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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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 !