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The Build Diary

The donor for this project is my 1964 Vitesse Mk1 1600, which I acquired in 2008. Some would say that I am mad for considering what was in fact a nice example, with little rust and a current MOT!

Well I had already done a complete body off restoration of a Triumph 13/60 (see and so I didn't really have the desire to do another complete rebuild. Having owned many old cars in my time (mostly VW Beetles and Campers I have to say) I do prefer to strip them down, replace everything and then drive them knowing that I won't have to work on them every weekend!

The Vitesse was already in my possession but needed a new interior and a respray - the bonnet was a different colour. It already had the saloon roof removed, and made into a convertible (without the extra bracing though!). I did have the hard top you see in the pictures though, and was planning on fitting that as I liked the Coupe look.

So the story goes, a very nice man from up the road knocked on my door and offered me a complete Vitesse interior - he had one in blue, one in red and one in black for me to choose from. I went up to investigate and agreed to have the red one. On asking him why he was getting rid of the interiors, and why he had three other Heralds/Vitesses lying in his garden he took me to the garage to show me what he was up to. He was building a Sammio Spyder.

When I got home, I had already decided that I was going to have a kit myself, so had to convince the wife to go along with the idea. Luckily she did not need a lot of convincing - anything to improve the sad looking car on the drive! The only proviso was that we had a body shell with two humps instead of one! It was a deal!

So that was my introduction to the Sammio Spyder and having done my homework on the internet and found a great website forum ( with a specific area for Sammio builders, it was the start of my journey to get the car on the road by the summer!

A couple of weeks later I went to meet Gary of Sammio Cars fame at his workshop in Holton Heath near Wareham. What is absolutely fantastic is that it is only about 5 miles from where I live - this was getting better and better! A quick look round the workshop reminded me of my early days doing up VW's and camper vans, and seeing the moulds and the prototype Sammio Cordite (based on the Triumph Spitfire) made me want a Sammio Spyder even more! So a deposit was paid and I went home to put some Vitesse bits on ebay!