Spitfire. Surely one of the most, if not the most, evocative proper nouns of last 75 years. I’m sure you’re familiar with two of the three variants of Spitfire available from the United Kingdom.
First, we offer the Triumph Spitfire: 320,000 produced between 1962 and 1980, engine ranging from 1.3 litre to 1.5 litre, eventually maxing out at 71 bhp and 100 mph. The swing axle rear suspension on the earlier versions assured that it would be entertaining to drive in certain circumstances. The owner’s manual didn’t spell out exactly what those were; it was up to the owner’s to make that discovery for themselves.
Also available, at a slightly greater price, the Supermarine Spitfire: 20,351 produced between 1936 and 1948; engine ranging from the 27 litre Rolls-Royce Merlin to the 37 litre Rolls-Royce Griffon engine, eventually maxing out at 1860 bhp and 371 mph. Arguably, the most beautiful aircraft ever built. And my Uncle was a draughtsman at Supermarine during the development.
Incidentally, Reginald (R J) Mitchell’s response when he heard the name Spitfire had been chosen? “Typical bloody stupid name they’d (sales guys?Ministry?) would choose”
Or, maybe, Shepherd Neame Spitfire: a classic Kentish hop ale, first brewed to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, in 1990, and now one of the leading brands of premium British ale. You can imagine the advertising – one slogan actually was “Downed all over Kent, like the Luftwaffe!”
So, for a light-hearted QOTD for 1 April, which Spitfire do you prefer?
Just remember, please, not to mix the third with the first or second.