English sports cars were popular in America from the late 1940s through the 1960s and even a few years beyond. They came in a variety of sizes, capabilities and price points, the latter including entry-level machines. Up through the mid-1950s, the MG was considered entry-level. But the marque began to creep upscale, so in the early 1960s the tiny Austin-Healey Sprite and MG Midget were introduced. In 1965, Triumph, maker of standard size TR-series sports cars, brought its smaller Spitfire to the market. When I was in graduate school, I really wanted to own a sports car, but the MGB cost more than I could afford, and Sprites, Midgets and Spitfires were marginally affordable, but too small and impractical for my taste. A few years later when I had a real job, I bought a Porsche 914.
A link dealing with the Spitfire is here. It states that its styling can be credited to Giovanni Michelotti, who did a good deal of work for Triumph during his career. Indeed, its styling was the Spitfire's best feature. (As an aside, I and some others cringed over the name "Spitfire" that evoked Britain's famed, graceful interceptor that generally matched the performance of Luftwaffe fighters during the Battle of Britain and thereafter during World War 2. The Triumph Spitfire was no Spitfire.)
Below are images of a 1965 Triumph Spitfire Mk. I that I found on a website with the irresistible title "Dutch Gentlemen Racing Society."
here in a discussion of the MGA's styling, this area can become an awkward, cluttered design problem. Michelotti's solution was better than the MGA's, but not quite as good as that on the earlier Austin-Healey 100 that I will analyze in a future post. Note that the tail light profile does not blend with the rear fenderline -- I suspect the lenses were sourced from another car for reasons of economy.