TR7 US Version: A new generation of TR
When the TR7 was announced on the 15th January 1975 in Florida, it excited the Press and was accepted by the Triumph Dealers. This new car used nothing from the previous TR’s. The integral monocoque construction which was totally manufactured in Liverpool, and which from the beginning was not without controversy. It dealt with a Coupe in a wedge form with a fixed roof. The engine, a 4 cylinder with a capacity of 1998 cc (bore 90.3mm and stroke 78mm) was laid over at 45°. With an overhead camshaft and twin Stromberg carburetors, it produced 92 PS at 5’000 RPM. The front suspension consisted of 2 Macpherson struts and the rear had a rigid axle mounted on coil springs. The standard transmission was 4 speed or an optional 5 speed was available. The steering incorporated a rack and pinon, with disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The car was just for 2 people, which was a deciding factor with reference to the strict US Safety Regulations. The fixed roof and the monumental bumpers were also a requirement of the US Laws. During 1.5 years both the TR6 and the TR7 were sold at the same time on the North American market.
From January 1975 till May 1981 86’784 cars (Coupes) were manufactured. 65’639 were exported to the US and 21’145 were sold on the home market in England.
TR7: A new Ace for Europe
The TR7 European version first appeared in May 1976. It differed from the American model (which was available 16 months earlier) having a higher compression, which combined with the twin SU carburetors produced 105 PS at 5’500 RPM. It had a 4 speed gearbox with the option of a 5 speed or automatic transmission. The other features were the same. The car was also a Coupé. Because of the smaller bumpers it was 10 cm shorter and weighed 20 Kg less than the North American model. In addition the side indicators were left off. The construction was simple, reliable, durable and service friendly. The handling of the TR7 compared to the earlier TR’s was a huge improvement. The reason being the adjustable suspension having a longer spring travel and a wider track.The sales price in May 1976 was £2564 and increased by the year 1981 to £7258. The production in Speke, Liverpool came to an end in May 1978 due to increased Union Strike activity.
There are no separate figures recorded for the production of the European version of the TR7.
TR7 "Drophead": The Coupé loses its roof
The change in legislation to ban convertible cars in the USA wasn’t implemented. That enabled the engineers at British Leyland to develop an open version of the TR7. The car entered the US market in June 1979. Based on the original design the convertible looked like it had been planned from the beginning. But that was not the case. Disappointingly underneath the bodywork was the still the same engine as used for America with twin Strombergs. The rest of the world celebrated with twin SU carburetor version. Although it was originally planned to have the Triumph Dolomite Sprint 4 cylinder engine with 16 valve technology it never materialized. The convertible was 70 Kg. heavier as the Coupé due to the strengthening of the bodywork, but had the same engine performance. From 1981 the fuel consumption was reduced by the use of a Bosch fuel injection system. Alloy wheels were an option too. The curved and sloping windscreen provided protection against the weather elements and the higher waste line improved the safety aspect.
From June 1979 till May 1981 24’864 cars were delivered for the US market, and from March 1980 till May 1981 19’571 examples were exported to other countries as well as 5’293 cars were sold in England.
The comfort of Independent Suspension