Concepts and prototypes : IAD TRX

Worthing-based International Automotive Developments decided to raise its profile with a TR7 facelift project called the IAD TRX…

The design the company came up with was a very 1980s incarnation of the oh-so 1970s Triumph it’s based upon. If you have any pictures of the completed car, we’d love to hear from you

An unlikely star in Birmingham


Anyone visiting stand 146 at the 1980 Brimingham Motor Show would have been able to inspect a facelifted version of the Triumph TR7. It had glassy, 2+2 fastback styling and a T-bar roof with removable panels.

The car, dubbed IAD TRX, was built solely to promote the company’s capabilities in the field of design and development. The project brief was to change the appearance of the car while keeping the fundamental structure as original as possible.

The windscreen and surround were retained unaltered, along with much of the car’s superstructure, while all-new external body panels were fashioned in steel and plastics, with General Electric Plastics helping to fund the project. The interior was also given a comprehensive makeover.

IAD TRX: Styled to win


IAD embarked on the project with the full approval of Rover Triumph and in cooperation with the company’s drawing office. It had been keen to ensure that it would not unwittingly pre-empt anything that BL might itself have had under development.

The fact that BL gave the project its blessing can be interpreted as a clear indication that the ostensibly similar in-house Lynx and Broadside projects were dead in the water by the end of the 1970s.

IAD went on to establish an international reputation in the field of automotive design, with notable achievements including building the full-scale prototype for the iconic Mazda MX-5 (Miata).

In 1994, the company was acquired by Daewoo and became the Korean company’s European Design and Technical Centre. Chris Milburn, who had formerly worked for Roy Axe’s Design Research Asssociates, became its Chief Designer in July 2000.


Declan Berridge

Without Declan’s hard work, this site simply wouldn’t exist. An avid car enthusiast with a fleet including two ADO16s and a pair of classic Fiats, Declan’s choice of classics is second to none…


    • FWIW there is a BBC 1980 Birmingham Motor Show review on Youtube – rather cringeworthy, although it does show the Stephens Cypher, but no sign of the IAD stand.

  1. Concepts and prototypes : IAD TRX
    According to a double sided A4 colour flyer designed to be handed out at the Motor Show,
    The TRX was…”An Exercise in Promotion”
    “The TRX interior was changed to face – lift the internal appearance.
    Assistance and partial finance for the also provided TRX project were by
    General Electric Plastics”
    The above appeared in three Languages
    English ,French, & German.
    The flyer was designed & produced  by  F S Technical Publicity Shoreham by Sea Sussex

  2. I visited the 1980 NEC Motor Show (so long ago) but never remember seeing this car. Shame, but it was still a good day out

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