Tag Archives: TR7

Golden Wonder Scottish Champion – Triumph TR7

In 1976 Triumph initiated a Rally Programme with it’s TR7 model initially in 2 litre 16 valve 4 cylinder Sprint form and finally in 280 hp 3.5 litre / 215 cui V8 form.

Triumph TR7, TNF Herts Film Show, Ware

Legend has it that today’s featured car was loitering in the Triumph compound of the Triumph Press Depeartment when Triumph Competitions Manager John Davenport was invited to take his pick of four cars for the 1978 season SJW548W was the last of the four allegedly chosen because they were; white, without sunroofs and closest to the entrance which John entered to make his selection.

Triumph TR7, TNF Herts Film Show, Ware

However SJW458S is known to have originally been a Carmine coloured TR7 with a Sprint motor so more likely John Davenport chose four cars whose registration numbers were transferred to the teams scratch built rally cars, SJW458S was the 11th works TR7 to be built the third never to have been in competition with a Sprint engine .

Triumph TR7, TNF Herts Film Show, Ware

Like the Works Rally Spitfire I looked at last week this TR7 was refitted as a left hand drive car so that European drivers; Jean luc Therier, Simo Lampinen and Per Eklund could drive it.

Triumph TR7, TNF Herts Film Show, Ware

During the 1978 season both Jean Luc and Simo recorded retirements when they drove SJW 458S on the Tour de Corse and RAC Lombard Rally respectively.

Triumph TR7, TNF Herts Film Show, Ware

Peter Eklund and Mike Broad scored the cars best result in the 1979 season with a second overall on the Mintex Rally while Simo recorded 12th and 13th place finishes on the 1979 Welsh and Scottish Rallies.

Triumph TR7, TNF Herts Film Show, Ware

Scottish air traffic controller Ken Wood bought SJW 485S for the 1981 Scottish Rally championship in which he and Peter Brown narrowly finished 2nd before making amends and winning the 1982 Scottish Rally Championship with the cars new sponsor Golden Wonder.

My thanks to owner Steve Rockingham who kindly trailered SJW485S to a recent TNF Herts Film show and kindly left it in the snow for the day to be deservedly admired.

Thanks for joining me on this Golden Wonder Scottish Champions edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be sharing the tail of the Derrington Francis Formula One car.

Don’t forget to come back now !


Nice Door Handles – Morris Marina ADO 28

With the merger of Jaguar with British Motor Corporation in 1966 the new merger was renamed British Motor Holdings and after a further merger with Leyland commercial vehicles the corporation became known as British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968. British Leyland as it was known decided that the Austin and Morris brands should be differentiated in the early 1970’s with Austin vehicles being based around the front wheel drive (FWD) concept pioneered by Ales Issignosis with models like the Mini, 1100 and 1800 series vehicles while Morris vehicles would be more traditional with front engines driving rear axles (RWD) as they had on the Morris Minor and Morris Oxford models.

Morris Marina, Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet

The design of the Marina coded ADO 28 was started by Roy Haynes who’s CV included the design of the popular Mk II Ford Cortina, however a disagreement over a common floor pan to share between models as espoused by Roy led to him quitting and Triumph Designer Harry Webster finishing the job by which time the intended Macpherson strut front suspension had been abandoned in favour of Morris Minor style tortion bars and a new gearbox design was abandoned in favour of an existing item from the Triumph parts bin.

Morris Marina, Atwell Wilson Museum, Calne

All in all the development costs of the conservative RWD concept Marina ended up exceeding those of the more radical FWD Allegro which was developed to be Austin’s competitor in the small family car market. Production facilities at Cowley had to be upgraded which included some comedy as an overpass was built so that the motors could be sent from a plant on the opposite side of a municipal road to the assembly plant, no sooner had the overpass been completed than the municipality offered to sell the road which British Leyland did not think twice to accept.

Morris Marina, Qwara, Malta

On a positive note the AMC Ambassador inspired vertical hinged door handles were a huge hit with Lotus founder Colin Chapman who specified them for use on the Lotus Elite, Eclat and Esprit models, Marina door handles were also adopted by Scimitar for the GTE shooting break while British Leyland used the same handles on the Triumph TR7/TR8, Austin Allegro and they eventually even found their way, finished in matt black, onto the Land Rover Discovery Series I.

Morris Marina, Cotswolds Classic Car Club, Frogsmill, Andoversford

Marina cars were powered by a variety of motors most common of which for the UK market was a 57 hp 4 cylinder A series which did not do much for performance but kept the handling within safer limits than the heavier more powerful motors which promoted lane changing understeer / push which induced the odd brown trousers moment for some Marina pilots.

Morris Marina, Cotswolds Classic Car Club, Frogsmill, Andoversford

The Marinas seen here are in order top to bottom a ’72 Coupé at the Bristol Classic Car Show, Shepton Mallet, ’74 Twin Carburettor saloon sedan at the Atwell Wilson Museum, a Maltese 1500 saloon / sedan with after market alloy wheels and waist trim in Qwara, a ’79 Estate and ’72 Coupé both at the Cotswolds Classic Car Club meeting held at Frogsmill, Andoversford and below a saloon / sedan with an unusually straight rear bumper seen at last years Classics at the Castle, Sherborne.

Morris Marina, Classics at the Castle, Sherborne

Although much derided for almost every detail apart from the door handles the undemanding early 70’s British public lapped up Marina’s painted in tepid colours like Russet Brown, Harvest Gold, and Limeflower Green for the car to peak at second in the sales charts behind the Ford Cortina in 1973 and remain in the top 3 or 4 until 1980. Eventually over 897,000 Marina’s were sold in the UK of which 745 are thought to remain on British roads.

Thanks for joining me on this “Nice Door Handles” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


English Corvette – TR7 V8

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The prototype V8 powered Triumph TR7 variant was produced as early as 1972. The performance of the model led to these vehicles being dubbed English Corvettes in some circles.

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The Triumph TR8 Coupe was in production from 1978 to 1980 the TR8 Drophead was designed by Michelotti and introduced in 1980 continuing in production until 1982.

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As a result of poor labour relations and the inherent industrial action it is thought that only 400 TR8 Coupes were built along with an estimated 2400 Dropheads, the majority of which were sold in the United States and Canada.

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In other countries outside North America some TR7 owners upgraded their cars with variations of the all alloy Buick / Rover 3528cc / 215 cui V8. From the best records available to me this appears to be one such upgraded car.

My thanks to the Pistonhead who brought this TR7 V8 along to the Sunday Service at the BMW plant back in January.

Slightly off topic, why is it the only time ‘my’ driver ‘Happy’ Harvick wins a cup race I am too busy too catch it ?

Congratulations to Kevin, who is misquoted to give this blog it’s name, and the #29 Richard Childress Team 🙂

Hope you have enjoyed today’s English Corvette edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now!


Replica Rallysprint – Triumph TR7

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The Triumph TR7 was manufactured from 1974 to 1981.

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Works competition versions of the TR7 run by British Leyland from 1976 to 1978 were initially powered by the Dolomite Sprint 16 valve engine and later switched to the ubiquitous (in the UK) aluminium Buick derived Rover V8.

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This is vehicle has replica paintwork of a Triumph works rally car registered OOM512M which was used in the 1978 Texaco Rally Sprint a staged for TV event run at at Esgair Dafydd, in Wales, won by Per Eklund in a later Triumph TR7 with Tony Pond coming second in the #6.

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If the registration plates on this particular are original then this TR7 was first registered in Birmingham in 1976 and it is fitted with the later Rover V8 engine according to the records made available to me.

My thanks to Tim Murray and RS2000 at The Nostalgia Forum for their help identifying the event in which OOM512M ran.

Hope you have enjoyed todays Rallysprint edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !