Gold Coast Gem: 1979 Triumph TR7

031016 Barn Finds - 1979 Triumph TR7 1

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Peter R, who found this fantastic looking 1979 Triumph TR7 Convertible here on Craigslist in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. What an eye-catcher this little sun-catcher is; a gorgeous Gold Coast cruiser! The seller is asking $3,950 for this golden gem.

031016 Barn Finds - 1979 Triumph TR7 2

There have been a few TR7s highlighted on Barn Finds in the last couple of months. Jamie wrote about a 1980 convertible with 853 original miles and it was as juicy and orange as Florida’s main crop is. That one was listed on eBay with an opening bid of $15,300, almost four times the price of this golden example! That’s a lot of change left over in your pocket. Of course, as you know, the TR7 is famous for being one of the finest purveyors of the wedge-shape that was so popular in the 1970s. Triumph’s advertising campaign, The Shape of Things to Come, shown in the commercial here on YouTube, was great. This is 13′-4″ of golden wedge goodness right here.

031016 Barn Finds - 1979 Triumph TR7 4

Luckily, this car comes with the plucky plaid interior and even though the seller mentions that the cloth on the driver’s seat could use some help, replacement material is available. With a bit of work you’ll be back to looking like you’re sitting on a 1970s Savile Row suit again. Who doesn’t like a plaid interior? According to the seller the dash is spotless but the carpets will need cleaning on this unrestored car.

031016 Barn Finds - 1979 Triumph TR7 5

The TR7 is no TR8, but this 2-liter inline-4 could move this topless beauty in a way that satisfied most of the world. Of course Americans, who were used to big, thirsty, powerful muscle cars and endless freeways needed more power, so Triumph added a V8 to the mix; hence the TR8. The seller says that this car runs very well and I don’t doubt it one iota.

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This gorgeous golden droptop is ready to go. Sure, from this angle the rear bumper isn’t exactly a thing of beauty, but those sorts of things happened in the 1970s, it was an era of flux in all things automotive; well, mainly in regulations. All in all, this looks like one fine car and an even finer deal. It’s ready to enjoy now or you can spend a few weekends and make it a show-stopper. Are you ready to soak up some of that golden sun?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Burns Rafferty

    Missing the carb heater pipe, from manifold to airbox.

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  2. Rick

    Having witnessed numerous examples of TR-7s sitting motionless in various locations of the landscape over the past 35 years plus, I can only conclude that they’re junk, and as much as I would enjoy another english sports car (have had MGBs, Midgets,a TR3A) so given the junkiness factor, I cannot see how TR-7 ownership would be enjoyable and am not interested at $3950. Maybe $1500 or $2000? Lucky for me its in Florida and I’m in the opposite corner of the US so its not even a possibility for me thank god. And nobody’s “malborg im plano” it yet . . .

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Rick, having driven a nice TR7 for a while, they aren’t junk. They ARE different enough from a TR6 to alienate some of the traditional TR enthusiasts. However, they are VERY sensitive to cooling issues and have a water pump in a miserable location. This leads to the well known head issues.

      1+

  3. Glen

    Is the gap on the drivers door normal? It looks too big to me.

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  4. angliagt

    Rick,

    Have you ever driven a decent TR7?
    I had the same opinion,listening to others,
    until I drove a nice one.
    Decent power,GREAT handling!

    1+

  5. Mark

    This one looks very nice.

    I bought a red one new in 1976.
    I “think” it was fun to drive. It must have been. I kept it for a couple of years!!

    1+

  6. Joisey Storm

    The “shape of things to come” was almost universally disliked. That and the poor build quality of the TR7, especially the early ones sealed the deal for most people who flocked to the, by then, dated MGB.
    The slant 4 engine is not fun to work on and on many the head bolts just rusted solid making rebuilding them a horror, thus the number of them left by the roadside as Rick pointed out.
    On the other hand, the car was quite comfortable and roomy with creature comforts like a/c…and the shape kind of grows on you.
    However, the TR7 was the Edsel of the Triumph line. Even when they got it right with the TR8, it was too late for the car and for Triumph.
    TSI in Pandora, Ohio supports these cars still and is your go to place for parts and advice. The owner, Ted Schumacher, raced TR8s for the factory and helped me many times when I owned a TR8 in this same gold color, which looked more handsome in person than in pix.
    I would drive this till the 4 banger died and replace it with a Rover V8 which is a much better engine in all ways.

    1+

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      +1 for Ted! The best 🙂 There are other good folks too, like Woody at the Wedge Shop, TRF, etc.

      1+

    • Pete Slade

      Almost universally disliked, but outsold the TR6 by some margin. Just because the traditionalists weren’t interested doesn’t make it a bad car.
      I owned a convertible example for many years alongside a TR4A and both were great in their own way.

      1+

  7. Fred

    I’m not an English sports car guy- but did ANY of them have good build quality? Or any English car short of Rolls/Bentley for that matter?

    0

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Fred, I could write a book on this one. However, one of the real issues was that they required more frequent and more extensive maintenance procedures than a typical American car, and generally didn’t receive them on this side of the pond.

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    • ROAR

      Unfortunately the first ones were problematical but by now they’ve either been fixed or turned into new toyotas etc. The later are the same as the TR-8 V8’s but for several hardware changes, if you want a small FAST, roadable car that’s easy and inexpensive find a Buick/Olds/Pontiac/Rover/MG/TVR/Morgan engine and tranny,etc, the chassis is up to it! I know, I thrash mine daily

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  8. rangeroger

    Speaking of British V-8s, although the Rover started life as a Buick, does anyone know where I can get a 2.5L Diamler?
    I really want to stuff one in my Midget.

    1+

    • ROAR

      Rangeroger: I have a short block–good crank, rods cam etc if you find a blown one.
      805-481-8025

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  9. John

    I can’t get beyond the simple fact that this an ugly little car. The roadster is less ugly than the hard top. I have always wanted to like it, but I never could.

    0

  10. Bruce

    No love for the Wedge. They are fun to drive. I had a couple over the years, carving turns thru a mountain highway was a blast.
    For all of you on the Western side of the US, I have a 79 Poseidon Green DHC TR7 that I will make someone a good deal on.

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  11. MountainMan

    I like these, have had a couple Triumphs but have yet to own a TR7. I think most folks who dislike them haven’t spent much time behind the wheel of one. The maintenance they need is more than some other cars of the era but it’s not more than most car gut can handle if they like to work on stuff. This one looks like it’s been well cared for and will likely sell quickly bringing the asking price or close to it.

    1+

  12. Alan (Michigan)

    Looking at the photos, I’d not be surprised at all if a close inspection would reveal the presence of bondo along the bottoms of the doors and other lower body areas.

    Call me the skeptic, but something just does not look “survivor” to me about this car.

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  13. harryv8

    i had 5 of them in the last 30 years , all kind of conditions, early ones are bad with VIN starting with ACG , last one a “Spider edition “was a great driver .. still mis this one. This car looks average have seen better survivers .. so altough i am in the market i let this one go.. last years 1981/82 have the best build quality

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  14. Keith Matheny

    Oooh, another wedge. I liked these when they were new, and I was much younger, ha ha. This color is outstandingly different. Never had many problems with my multiple Spits, or that TR3, but they were old engineering, not this so much.
    This should be a Canley built car, not as bad as the early ones. PPI is a must with any of these. Especially where the trailing arms mount, and the battery/cowl area.

    I’ve resisted so far, need to finish the other unloved, poorly maintained, ’70’s/’80’s import vehicle in the barn first, (124 spider)! The interiors on these were as roomy as the Fiats! Two ample bodies would not rub shoulders in this like a 6 or a B, lol.

    I’d drive the snot out of it till the engine gave out, then I have this V6 with the beautiful intake runners sitting on an engine stand that would make this more of a hotrod than a Rover would.
    Can you say TR7.5?

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  15. PRA4SNW

    There’s no denying that they are real attention getters, back then and even more so now.

    I have always liked them and would think hard about a -7 or -8 droptop if a decent local copy became available.

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  16. angliagt

    One thing that I’ve noticed about TR7s –
    people either like them,or hate the look of them,
    no middle ground.
    I like them.

    0

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