18 NovBoot Locks
Parts availability for Spitfires is fairly decent, 30 years after the last one rolled off the assembly line, however don’t be fooled into thinking this is down to the popularity of Spitfires. There are many crossover items for cars in the British Leyland family, so for example Spitfire owners benefit when Mini owners require identical parts. This is great, except for circumstances when two cars have similar but not identical parts. What often happens there is that manufacturers aim to satisfy the market for the more popular vehicle, and present no alternative to owners of the other. This also applies to instances where the car is the same but different marks had slightly different specifications.
One example where I suspect this has happened is the boot locks on a Spitfire 1500. Notice how in this photograph of an original boot lock, there’s a nice little cap (labelled ‘A’) that slides over the keyhole to cover it when not in use:
Its purpose is probably as a weather seal, to keep out any excess water from entering the lock mechanism or boot. On every boot lock I’ve seen from the parts retailers today, this cap is missing from the design. What’s likely is that one factory makes them, and this factory either makes them without the cap because other cars that used similar locks didn’t have them, or alternatively, they missed out the cap simply because they knew consumers wouldn’t demand something more accurate.
Bit of a shame really.