ETC
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
The last model year for new Triumph cars in the United States was 1981, when you could buy a TR7 coupe with an MSRP of $8,455. That was more than 500 bucks cheaper than a new Fiat X1/9 and about the same price as a new Ford Mustang Cobra with a V8. By the early 1980s, the TR7 had earned itself a reputation for shoddy construction and poor reliability that surpassed even the bad image Americans had of other British Leyland products, but the futuristic lines of the car still managed to seduce a few brave Californians into signing on the line that is dotted. Here's an '80 convertible that I found in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard.

1980 Triumph TR7 in California self-service wrecking yard

The Triumph Slant-Four engine in this car displaced 1,998 cc and was rated at 88.5 horsepower (yes, British Leyland claimed that extra half-horse for their US-market cars, rather than rounding down). This engine was the basis for the Saab B and Saab H engines, which powered everything from the Saab 99 through the 9-5, meaning the Slant-Four design stayed in production nearly into our current decade. Since the 1980 TR7 convertible weighed just 2,505 pounds, the car was quick enough to be fun ... when Joe Lucas, Prince of Darkness permitted.

1980 Triumph TR7 in California self-service wrecking yard

This example is a hopelessly unrestorable hooptie, complete with a partial red rattlecan paint job that covered the taillight lenses and an interior that was left exposed to the elements for at least 10 years prior to the car's final tow-truck ride to this place. Still, we can imagine the optimism of the car's original owner, cruising top-down in the West Coast sunshine.



A bold, slashing wedge, with a bold, slashing price!



Wedge-shaped doghouses, picture frames, and televisions were all the rage back then, if we are to believe this ad.

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