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One-Owner Time Capsule: 1979 Triumph TR7

Introduced in 1975, the British-built Triumph TR7 was noted for its “wedge” shape design and promoted by the company as the “Shape of Thing to Come.” Together they enabled the sports car to quickly become the best-selling TR in the brand’s history. Initially offered only as a coupe, a convertible arrived in 1979 of which the seller’s car was one. This edition has very low mileage and was recently surrendered to a dealer by its original owner. In survivor-like condition, the car is in Torrance, California, and available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $16,875. But the reserve is unmet and a Buy It Now price of $22,500 is also offered.

While initially welcomed, the TR7 suffered some strike-related quality control problems that took a few model years to sort out. The cars were powered by a 2.0-liter, overhead cam 4-cylinder engine which produced 92 hp in the U.S., thanks to a pair of Zenith-Stromberg carburetors. The TR7 was wickedly fast for its size, reaching 0-60 mph in under 10 seconds and topping out at 112 mph. A 4-speed manual transmission was employed at first, with a 5-speed, like in the seller’s Triumph, coming later. The TR7 continued in production through 1981.

For reasons unknown, the original owner chose to only put 21,500 miles on this TR7 over 43 years. From all visual accounts, this machine presents as being flawless, as though it was just released from a time capsule. The body looks solid with no rust or damage and the Vermillion Red (orange-ish) paint is original, flanked by a black convertible top and a plaid interior in a color combination called “Carmine Red with Beige Tartan Check Cord”. The car is fitted with factory air conditioning, an uncommon option on a car of this nature.

We’re told the Triumph runs smoothly and everything works as it should. As the story goes, the original owner purchased the car in Anaheim, California in February 1980 and detailed service records were kept over the next four decades. The buyer will receive a plethora of documentation, including the original owner’s manual, purchase order, bill of sale, delivery paperwork, all registrations from 1979 to now, and original California blue license plates from new. The Triumph has recently been serviced and should be ready to hit the road. If you’ve been looking for one of these sports cars, it’s unlikely you’d find one in any better condition.


  1. RoughDiamond

    Wow! What a stunning TR7. I’m guessing either the previous owner did not want to be hassled with selling it or on paper the dealer made it appear the previous owner was getting a good trade in value or price for an outright sale. I’ve never seen such a long eBay listing before either.

    Like 5
  2. MattR Member

    So clean. I love the interior. Can you get low-profile metal bumpers for TR7s? A quick search didn’t turn up any.

    Like 3
  3. rick Member

    Purchased a low mileage (25K) TR7 many years ago. Found out why they are always low mileage. Put almost 300 miles on it in three years, not by choice.

    Like 9
  4. CJinSD

    I have the September 1979 issue of Road & Track in front of me. Their TR7 Convertible took 11.5 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, which is pretty much how quick I remember any North American TR7 being. Cracking 10 seconds from 0-60 would have taken a TR8. The TR7 was much quicker than a 1979 MGB, but so was almost everything else.

    Like 3
  5. Claudio

    The look of this in orange with matching interior is awesome , being a ragtop raises it even more
    But all else is a downfall
    I would never pay anywhere close to the asking price
    These cars littered every service stations in my area for years ( montreal,canada )
    Note to buyer
    Get a trailer , you will look and feel safer

    Like 3
  6. Russell

    Absolutely perfect and love the interior. A car is as reliable as you maintain it and I wouldn’t be affraid of owning a TR7 at all. That being said, it deserves a good home, but may be priced a little high.

    Like 2
  7. rick Member

    @Russell. TR7’s had inherit problems that regular maintenance would not have solved. Lucas electrics, cylinder heads with cracks that warped, overheating problems from restricted radiator channels.

    Like 2
  8. Lynn Dockey Member

    Electrics by Lucas. The man who invented darkness. Run away.

    Like 2
  9. jeff austin

    Buy it now price: $22,500… and the oil spots it’ll leave in your garage are free…

    Like 0
  10. Dr Ron

    I managed a British Leyland Triumph Jaguar MG Rover dealership parts department in 1978.
    I was paid a salary plus a commission on parts sold and warranty parts installed in our shop.
    I received VERY GOOD commission checks..
    I had several huge shipping boxes in back full of TR7 heads, radiators, whole wire harnesses, instrumentation and small detritus… Also had at any given time, more than a dozen self puncturing Spitfire fuel tanks and various Lucas and Smiths components.
    The MGB and Midget were probably the most trouble free at least until the warranty was gone.
    Nick Nolte bought his parents matching XJ6 Saloons and Mrs Nolte’s Jag started to smell like a dead rat… on warranty still and only 5 weeks old..
    The shop disassembled that car interior until the most difficult part, the headliner was left intact. Once removed the mechanics found a moldy liverwurst sandwich in the C pillar.
    A note from a soon to strike assembly worker was attached that read : “Hope you enjoy the sandwich mate!”
    The TR8 at least had an engine that’d go past 50K miles.

    Like 3
    • Lynn Dockey Member

      Dr Ron, if u invested wisely u should be s multi millionaire

      Like 1
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Thought I was the only new car buyer with the “lunch included” syndrome. Our new ’66 Buick Skylark had a small rattle in the left rear by the seat. Finally tore the panel out to find an empty Coke bottle and a sandwich wrapper. Thought that might have ended the syndrome but the new “72 Blazer came with a sandwich wrapper painted into the interior floor between the bucket seats under the rubber mat.

      Like 2
      • Lynn Dockey Member

        Read a story about guys on the line tying nuts on loose strings in the doors for built in rattles

        Like 1

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