1980 Triumph TR7
The history books have yet to be written on the Triumph TR7, but if this fantastic 1980 example is any indicator, perhaps they'll have their day in the sun yet. In fact, this might be the nicest TR7 you'll ever see, and with a fully sorted driveline, it remains a fantastic way to have fun in a British sports car for not a lot of cash. Of course, painting it Brooklands Green never hurts, and while the wedge-shaped TR7 was a big departure from the traditional 2-seater, it does have its own appeal. For those of us who grew up with these cars running around, it's a familiar face whose Star Wars looks have aged gracefully. There's certainly no mistaking it for anything else, and how many cars built today can make that claim? Finish quality is extremely good, and not just for a TR7. Someone spent a big pile of money on the paint and bodywork and it shows. Gaps are probably better than new and they certainly weren't spraying paint this deep and shiny back in the '80s. It does not appear to have ever been a rusty car, which is a rare find all by itself, and even the big rubber bumpers show minimal signs of age with no cracking or chalky look from UV damage. A big gold Triumph decal on the nose is a reminder of who built it, while another set out back on the trunk lid point it out even more clearly. Look carefully at this car and see if it doesn't start to grow on you. The handsome tan interior is like new, showing amazing preservation and careful restoration where needed. The bucket seats are remarkably comfortable and for a small car, there's plenty of room once you're settled behind the wheel. The layout is much more contemporary than you'd expect, with big, round gauges, a thick steering wheel, and a slick-shifting 5-speed manual transmission that's just inches away. The squared-off dashboard is typical '80s but it works well in the angular TR7 and we actually really like the interesting shapes on top. An AM/FM radio still lives in the dash and sounds decent and yes, that's working factory A/C! Overhead, there's a snug-fitting tan convertible top that folds with ease and disappears under a matching tan boot to give the TR7 a very sleek profile. Another benefit to the TR7's wedge shape is a fairly spacious trunk that hides the spare tire underneath so it doesn't get in the way. The 2.0 liter inline-4 delivers a reasonable 92 horsepower thanks to a pair of side-draft carburetors that should be familiar to British sports car enthusiasts. Sturdy and reliable, the engine has an enthusiastic demeanor that suits the sporty look of the car, and in the years since it was built, it has obviously been well maintained. It starts easily, idles well, and pulls the 2-seater around with gusto, letting loose with great 4-cylinder sounds from the oversized stainless exhaust pipe out back. The 5-speed gearbox snaps through the gates easily and clutch action is light, so you will quickly find this Triumph to be a great dance partner. There's still a live axle out back, but thanks to a set of trailing arms and a rather large sway bar, it remains planted and faithfully follows the front end. A clean undercarriage, solid structural members, and no signs of trouble all make this TR7 a great find. Handsome factory alloys are fitted and carry 185/70/13 radials that look right. Someone took exceptional care of this TR7, making it the best we've ever seen. For an affordably-priced British sports car, perhaps it deserves a second chance to make a first impression. Come see it today!