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British Parts Northwest Blog

  • How to Winterize Your Classic British Car

    It's been a hot summer, but winter is just around the corner. Cruising around with the top down has been fun, but it's time to start thinking about what you are going to do with your car when winter hits. Here are a few tips to help you winterize your British car.

    1. Gas and Engine
    Keep the fuel system protected by adding a container of fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and also filling the tank completely. Once the stabilized fuel has been added, take the car around the block a few times, to let it work through the system. Do this just before you store that car.

    2. Oil and Engine
    Change the filter as well as the oil itself, and be certain that you choose an oil that offers corrosion protection.

    3. Battery Charger
    Keep the battery from dying over the winter by hooking up a charger.

    4. Tires
    For best results through winter, store your car on jacks. Stack the tires in a corner and place cardboard between each one and cover.

    5. Paint and Body
    Protect your paint by thoroughly washing, drying, and waxing your car. As well, wash and dry any of the vinyl, leather, or rubber inside the car, and consider coating the seats and armrests with preservative to prevent cracking if you live in a cold, dry climate. Rust inhibitor can be applied to any unpainted metal surfaces, as well.

    6. Furry Stowaways
    To keep small furry animals from turning your car into their castle, stash mothballs inside the car and under the dashboard, and make sure you cover the tailpipe as well.

    7. Insurance
    Make sure your car is adequately insured. There are discounts for low-use, low-mileage vehicles that will help offset any premiums charged because the car is a classic and has extra value. Consult your insurance agent for the best plan, and if your car is over fifteen years old, be sure to ask about special collector policies.

    8. Clutch
    Put something heavy on the clutch pedal and keep it down. Over the winter the clutch plates can stick together.

    9. Cooling System
    Drain the cooling system completely and leave the petcock open and the radiator cap off so air can circulate. Disconnect the heater hoses and drain the heater too.

    10. Before Covering
    Before you encase your classic in its winter cocoon, the last things to do are:

    • Roll down your windows to allow for circulation
    • Place opened boxes of baking soda in various places to absorb moisture
    • Put a plastic bag over the carburetor to keep moisture out
    • Stuff an old rag up the tailpipe to keep vermin out.

    11. Cover
    Cover the car with a breathable cloth cover - not plastic, as the latter will only trap any condensation and encourage rust. Also, if your vehicle is a convertible, make sure you store it with the top up. This adds protection for the inside of the car, as well as preventing the soft top from shrinking.

    Visit BP Northwest for all your British car parts!

  • How To Buy a Triumph Spitfire

    Buying a classic car isn't the same thing as buying a used car from your local dealer. There are many things to consider and for today's blog post, we'll focus on buying a Triumph Spitfire.

    Before we begin, I want to encourage our readers to leave us their comments. Let us know your thoughts on how you found the perfect car, whether it was restored or it needed work.

    1. Hobby or Joy Ride?
      If you are interested in restoring the car yourself, know that you are purchasing a hobby, not a car. It will take a lot of time and commitment to return the car to its original condition. If you are looking for a car that has already been restored by someone else keep in mind that Spitfires will break down, so be prepared for repair costs.
    2. Research
      A great paint job and new shiny seats can hide the rust underneath. So before you start looking at cars, do your research. Know what you are looking for and what model you want. A person that knows a lot about classic cars can easily pitch you a line about the car and unless you are prepared, you might fall for the sales pitch.
    3. Check with Local Clubs
      Find a local classic car club in your area. Make a few phone calls and ask questions. The clubs are formed by people that love cars, so at least a few people will be happy to talk to you about finding the right car and may have a few suggestions where you can find one.
    4. Consult a Professional
      Once you find a great car it's a good idea to let a vehicle appraiser take a look at the car. This might be something to ask about at the local car club. Obviously, if the car needs repair it will be cheaper, but if it has already been restored a few easy checks will give a lot of insight into the car's true condition.
    5. Vehicle History Report
      Used car reports can be performed on classic cars as well, assuming it has been driven in recent history, and it can fill in a lot of holes in understanding that specific car's history.
    6. Car Parts
      After the purchase has been made and you need to find parts for your new Triumph Spitfire, check out BP Northwest for a huge selection of new and used parts. Finding car parts doesn't have to be difficult and BP Northwest makes classic car restoration easy.

    Other aspects of buying a classic car that also apply to purchasing a modern vehicle are:

    • Finding a car with full service records is preferred.
    • Rare means it will be more expensive, including parts.
    • Drive the car before you buy it, but you already knew that.
    • Make sure the VIN matches the number on the car's title.

    Thanks for reading and good luck!

  • Spitfire in the Movies and Other Interesting Car Facts

    It's no surprise that movies and TV have featured the Spitfire many times, it's a great looking car! Using the great resources from Spitfire and GT6 Magazine, we've put together a list of interesting facts about the Spitfire as seen on TV and in the theater.

    Spitfires in the Movies

    • All American Murder - With Christopher Walken and Charlie Schlatter. When Charlie Schlatter visits his girl the first time, in front of the girl's fraternity house you can see a passing Spitfire MkIV or 1500, red.
    • Life is Sweet, TV - a satiric look at family life in London. Portly restaurateur drives Spitfire.
    • Monty Python's and now for something completely different - A white Triumph Spitfire (Mk2) is used during the "upper class twit of the year" competition in which the bowler wearing twit is required to start the car and reverse over the cardboard cut-out of an old woman.
    • Police Academy - There was a spitfire playing a very important role. the drill sergeant was driving through the streets on a motor-cycle, and hit a spitfire from the side, after which he flew head-first into the behind of a horse.
    • Ssssssss - One of the students on the campus drove a blue 1976 Spitfire.
    • Up in smoke - uses 2 triumph spitfires in background footage.
    • Woodstock - there is a spitfire that appears in the Woodstock movie. When they show footage of the massive line of cars stuck in traffic, they slowly pan over an early spitfire with the driver inside waiting to get to woodstock. It is red.
    • The Wraith - A yellow Spitfire 1500 appears in the 1988 movie starring Charlie Sheen, Sharelyn Fenn and Randy Quaid. The car is featured in several scenes, usually parked outside the drive-in restaurant.
    • Young Lovers - starring Peter Fonda and he drives a white Spitfire.

    Famous Spitfire Owners


    • Actor Nicolas Cage's first car was a Spitfire. (Photo above) "I had a Triumph Spitfire," says Cage, 36. "It was a beautiful little roadster in a faded yellow. But it also needed a lot of work. I couldn't get it registered, so I would sit in my car in the garage and pretend I was driving to the beach with the sun in my face. But the only light was this tiny bulb overhead," Although he finally got the car registered, Cage eventually gave up his wheels. "I found out this car was going to break down every single week," he says. But persistence triumphed in the end. "I found that car again a year ago and I bought it," he says. "I wanted it to know that it didn't get the best of me."
    • Uri Geller - famous spoon-bending, mind-control artist of the 70's.
    • Joyce Hoffman -  world champion surfer of the 60's.
    • Lizzie West - soon to be famous Warner Bros. musician owns a 1977 Spitfire 1500.

    Spitfire Trivia

    • The Spitfire's code name during development was "the bomb".
    • According to Hemmings Motor News, the Spitfire's 24 feet turning circle is the shortest distance of any production car built.
    • In the 70's an print advertisement featured a Spitfire car in front of the Spitfire airplane. The ad was not successful due to the fact most looked at the plane instead of the car.

    Looking for car parts for your Spitfire or some other British car? British Parts Northwest has a wide selection of hard to find parts and great customer service.

  • History of The Triumph Spitfire

    The Triumph Spitfire production began in 1962 with the Mark 1 and the popularity continued over a decade, ending in 1980. There were over 314 thousand built, but today only a fraction of those remain in working order.

    Triumph Spitfire 4, Mark I


    While the Mark 1 was first introduced in 1962, the car first sold in the US one year later. A top speed of 92mph and 0-60 in 17.3 seconds caused quite a stir in the early 60's for such an inexpensive sports car.

    Triumph Spitfire 4, Mark II


    The Mk2 was introduced in March of 1965 with a slightly more powerful engine, carpet flooring, and a trim topping the exposed metal on the inner door tops.

    Triumph Spitfire, Mark III


    In early 1967 the third edition hit the market with a 1,296cc engine and a new, much improved folding softtop.

    Triumph Spitfire, Mark IV


    1970 saw the introduction of the Mark IV, a very different look from previous models. Along with the changes to the car, the new model also saw the most production with over 70,000 built.

    Triumph Spitfire 1500


    Finally, in 1973 the world was introduced to the 1500 with a 1,493cc engine. By the eighties bad products and bad management led to a troubled company British Leyland. The Triumph brand name is today owned by BMW, along with other famous names like Riley, Wolseley, Morris and Austin.

     

     

    Find Triumph Spitfire and old British car parts at British Parts Northwest.

  • Collection of British Car Repair How To Videos

    Since 1983 British Parts Northwest has been dedicated to providing a wide range of new and used car parts. The way we provide our customers access to our huge catalog of parts has changed over the years, but one thing has remained the same, we offer low prices while maintaining prompt, fast, and courteous service.

    More recently, we've started publishing YouTube videos to demonstrate how to install specific parts on your British car. The response to these videos has been very positive, so for this month's blog post we are going to feature three of our favorite and most popular videos.

    First let's start with our first video that demonstrates how to install a reduction gear starter on a Triumph.

    Next, we'll jump to our most popular video that explains how to install a Monza Exhaust.

    Finally, we are featuring our most recent video in which we show you how to install a carpet kit in a British car.

    We have a very active Facebook community at the official BP Northwest Facebook Page. Join us on Facebook or even Twitter and we'll be happy to help you restore your British car.

  • British Part Specials

    Over the years we, at British Parts Northwest, have been developing new and more reliable ignition products with the TrueSpark Ignition brand.  The latest development with TrueSpark is a high output Sports Coil.

     

    Sports Coil TrueSpark

    With the TrueSpark brand Sports coil you get the same gold color, same output (40,000 volts) and the same stability at high rpms as other sports coil but at a great price.  This coil is made to work with all Non-Ballasted (12 Volt) British cars, and comes with a new bracket too. Keep your car running strong this summer with solid ignition products from TrueSpark.

    Our second money saver is for the Triumph TR4A, TR250 and TR6.  With our buying power we have secured a great deal on clutch release bearing collars and clutch release bearings.

    Release Bearing and Collar TR4A-TR6

    To pass this along and made it easy on you we have a kit that includes the clutch release bearing, collar and roll pin, all put together.  This saves you time and money. No more worries about bending or breaking your new collar while pressing on your release bearing.

    As always if you have any questions about any of these items or any other items on our web site simple reply to this email and we will get them answered for you.  Also don't forget to check out our new videos on YouTube. Most recently, we've uploaded a video about installing a carpet kit in your British car.

  • British Parts Northwest Blog

    Hello and welcome to the new British Parts Blog. For our first post, we thought that we would lay out our aspirations for this blog. There is no doubt that we are passionate about British cars and want to do our best to help you keep them on the road. Not only are we going to use this blog to show you the latest and greatest but we also want to use it as a tech forum. So, if you are having trouble with your British car and need someone to talk you through a fix, then this is the place for you. If it is a common problem then we will also get the repair on film and show you, step by step, how to repair your car. Your car is our obsession, we look forward to helping you fix and improve your car for the years to come.

    Thanks again from all of us here at British Parts Northwest.

    Cheers!

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