Motoring Monday: Black Widow TR7 Spider

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Ok, so it’s not a Black Widow, but it is a Spider. Towards the end of Triumph TR7 production, the company produced a “limited edition” Spider with red on black colors, TR8 wheels and distinctive upholstery. They incorporated all the improvements made during TR7 production and are arguably the most desirable TR7’s offered in the US. This one is relatively close to me (at least it’s in the same state!) in Crumpler, North Carolina and is up for sale here on eBay. Bidding is currently at only $1000, but reserve is not yet met. tr7-3

I happen to know the seller through the Triumph Club I belong to, and he’s a stand-up guy, so I have no doubt the car is in the condition he’s describing. The engine runs well and the car’s clutch, brakes, and transmission are said to be perfect. By this point in TR7 production, the transmission and rear axle were largely identical to the more powerful TR8’s. I spent 6 hours this Saturday stripping a TR7 in a junkyard with my son-in-law, so I feel qualified in stating that the components by this point were pretty substantial. Thankfully, I didn’t drop any on my toes, although I did managed to split my shorts wide open while loading the rear axle into our pickup.

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TR7 seats are quite comfortable; the design was used even after Triumph went out of production in the Reliant Scimitar SS1. The large windshield does a much better job of shielding you from wind buffeting than many modern convertibles, and the TR7 has one of the easiest British convertible tops to fold. The interior of this one looks pretty good apart from the aftermarket covers on the steering wheel and the seats. The seller shows a picture with the seat covers pulled back and its apparent that the original rare upholstery has been replaced.

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The car has been painted above the red pinstripe, but the paint below it is factory. There are some paint blemishes and fading on both the hood and trunk lid, but I don’t see any rust. TR7’s that have been taken care of typically don’t have major rust issues, and the shots of this car lead me to believe it’s been well taken care of.

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As you can see from this picture, lots of documentation comes with the car, as well as a nice boot cover. So if you really want a British convertible but the traditional TR’s and MG’s cost too much, consider a nice TR7 like this one. If I weren’t preparing a TR7 race car, I’d be looking at this car very closely.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Mark E

    Now at $3k with reserve met. Looks very nice. If it was, oh say, 1,000 miles closer, I’d be tempted to swing by and take a look at it… -_-

  2. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    The reserve was lower than I expected. Wish this were in the cards; it would be a nice companion to the race car!

  3. Tracy

    Hey Jamie,

    Nice write-up. I may need to contract you do do my ebay listings? I have driven this Spider several hundred miles recently and it runs like a dream. I was tempted to keep the car…..but have too many right now. I looking back on it now made the mistake of getting interested in series III 88″ Rovers. I purchased one with mechanicals completely rebuilt to restore, when I removed the body I am assuming at some point there was a frame under it? I ended up finding another 88″ with great body/frame with a locked engine, so I am taking 2 to build one. And somehow ended up with a Jeepster, that is a story for another day!

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