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The Story of Merlin the Triumph Spitfire

Posted 27th May 2021
By Leona Barr-Jones

Over 35 years ago I found what every classic car enthusiast dreams of; an old classic sitting
in a barn, soft top down, complete with hay and chickens in the driver’s seat! The 1967
midnight blue Triumph Spitfire Mk 3
had my name written all over it and remarkably we got
it started and I drove it home where it sat in my Dad’s garage ready for a spot of home
restoration.

Just the name Triumph Spitfire conjures up the image of British engineering at its best,
combined with the beautiful Italian designed lines.

I know cars are supposed to be ladies, but in a weird twist of a Merlin engine in a Spitfire
aeroplane and Merlin the Welsh Wizard, somehow Merlin seemed right.

Merlin, my trusty steed served me well for 25 years, he had enjoyed the Welsh Valleys,
Brecon Beacons, Surrey Hills, Pembrokeshire Coast and Hampshire
. He waited patiently for
my return from overseas postings or Operational tours and now enjoyed the Hertfordshire
& Bedfordshire countryside.

We had stopped for lunch once in a lovely country pub and a chap came out and said he
used to have a Triumph Spitfire and could I pop the bonnet for him to sit on the wheel with
his pint of Ale for old time sake. You get used to this as a classic car owner, people come up
to you and tell you this was their first car, their dad had one of those, or they had this car
when they were courting or it was their first kiss in the car. A classic car evokes deep
nostalgia
and people reminisce with great fondness, which is why it really is a passion for so
many.

1967 Midnight Blue Triumph Spitfire Mk 3

It was clear that Merlin needed another round of TLC, everyone recommended the same
Triumph experts, Robsports International and we agreed a slow and steady restoration over
a few years. These guys are the “Gods of Classic Triumph Restoration”, they are really
passionate about the classic cars they look after, they nurture them and you can tell they
absolutely love them.

They invited us to visit the paint shop and see the car at each stage and when newly sprayed
it was looking drop dead gorgeous. We were invited to visit the engine all taken apart and
in the engine room ready for its treatment and you really feel part of the journey with the
restoration. But I think more importantly has been the genuine care and attention they
have given me as a customer and the passion they have for their craft and the love they
have for each classic they look after.

Simon has really cared about me as his customer and my classic sports car and for that I will
be eternally grateful to him and his amazing team at Robsport and I cannot recommend
them highly enough. Not only are they “Gods of Classic Triumph Restoration” but they are
also really decent and honest chaps who are passionate about their work.

Because of this I am a fan, a cheerleader, an advocate for Robsport. Every time I have the
opportunity to, I will shout about how awesome Robsport are.

Their passion and their purpose shared with their customers makes a readymade brand ambassador out of every happy customer!

Merlin, my little blue Triumph Spitfire is now in the final stages of being ready to come
home and we honestly cannot wait.

I’ve shared one of my passions, what are you passionate about? Get in touch we’d be
delighted to help you find your passion and purpose in your business.

COO at Focus7

A successful business owner by age twenty, and with a varied 21-year military career including five years at the MoD on Whitehall, Leona has developed first class leadership and management skills. She has managed the successful implementation of major change programmes both in the UK and worldwide, including on behalf of Transport for London in collaboration with the 2012 Olympics. Leona is also IoD Director of the Year and a Fellow of IoD, CMI, InstLM.

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