"The English Corvette". Hailed as the "the shape of things to come', during it's introduction in 1974, the all new TR7 body was initially designed by Harris Morris as a coupe and 'Drophead' Targa. The original TR7 became known as the "wedge design" and it carried the Dolomite 1850cc 4 cyl. Triumph engine rated at 88 bhp.
By 1977-78, Triumph released a dramatically improved 8 CYLINDER version. It was first developed as a 'prototype' and powered by their Single Overhead Cam V8 engine. All were 3 speed automatics! Officially dubbed "TR7 V8's", it is written that, only 145 cars were built. Very few of these still exist.
In order to compete in the active sports car 'performance race' of the Era, more changes were about to come. Next, an engine swap to the super reliable 3528cc Rover V8. A few of these stayed in the UK, while the bulk were shipped to America. It was received well, despite the hefty price increase. The unusually strong British pound, which posted at $2.40 to the dollar at that time, caused this model to be priced just over $11,800 USD. This resulted in making the new Triumph an excellent choice versus the Corvette, which was base priced at $13,965 and weighed in at 3206 lbs.( it's 305 cubic inch V8 only offered 47 more hp- &B 456 lbs. more!)
That resulted in the TR8 Triumph subsequently became known on the streets as "The English Corvette". By 1979, the long awaited, full production "convertible" model was revealed. Designed by Michelotti, it was dubbed the 'TR8 Drophead' ( English speak for "convertible"). Originally equipped with Triumph's own Single Overhead Cam V8 (found in the Triumph Stag) it was upgraded to a 'Rover V8'. This at a sizeable weight reduction! These engines, derived from G.M.'s Olds & Buick, were 3.5 litre, 215 cubic-inch V8's with Aluminum blocks. Fuel was INITIALLY provided through twin Zenith Strombergs, however, the California spec versions, and 20 of the UK equipped cars, were fitted with a different fuel system. By production end, in 1981, they carried Bosch fuel injection units and performed 0-60 in 8 sec. All featured a characteristic 'hood bulge', which delineated the factory V8 installation. It is written the last series of TR8's were offered, with both, an Automatic or 5- speed Gearbox option, plus: 3:08 rear differential, upgraded Brakes, Trunk Mounted Battery, Alloy Wheels and Leather Covered Steering Wheel. Only 2,497 of these were ever produced and production ceased in Oct. 1981 .Our little "pocket-rocket" is equipped with the desirable Manual Transmission.
Facts on this car: Hailing from South Fla., it is a rust-free, beauty heavily Optioned w/ Orig. Equip. and upgraded with the following improvements: Re- spray in factory correct "Snap Dragon Yellow" with excellent Tan Interior & Dash, Five-speed Manual Gearbox, 215ci V8/133 bhp. with "California conversion": Holley Carb, Motor just tuned, Radically improved performance Exhaust Headers & Sports Mufflers. Lambs Wool Seat Covers, Black 'Canvas' Top, Chrome Tailpipe Covers, clean Engine Bay, Radiator completely rebuilt to new, Tinted Glass, Power Rack & Pinion Steering, 28,201 miles showing, Senior owner, Air Conditioning, orig. Alloy Wheels restored w/ Spare/tire change Bag w/tools, weight 2750 lbs. She SOLD @$18,000. A great Buy!!
Footnote: Latest NADA Classic value guide 2020 valued at $20,900 average- $30,400 top cond. Makes this a great buy!! Info source: Conceptcarz, Autosnout, Wikipedia and Factory Brochure.