carwryter None
8/17/09 11:49 a.m.

Consider Triumph’s much-maligned wedge. The car’s controversial shape—critics called it a flying doorstop, a wacky wedge and worse—ignited a firestorm. The TR7 suffered some serious burns at the hands of the factory, the press and consumers, and the TR8 emerged from the ashes of this wildfire. To fully appreciate the TR8, it’s important to empathize with its predecessor’s plight.

During the TR7’s debut, Italian master designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, after walking around the car and seeing the peculiar body sculpting with the deep, curved swage line on its flank, reportedly said, “My God! They’ve done it on this side as well.”

Years later, the editors of Time included the 1975 TR7 in its list of the 50 worst cars of all time, describing the design as “fit to chop wood.” They called it “horribly made,” citing the car’s many electrical problems (“The thing had more short-circuits than a mixing board with a bong spilled on it…and headlights that refused to open their peepers”), not to mention equally irritating and destructive mechanical issues (“Timing chains snapped. Oil and water pumps refused to pump, only suck”).

In his book “Triumph TR7 & TR8 1975-1981,” Triumph expert James Taylor says that “a rough early TR7 is likely to be a constant source of trouble and disappointment.”

Even today—more than 30 years after the shape was introduced—some Triumph purists refuse to consider any wedge a true Triumph.

A very bad rap indeed. But if the car was that bad, how did the humble TR7 manage to become Triumph’s all-time best selling TR, surpassing even the beloved TR6? Does this car actually deserve to be ranked—as Time did—right alongside the lamentable Trabant? And how did its muscular and seldom seen sibling, the TR8, motor on to become a cult car of sorts, a latter-day Sunbeam Tiger? Are those who own these last-of-the-line British sports cars actually having the last laugh?

Read the rest of the story

TR8owner HalfDork
3/21/11 4:33 p.m.

This was a really great article about the TR7/TR8. I've owned a lot of Brits in the past, but my TR8 is a keeper.

11/23/12 3:40 p.m.

Great artical, I like to read all I can find on these great , underated cars. I have never driven a tr8 but am looking forward to it,

I have 4 tr7s , 3 dhc, 1 coupe, and a tr8 dhc. I love my little wedges, I am looking forward to building my 8, I have never "raced" my 7s but played alot, they are a blast! My 80 tr7 dhc is well known in MB CAN. as it is most carshows around our area. My 7 was a rough car at best when i got it , now its a gem. My tr8 is a bush parked ,rusty non running lump as of when i got it, But it will be transformed into a gem.It is a AUG 81 built car with injection, and a 5spd. I cant wait to hear it purr and drive it like it was built to do!

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
7/10/19 1:38 p.m.

I've gone through this article and updated the photos and added the new prices. Hope everyone enjoys!

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