Motoring Monday: Four TR7’s And A TR8

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I’d like to thank Barn Finds reader Brian C for making me wish I were 2,843 miles closer to the west coast! He sent in this terrific find from Seattle, Washington, and if they were anywhere close to here I’d be going to get them rather than writing this post. Five Triumph wedges, four TR7’s and a TR8, located in Granite Falls, Washington, all for a single price of $3,500. And for you sharp-eyed Volvo fans out there, I couldn’t find an ad for the Bertone coupe in the front corner, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for sale as well. The cars are advertised here on craigslist. I am compelled to point out that more TR7’s were sold than any other model of the Triumph TR series, and if you follow this site you know I will be racing one in the future, so despite some people’s dislike of them, I think they are great cars. I wonder, though, what prompted this large collection by one person?

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The seller goes into some detail about each car. The yellow coupe has no engine or transmission, but looks like a solid body shell (a lot more solid than my race car!) The red-orange convertible has been re-engined with a GM V-6, I’m guessing a Buick one as there are kits available to do that, but the seller can’t get the hood up to show us what’s there. I’ve ridden in a V-6 TR7 and it was a well-balanced combination, so that car is certainly interesting. The aqua car in the lower part of the picture with the oxidized paint is the TR8.

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If you’re not familiar with the TR8, it was Triumph’s last gasp at a powerful sports car – and they hit a home run! Powered by the lightweight aluminum-block 3.5 liter V8, TR8’s are prized among enthusiasts now. This one obviously needs some work, but what looks like an Edelbrock manifold and 4-barrel carburetor bring back memories of the same combination on our old TR8 that I wish we still had. It’s good to see the a/c compressor as well; R134A conversions have been quite successful on these cars. The seller is willing to split the TR8 from the herd for $1,800.

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The damage to the paint on the TR8 and the silver tarps covering the cars worry me. The seller talks about the two other cars that we can’t see in the pictures because they are covered up. One is described as a disassembled TR7 Spider with fresh black paint – but I wonder about the condition of the paint if it’s been under a tarp for any length of time. The Spider was the last special edition of the TR7 convertible and features special paint, decals upholstery and wheels. The other one is gray (like mine!) and does have an original engine and transmission. I really wish I knew the backstory here; I’d love to know why five wedges ended up in the same place! I so wish these were closer, anyone out there that can take a closer look for us?

 

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Comments

  1. jim s

    it has been on CL for 13 days. seller needs to take some more photos. is there someone close that wants 5 TR’s for just $3500? maybe a race team or two in the area. great find.

  2. Mark E

    Complaining that you aren’t 2,843 miles closer? Tch. Move to Minnesota. Then you’ll be about 1,200 miles from 95% of the listings on here… -_-;

  3. Dolphin Member

    The TR8 might be worth the $1800 the seller wants, especially if the engine and transmission are good and the tranny is a 5-speed. But I would pass on trying to make it into a reliable driver because the car looks like it needs everything and the transmission info in the listing says “other” (=automatic?).

    Besides, OK running TR8s that don’t need paint and lots of fixing can be had for about $4-5K, and $8-$10K will get you a good driver that needs little or nothing.

    Stock with injection or Stromberg carbs they are lazy performers. They need an aftermarket intake manifold and 4-barrel carb to perform well. It looks like the TR8 engine might have that, but the ad doesn’t have any information to go on and after a second look it looks like a 2-barrel. I thought for exactly 1.75 minutes about buying the TR8, keeping the engine for an MGB V8 project, and parting out the rest…..but there’s no information in the ad, the seller doesn’t pick up the phone, and the phone mailbox is full.

    I’m interpreting that as a message that it’s time to move on the the next idea. But if anyone does buy the TR8 I’d like to know if the engine runs and whether it has a 5-speed.

    • Garlin

      I think the only automatic TR8s were the preproduction white ones with a hardtop but I’m not positive about that. If I’m correct then it should be a 5 speed unless it’s been repainted or an automatic has been swapped in.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Actually, there were some convertible automatics as well, although not very many (single digit, I think?). A good friend of mine was almost killed in her’s by a drunk driver. Most, but not all, of the pre-production coupes (which were a range of colors, btw) were automatics; I previously owned a pre-production with a 5-speed. I would agree, though, that the odds are very high that this one has a 5-speed.

      • Dolphin Member

        I found 2 automatic TR8 convertibles for sale when I was actively looking, and they were cheaper than comparable 5-speeds, but I passed because I didn’t want the hassle and expense of finding the parts I would need. Other TR8s were available at OK prices that had 5-speeds, so there was no reason for dealing with the conversion.

        For what it’s worth, those 2 cars were between 5 and 10% of the cars I found for sale at the time.

  4. OhU8one2

    That V-8 Rover engine was originally designed by Buick who then sold the plans to Rover Group. Almost every V-8 to come out of U.K. was that engine. Land Rover,Morgan,MG,etc………. I would build it like the 2004 Discovery II at 4.6 litre’s a performance intake and carb with a true dual exhaust,why that TR8 would be an absolute blast to drive. My only worry would be if the factory brake’s could handle the power. What a great cruiser.

  5. erikj

    I.m Only 60 miles away and that tr8 has got me interested . If I go I will take pics and give all that whant to know my take.

  6. cameron k

    These aren’t of much interest to me, but why doesn’t someone contact the owner to get details? For the time it takes to post a comment, more information could be obtained.

  7. The Chucker

    I worked on a TR7 years ago and it was an interesting education in the black art of Lucas wiring and front fenders that are integrated into the car’s structure. I clearly remember this, and bumpers that seemed to weigh a ton!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Boy, are you ever right about the bumpers, especially those on the convertibles, which had weight added to try to tune out vibrations!

  8. Seth

    Had a 76 tr7 with a genuine luscas 12000 mile alternator

  9. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    BTW, if anyone knows of a TR8 transmission for sale, or even just the bellhousing, I need one badly…let me know!

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