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Triumph TR7: Collectors Dream, or Nightmare?
All the chintz of an era Boomers would like to forget.
Behold the Triumph TR7, hailing from the halcyon days of a wedge-shaped world. Produced from 1975 to 1981, it was touted in motoring press as "the shape of things to come." The original design comes from Harris Mann, who also designed the Austin/Morris Princess.
The TR7 is powered by a 1,988 cc, eight-valve, four-cylinder engine; producing 105bhp at 5,500 rpms. Initially offered with a four-speed manual gearbox; an optional five-speed manual, and a three-speed automatic were available starting in 1976.
To keep you on the road, the TR7 is fitted with an independent front suspension using coil springs and damper struts. There are front and rear anti-roll bars. A four-link system with coil springs is at the rear. Disc brakes on the front, and drums on the rear, are all that keep you from wrapping yourself around a tree.
In all the chintz of an era Boomers would like to forget, a 1978 "contest" sponsored by Coca Cola and Levi's, gave away three special TR7s as prizes. They featured special red and white Coca Cola livery, and denim upholstery with jean patch pockets on the interior door panels. Two are known to have survived.
The TR7 isn't all that rare. Over 100,000 were made, and build quality is abysmal. A quick perusal of Bring a Trailer shows you'll have to cough up about $10k to get your hands on a decent one. Hagerty reports a 1,000 original mile convertible sold in 2017 for a spectacular $24,200.00. It's doubtful we'll see prices like that again anytime soon.
Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead clash heads over restoring a TR7 with a clean enough body and a bad ride. Mike thinks he got is cheap; Ant isn't looking forward to fiddling with the "Prince of Darkness" electrics, or the out of synch Zenith twin carburetors.