1981 Triumph TR7
The Triumph name dates back to the late 19th century when the company started importing and soon after manufacturing bicycles. In 1921 Triumph acquired the Dawson Car Company and started manufacturing Triumph branded motor vehicles shortly thereafter. In the mid 1940’s Triumph was acquired by the Standard Group. Post the Second World War Triumph blossomed and it became a serious and successful car manufacturer. Leyland Motors purchased Standard (and Triumph) in late 1960 and a subsequent merger with British Motor Holdings (which was created from a merger between BMC and Jaguar) created British Leyland.
The TR series Triumphs stand as iconic British sports cars that are well known and loved by enthusiasts all over the world. It started back in 1952 when the Triumph 20TS, a prototype sports car which later became known as the TR1, was shown at the London Motor Show. Reactions were mixed, however, Triumph thought they were on to a good thing and the prototype evolved into the TR2 that was subsequently shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 1953. Triumph built over 8,500 of these 1991cc 4 cylinder sports cars from 1953 – 1955 and the rest they say is history. The model evolved into the TR3 (produced from 1955 – 1962), the TR4 (built from 1961 – 1965), the TR4A (built from 1965 – 1967), the TR5 (built from 1967 – 1968) and ultimately the TR6 (1969 – 1976). Subsequent TR models were interesting cars but it’s fair to say the evolution of the TR2 finished at the TR6.
Triumph’s ‘new car’, the TR7 was introduced in late 1974 to mixed reviews. The wedge shape was cool, but the car was nothing like its predecessor, the TR6. The reaction to the TR7 was very similar to what Jaguar received when they introduced the XJ-S to replace the E-Type. It was polarising. However, like the XJ-S, the TR7 was an immediate hit in North America! People loved the car! Everything about it was pretty cool and ‘so seventies’, from its unique wedge shaped design through to its bold colour options and the contrasting tartan interior. The early TR7’s were not terribly well built, they were also under powered but they were well priced and people just kept buying them. The Triumph TR7 was a great success and just over 112,000 coupes were built along with almost 29,000 convertibles.
The TR7 is powered by a 1998cc, 4 cylinder engine that in Australian specification was stated as delivering 105 bhp. Mated to a 5 speed gearbox, the Triumph, performed pretty well sprinting from 0-100 km/hr in around 11 seconds and if you are brave enough a top speed of just under 180 km/hr.
The Triumph TR7 has somewhat of a cult following today, but it is hard to find a good one. Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an Australian delivered, factory right hand drive 1981 Triumph TR7 that is in excellent condition.
To be blunt, a Triumph TR7 is probably not a car we would normally handle but we fell in love with this car and just had to have it! The Australian compliance plate is dated 4/81 and the ID tag notes this car’s original paint code of “FAB” which is ‘inca yellow’ and the trim code as “RAH’” which is ‘navy blue check’ . This is how the car is presented today. Incredibly the car has its original book set which notes the selling dealer as John Thompson Sports Cars from Parramatta Rd in Sydney and a delivery date of the 6th November 1981. The first owner is noted as Mr John Valtoudis from Randwick, an inner Sydney suburb. The car was first registered as JV950.
The subsequent early history is not definitely known, however, the car is understood to have found its way north to Newcastle by the late 1980’s. It was acquired by a local enthusiast off a car dealer in 1989. The car remained in single ownership through until 2016 when acquired by another Newcastle car dealer. The car was sold in January 2017 to a collector based on the Gold Coast. At the time the odometer was at 17,411 km. A change in his circumstances has now resulted in this rather cool car being offered for sale. Today the odometer reads 18,011 km.
This Triumph TR7 presents beautifully. Finished in its original colour scheme of ‘inca yellow’, the car carries an older repaint exceptionally well. All of the exterior trim, including the rubber bumpers, badges and the decals are in very good condition. The wheels are also in very good condition. The car is as clean underneath as it is on top and it looks to be structurally excellent. You would almost buy this car because of its interior which is Lotus Esprit Series 1 type cool! The ‘blue check’ complements the yellow paintwork perfectly and it is in ‘as new’ condition all round. All of the plastics are in excellent condition, including the dash which is free from any cracks. The carpet is also in excellent condition.
This car starts easily and it drives well. It is perhaps suffering a little from lack of use in recent times and it would benefit from a service and probably a good drive. That said the car did everything expected of it and it performed really well on our recent test drive. The engine feels strong and the gearbox is good. The car steers, handles and stops as expected and there are no rattles and squeaks other than with squeaky brakes which settled down after everything warmed up. The engine bay is relatively clean and tidy though it would benefit from a detail to take the car up to an exceptional level.
Finding a good Triumph TR7 is surely a challenge and the restoration of this car by its previous long term owner was surely a labour of love!
We love it and you can now own it!
- Triumph TR7
- 18,011 km