Spitfire MkVIII MV154 damaged

While at Bremgarten for an aeronautical xmas market, I was hoping to set up my stand near the MkVIII Spitfire to find that only the wings and lower engine cowling are here. The wings are “real” MkVIII “c” type universal, with the leading edge fuel tanks specific to this mark of Spitfire. The aircraft was at an airshow in the UK and suffered an oil leak inflight and had to put down in an emergency. The lower engine cowling is still covered in oil. The aircraft was then trucked to have the engine checked but it fell off its supports during transit and was damaged. They are not sure if the engine is damaged or not as it certainly overheated. This was a non standard engine for the HF MkVIII, so it might be an opportunity to fit the original engine type, a R-R Merlin 70 series, optimized for high altitude - if such an engine can be found these days !.

Below is a potted history of the aircraft (which I hope to complete with the current owner):

The Mk. VIII was always my favorite Spitfire :smiley:
With its sleeker line, better energy retention and larger range it was the pinnacle of Merlin engine equipped spits.

During af failed SEOW campaign I had quite an argument with the admin about increased range compared to the Mk. IX.
In his opinion they had the same range, so we we always flew with the 90 gallon droptank.
Something that placed us in a disadvantage in air-combat and lost me at least one aircraft.
Facing 109s with 50% fuel, when you have a larger than normal fuel capacity+ a ferry droptank decreases the odds drastically.