Motoring Monday: 1976 Triumph TR7

1976 Triumph TR7

The shape of things to come. That was Triumph’s advertising slogan when the TR7 was first introduced in 1975. Despite being the TR with the highest production figures, not many of the early coupes have survived. This one located in East Aurora, New York was recently pulled from a barn after 29 years of storage and was last on the road in 1982. It’s offered here on craigslist for only $500 or best offer!

Image Courtesy of drive-my.com
Image Courtesy of drive-my.com

Unlike some Triumph enthusiasts, I really like the wedges. I’ve owned three (plus one TR8) and a TR7 coupe is just a nice place to spend one’s driving time. The seats and ergonomics are far more comfortable than other period British cars and the structural integrity of the shell is really quite good. I got to meet Harris Mann, the designer of the controversial shape, at last year’s VTR convention and I’m happy to say he not only still likes the shape but he’s proud of it. The interior of this car is not shown in the ad pictures, but considering it states the carpet is gone and the interior is “rough”, the seller is not making me optimistic. On the bright side, all components except this original plaid cloth are available, and there is even a company in Australia making molded carpet kits. The Triumph Wedge Owners Association and the Vintage Triumph Register support the cars in a big way. Even though I don’t own a wedge at the moment, I’ve stayed a member of the email list due to the high content to garbage ratio and enjoyable personalities.

1976 Triumph TR7 Engine

Getting back to our $500 (or less) example, under the hood looks neglected but complete. The seller has had difficulties trying to get it started (no big surprise) and it’s possible the engine is even locked up, although the seller states they have gotten it to move a little. On the bright side, I see a lot of components intact that have usually been removed. The strut towers look solid, and even the seam between the nose and front fender, a vulnerable place for rust, looks in great shape. The ad also mentions some electrical issues.  I have found that often the faults are easily traceable to bad grounds or connections, items easily rectified by the home enthusiast.

Triumph TR7

Chipped paint on the cast pop-up headlamps is a common issue, but as a whole the paint isn’t all that bad, and certainly wouldn’t be the first thing I’d worry about. If you can get the engine to turn over, the possibilities are endless. If not, and you want to create a TR8, there are several specialists that would be happy to help you, and plenty of local clubs with expertise in addition to the national clubs mentioned above. Should you buy this and need the rear rail for the luggage rack (it’s missing), let me know and I’ll send you one for free. I wish this were closer to me, I’d be all over it…is it close enough to you?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. cory

    Not a bad price. But I’m still not over all the bad memories I have of these. This looks like a good deal for someone, and sadly I am almost tempted by it.

  2. Paul

    I had an ’80 convertible back in the mid-80s. Really liked it. Had just 2 main issues with it. First, the transmission blew up in the far left lane of the San Diego freeway, I managed to coast it off the freeway and up the off ramp with only a couple of cars laying on the horn. No forward gears.

    Second, I took a turn a little to fast in a fun canyon near my house in San Diego, and met the guard rail. That’s not the cars fault, that’s the drivers fault of course. Fixed that and drove it another year before leaving Southern California.

  3. MH

    Is it right hand drive?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      If you are going by the interior picture, that was from a brochure, not this car. I’m sure the car for sale is LHD.

      • Brian

        I was just thinking how amazing the interior was on this car and was begining to assume that the restoration was an “inside out” job!

  4. seth

    had a 76 TR7 that we bought new. Was very light in the rear. scary in the rain or dew as the rear wanted loose traction. Ours had factory air that worked well. Had the usual Lucas issues with a 12,000 mile alternator that cost $125 to replace back then Got rid of it when we had our first kid. Was a blast to drive

  5. Thom

    I had TR-3, TR-4 and TR-4 never a 7 –to bad it’s in NY or I’d be tempted since it looks like a good solid start to a decent car.

  6. Brian

    Yet another car that I once hated but am softening up on! Particularly the convertibles!

    At this rate, I’m going to start having kind words for 1990s Honda Civics! Perish the thought!

  7. Bruce Rolfe

    I have many,many spare parts for the TR 7s. Including a NOS black and white houndstooth interior.

  8. zaphod

    Find them, dismantle them, wipe them from the face of the earth. Rusty un-reliable end to the proud TR line.

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