TR8: The best ever TR?
It’s interesting how certain cars become better with time, the TR7 is one of those. Marketed as the TR8 it brought the return of an open top, high performance Triumph sports car to the US market. It was commissioned on the 1st May 1980 and sold 2500 vehicles in the same year, 90% of which were convertables. The TR8 had an all alloy V8 engine which was originally designed by Buick in the early 60’s.With a bore of 88.9mm and a stroke of 71.1mm, it had a capacity of 3528 cc, a compression ratio of 8.1:1 and twin Stromberg carburetors producing 133 PS at 5’000 RPM. A Lucas/Bosch Jetronic fuel injection was used to comply with the Californian Emission Laws and consequently resulted in an improvement in power to 137 PS at 5’000 RPM. Due to the increased weight of the engine compared to the 4 cylinder version modifications were needed to uprate the suspension. The gearbox was 5 speed, and there was an automatic transmission as an option. The steering was servo-assisted. Despite the extra weight of 140 Kg. the performance was improved. There were some minor cosmetic changes e.g. the emblems and badges, as well as a twin exhaust system. The TR8 is a model that British Leyland could be proud of. Unfortunately it was with the TR8 that the era of Triumph sports cars came to an end. The last TR7 / TR8 left the assembly line in Solihull, England on the 5th October 1981.
From May 1980 till May 1981 2’815 cars were manufactured, whereof almost all were exported to the USA. Only 19 stayed in England.