required although it does involve cutting off the old ones and welding in the new ones.
- This is where everything at the back attached, the body, the suspension and the differential all mount here so it is vital that the metal is good and sound.
As well as the above areas it is important that the whole chassis is in good condition and looked after by being painted, wax oiled or some form of anti corrosion program. The chassis also has holes drilled at various points, this is where cavity wax can be injected into the chassis to stop it from rusting from the inside out.