When Triumph launched the TR7 in 1975, it was a clear signal that the company was making a big change in terms of the direction of the long-lived TR line. And even today, some people will find the wedged-shaped sports car a disappointment after the rorty, six-cylinder TR6.
And It really wasn’t a true TR, as there wasn’t a convertible option at all from launch. Triumph had been forced into taking the decision about it as a tin-top on the back of threatened US legislation banning open-topped cars. In the end, that never happened and the convertible TR7 arrived in 1979.
But for all the criticism over these points and the wedge styling, it sold faster than the TR6 ever had. It’s a much easier car to live with too, driving more like a two-seater saloon than a sports car. It’s also by far the cheapest way to join the ranks of Triumph TR ownership.
In 1980, the V8 powered TR8 was launched. This was the car the TR7 should have been – after all, it was designed to accept the Rover V8 engine from a very early stage in the project. Sadly it arrived too late, was in production for less than two years and nearly all were left-hand drive examples sold in the USA.
A handful of UK cars escaped into the wild – many more have since been created on a DIY basis – some cars clearly have been converted more professionally than others. Brilliant to drive, good fun, and surprisingly effortless to drive.
Reviews, blogs and news stories
The last of a great Triumph line – although few would have believed it to be, when designing this important car back in the optimistic days of the early 1970s. The TR7 looked like nothing else on the road, but couldn’t match the show with enough go… but despite that, it went on to outlive […]
Keith Adams The closure of the Speke factory in 1978 made national news. It was a make or break situation for BL, as it was an unproductive factory, suffering from terrible quality problems – and building the Triumph TR7, which, as we all know, was underdeveloped at launch. The outcome was inevitable, given that the company […]
Florida red eye Richard Truett I’m on the verge of being sacked at work. It’s just days from my 52nd birthday and I’m getting married in less than three months. There’s really only one thing that will help me sort all this: a solo road trip in my 1981 Triumph TR8. Long, lonely hours behind the wheel […]
Seven of the best The Triumph TR7 was misunderstood when new and lacked a certain something, but has since emerged as one of the classic car industry’s most enduring starter cars. But Keith Adams wonders if cheap parts and simple mechanics are enough to make the TR7 a better bet than the vivacious Italian opposition… […]
We all know that the TR7 and TR8 had years of development potential ahead of them, and yet, due to the company’s continual retrenchment, the car was put out to pasture far too early in 1981. Richard Truett, AROnline’s man in the USA, feels the same, and to prove the point, has created an EFi […]
Buy the pen, win the car… When pen company Sheaffer launched a stylish new ball pen called the TRZ in 1981, they spotted an opportunity to use the similarly named TR7 to promote it. Thus, the Triumph TRZ was created. Externally, the car announced itself with bold “Sheaffer” and “TRZ” graphics on the bonnet, boot […]
Worthing-based International Automotive Developments decided to raise its profile with a TR7 facelift project… Anyone visiting stand 146 at the 1980 Brimingham Motor Show would have been able to inspect a facelifted version of the TR7, with glassy, 2+2 fastback styling and a T-bar roof with removable panels. The car, dubbed TRX, was built by […]
Crayford sought to produce a more practical version of the TR7… By the mid-1970s Crayford had established itself as Britiain’s foremost producer of estate and convertible versions of mass-produced cars. When they turned their attention to the TR7, they might have been expected to produce a convertible – particularly as BL’s own drop-top would not […]
The Michelotti Bullet & Lynx Entering the 1970s, Triumph decided on a two-pronged attack on the sports car market: Bullet was the TR6 replacement incorporating, like the Stag, a roll-over bar and T-bar. Lynx was the closed coupé, to replace the GT6. Like all Triumphs since the Herald in 1959 (and excluding the Karmann-designed TR6), […]
Richard Truett The final Triumph TR and the Ford Capri are two of Britain’s most iconic ‘affordable’ sports cars of the 1980s. One, caught up in corporate financial turmoil and never developed to its full potential, died prematurely in October 1981. It is only now being appreciated for its advanced styling, excellent handling, sensible cockpit […]