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1980 Triumph TR7 Convertible


• Very presentable condition
• Low mileage and two owners from new
• Original interior

The Background 

After decades of producing sports cars in a traditional style Triumph fully embraced the modern world with its wedge-shaped TR7 that made its debut in 1975. Initially it was only available in overseas markets and such was the car’s popularity that British buyers had to wait until 1976 to get their hands on the TR7. Powered by a 2.0-litre version of Triumph’s four-cylinder engine fed by twin carburettors it was a good performer and sold in decent numbers.

There were many detail changes to the TR7 during its life but the biggest update was the arrival of the TR7 Convertible which eventually became available to UK buyers in 1980. With a simple to operate hood and retaining its wedge-shaped styling it was an instant hit and sold well until TR7 production ended in 1981. Despite selling over 110,000 TR7s they’re now a rare sight on our roads and becoming coveted by collectors and TR enthusiasts alike, particularly the Convertible versions.

The History 

This Carnelian Red TR7 Drophead was first registered in August 1980 and was sold through main agent Hewitts Garages Ltd in Wolverhampton. The original bill of sale is contained within the car’s history file and the first owner was obviously a big TR7 fan as he traded in a 1978 fixed head coupe model for his new convertible version. The TR7 Convertible cost him the princely sum of £6,103.91.

Incredibly the first owner kept the TR7 for over 35 years until it passed into the hands of a used car dealer where the current owner purchased the car almost four years ago. Since that time the TR7 has been garaged at the owner’s London home and has seen occasional use, covering less than 1000 miles in that time. Despite being ULEZ compliant thanks to being over 40 years old the current owner acknowledges that the TR7 just isn’t getting enough use so he’s looking for a new custodian to cherish and enjoy the car as he has.

The Paperwork 

There is a history folder to accompany the TR7 with numerous invoices and receipts and a host of old MoT certificates. It’s great to see the original purchase invoice in the file along with the original owner’s handbook and service booklet. This latter item contains a number of stamps from 1980-1983. There are numerous old invoices for parts such as replacement radiators, new exhausts and a replacement hood.

There are over 30 MoT certificates to accompany the TR7 – including the car’s very first test in 1983 – and it’s interesting to note that the car was used extensively in the first few years of its life, racking up 53,000 miles in its first five years of use. Since then it’s been used less regularly, covering less than 30,000 in the next 35 years.

There are a number of invoices from the current owner’s time with the car detailing servicing and various replacement parts. The current MoT expires in December this year and there is a V5C in the owner’s name. There is also a winning concours trophy dating from 2015.

The Interior 

The TR7’s cockpit features a remarkably original tan checked cloth and vinyl interior and this has survived its 40-plus years very well. The cloth on the seats is in generally good order and the only real blemish of note is an area on the driver’s seat backrest where the stitching between the vinyl and the cloth has come apart. The tan carpet is in good order having been protected by rubber floor mats and overmats.

The door trim panels are in similarly good order with no apparent major damage with both the vinyl and cloth looking to be in good shape with no shrinkage and fitting well. The door furniture is all present and correct and the wind-up windows work as they should.

The dashboard itself is in good order and all the various switches and knobs appear to be present, correct and functional. A retro-looking modern stereo is fitted and this allows hands free Bluetooth calling.

The boot is in good general order with a vinyl mat and the original spare wheel and jack under the boot floor. The boot floor and wheel arches would appear to be solid from a visual inspection.

The Exterior 

Externally the TR7 presents in decent enough order but as expected on a vehicle of this age there are a number of minor blemishes, mainly small chips here and there. There are no major dents or scratches that we could see. The owner doesn’t believe the car has been the subject to a major restoration but there is evidence of some paintwork here and there and there is an invoice in the history file dating from 1991 from a bodywork firm that details ‘repair and replace parts as required and repaint’ to the tune of £1200 so there has definitely been some work in the past.

The front strut tops would appear to have been repaired – no doubt as a result of a MoT fail in 2007 – but since that time there has been no MoT failure or advisory notices concerning the TR7’s structure. The TR7 is by no means a concours contender but overall it looks to be in good shape and attracted many admiring glances while we were taking out photographs. One item of note is that the nearside headlight did not open when the lights were switched on – an item that the owner hopes to have repaired prior to the car’s sale.

The wheels would appear to be in good general order with the odd blemish here and there and their centre caps are present and correct. The wheels are fitted with a set of Pirelli P3000 tyres which all have a decent tread level.

The hood appears to be in good order with no splits or obvious damage and it would appear to fit nice and tightly. The hood folds well but the frame is perhaps in need of lubrication due to a lack of use as it is a little stiff in operation. There are two covers for the hood when in the lowered position, one black and one tan.

The Mechanics 

The TR7 started on the first turn of the key and idled well both when running with the choke in use and without. The owner reports that it runs and drives well. Under the bonnet the major components all appear to be present and correct. The original mechanically operated fan has been replaced with a Kenlowe electric item at some point in the past which is a common modification on the TR7.

The Appeal 

The TR7 is a car that evokes memories of the 1970s with its wonderfully period styling and wedge-shaped design. It’s a fun little car that would be great to punt along the back roads on a lovely summer’s evening taking in the sights and sounds of the countryside. You’ll draw plenty of admiring glances while doing so too, as the TR7 is now becoming an increasingly rare sight on our roads.

In a way it’s the perfect sporting soft top – great looks, simple mechanical components and all backed up by a set of specialists and excellent parts supply. This particular example looks great in its Carnelian red paint with contrasting tan interior and with its low mileage and just two owners from new it’s an example that should suit the discerning collector. With a small amount of fettling it really will be an excellent example of Triumph’s wedge-shaped 1970s icon.   

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1980
  • Make Triumph
  • Model TR7
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 81,135 Miles
  • Engine size 1998
  • Town Central London
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
12 bids from 7 bidders
  • cumque.•••• £5,800 01/12/21
  • Victorw•••• £5,500 01/12/21
  ••••• £5,400 28/11/21
  • costas-•••• £5,100 28/11/21
  • cumque.•••• £5,000 25/11/21
  • Bobe £4,700 25/11/21
  • Bobe £4,600 25/11/21
  ••••• £4,400 24/11/21
  • C A D,u•••• £4,000 24/11/21
  • Bobe £350 24/11/21

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