Plaid Cabin: 1977 Triumph TR7

Bidding seems downright cheap for this clean 1977 Triumph TR7 which features an incredibly well-preserved tartan cloth interior. The TR7 may not be particularly powerful and reliability was nothing short of abysmal, but well-maintained examples make an excellent entry-level hobby car for reasonable money. The seller notes he hasn’t driven the TR7 in several months but was last running well this summer. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $1,595 and no reserve.

The TR7 found plenty of buyers when new, but quality control was so egregious that many fans turned into foes in short order. At the time of its manufacture, assembly line workers and management were embroiled in an ugly strike, so assembly quality was typically suspect. This example looks like it’s been loved, which should help to combat some of the reliability issues less-cherished example are certain to face. And that tartan interior – does it get any better than that?

The TR7 wears old-school temporary Illinois license plates, which could be real or for effect – or simply what the seller had sitting around. Despite its low output, the TR7 had a decent track record in motorsports events, including rally, Trans Am, and IMSA. While those drivers favored the eight-cylinder powerplant that would come later in production car form via the TR8, there’s a lot that can be said about the chassis dynamics that made it so adaptable to different tracks.

Mileage is indicated as being 112,000, which seems pretty average considering it’s not excessively high nor low. When you factor in how clean the cabin and under-hood is, however,  that mileage reading makes the attention to detail and overall cleanness even more impressive. While a TR8 in this sort of condition would be the ultimate find among Triumph’s wedgy coupe family, the colors, condition, and manual transmission make this TR7 a winner.


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  1. Howard A Member

    If there ever was an unwanted Triumph, this is it. When these came out, British loyalists were outraged. This is what replaced our beloved TR6? It’s true, it was a radical departure, one that helped cook the make, but you know, looking at it today, I bet it’s a fun car. About the cheapest British sports car you’ll find today and if I was still looking for a sports car, which I’m not, I’d really look into this.

    Like 2
    • Indy-Joe

      The TR7 was the best selling (most units sold) car Triumph ever made. Apparently somebody thought it was acceptable. (BTW, a 1976 TR7 coupe was my first car. The seats in these are absolutely the most comfortable seat EVER!)

      Like 4
  2. Arthell64 Member

    I remembering wanting one of these came out. A shop teacher at our high school had a yellow tr7 with a sunroof and we thought it was a neat car.

  3. Arthell64 Member

    I tried to sell my 72 gto in 1980 to buy one of these. Lucky for me no one bought the gto and I still have it. At the time I didn’t know this but buying a British car probably would’ve been a bad experience.

    Like 5
  4. steve

    TR7..Oh yes.. The ad campaign included “The shape of things to come”
    A buddy had one with a custom bumper sticker “TR7, the shape of things that were”. The engine has head bolts at two different angles and they would snap off when you were trying to replace the head gasket (again…) I recall having to pry the head up high enough to cut the broken bolts off with a Sawsall thus allowing you to remove the head and then drill out the broken bolts. Shared the design with SAAB? A very modern looking car with some of the worst of old time mechanical issues. A convertible in this condition? Worth owning even with the list of “Oh, not AGAIN” issues you’d have. This is cute but…..

    Like 2
  5. BarnfindyCollins

    This car by serial number is 500 or so after one I had made in August 1977 and technically is a 1978 model. Again this car was made during the disastrous Speke factory strike period when they were trying to get the TR8 pre- production coupes also produced. Looks like a good example though the plaid upholstery trim has been replaced with something close but not quite what it came with. I’d buy it.

  6. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    I know these cars are finickety, but this car looks like a really nice example. If it were closer to Pa, it would definitely be in my garage for that price.

    Like 1
  7. JOHN Member

    I had a roommate that bought one new in 76, and instantly thought he was a race car driver, he wasn’t. Between his regular driving and his drinking and driving problems (fortunately he was never involved in a DWI incident) he wrecked the car numerous times. About all I could say for it was it really, really took a beating and kept going. He was clueless when it came to anything mechanical, so when he attempted to “fix” things, it turned into an all day proposition to change the oil. Fond memories of that car, never liked the looks of it but like I said, it took a severe beating until he traded it in. He ran off a road (drunk) and hit a telephone pole just behind the driver’s door and literally bent the rear of the car and rear axle about 10 degrees or so. Drove it home, and the insurance company fixed it again. Talk about 9 lives…

    Like 2
  8. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Went out at $1975. Seems like a lot of potential fun for not much of a monetary risk. I hope the new owner has some really good times with the car, and has few troubles along the way.

    Like 1
  9. ChrisCoach

    This guy should put this over on the Wedge Shop site or the Wedge club site as there are several for sale there including my last year of production fuel injected convertible with less than 7,000 miles on it!!

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Beautiful car, Chris.

      • ChrisCoach

        Thanks!! Would like to take it with me to Mexico but am worried about importing issues….Hopefully a new caretaker will come along and make me a quick offer!!

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