1980 Triumph TR7 Convertible Is Junkyard Treasure

The futuristic-looking Triumph TR7 was pitched as the shape of things to come when it first appeared on our shores in 1975. By 1981, the TR7 and Triumph itself were gone from North America, and the Triumph brand got the axe in the UK by 1984 (Triumph motorcycles have been made by a separate company since the 1930s). These cars have become very rare in junkyards, and I hadn’t seen a junkyard example since way back in 2016 when I spied this ’80 in a Denver-area yard last month.

A bunch of 1995 newspapers inside this rust-free car tell me that it was a project that spent decades in a garage, awaiting repairs that never came. Hey, look, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole were going to eliminate the federal budget deficit by 2005!

Triumph buyers in 1980 and 1981 could get the TR8 version of this car with a Rover V8, but this car has the Slant-4 engine that’s first cousin to so many Saab powerplants. 88.5 horsepower (I still think BL shouldn’t have claimed that half-horse).

Because Triumph bosses assumed that American regulations would soon make convertibles illegal, back when the TR7 was being developed, it took until the 1979 model year to get a “drophead coupe” version of the car ready. That plaid interior has held up pretty well over the decades.

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