1979 Triumph TR8

Base FHC 3.5 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1979 Triumph TR8 Base FHC 3528
valued at £7,800
£137.86 / year*

History of the 1979 - 1981 Triumph TR8

1979 - 1981 Triumph TR8
1979 - 1981 Triumph TR8

Triumph TR8 (Coupe/Convertible), 1980 - 1981

The Triumph TR8 was in production from 1980 until 1981. Styled in house by Harris Mann, it is a front- engine, rear wheel drive sports car seating two people.

While the TR7 supposedly replaced the TR6, it was the TR8 which restored to the TR brand its image as a real sports car. While the majority of its underpinnings were derived from the TR7, the Rover V8 engine and five speed gearbox were drawn from the SD1. Not that any of that is a bad thing, the TR7's independent double wishbone nose and coil sprung four link rear may in turn have come from the Dolomite but both are perfectly satisfactory.

145 prototypes were built by 1978, mostly with automatic gearboxes. The production model launched eleven months after the TR7 convertible in June 1980 - there are a few TR8 coupes but the majority were convertible, and indeed this is the only model Triumph formally offered. Production initially was set only for the States, though a handful of genuine right hand drive cars exist. Just thirty five TR8s were produced for the UK before the decision in 1980 not to offer the model officially on the UK market. Just two months later, production moved to the Rover factory at Solihull, where the TR8 and its TR7 sister would be produced until October 1981. The TR8 was not replaced until 1995 when Rover Group launched the MG RV8. By the end of production in 1981 Triumph had sold 2715 TR8s.

In terms of trim the same tactic BMC had used with the MGC had been used by BL with the TR8. The TR8 mirrored the TR7 right down to the identical alloy wheels and the shared seat trim. Barring the shift of production facility, the TR8 had few changes through its life - plaid trim gave way to velour, but that's about it. It's important to note that there are scores of V8 converted TR7s in the UK and other nations - whether you choose to acknowledge these as TR8s or not, many have been badged as such and can muddy the waters when it comes to finding true factory examples.

The TR8 drives, unsurprisingly, like a big engine TR7. Yet because the Rover V8 is all alloy, there's not as much of a weight compromise over the nose as you expect. It's more refined than previous TRs, but the performance edge that the TR7 was lacking is back. Rimmer Bros and Robsport can supply most parts, given that the car is effectively the same as the TR7. The engine can be maintained using parts from any Range Rover specialist, and upgrades are common. Automatics are rare and less desirable than manuals, but have curiosity value for some.

The rust spots are the same as the TR7 on which it's based. That means that the sills, both inner and outer, can pose problems. Windscreen surrounds can be checked by examining the chrome trim and the bulkhead, while the rear trailing arms are a known weak spot. The heater inlet and bonnet vents are hard to treat or paint, and a known rust worry.

While the TR8 is in itself a rare car, there are scores of TR7s which have over the years been converted to V8 power. These cars are worth less than original TR8s, whether home made or Grinnall upgraded. The most desirable will always be the original TR8s, and furthermore while the coupe is rarer the convertible is the one everyone wants. Most valuable of the bunch, and most desirable, are the handful of RHD UK-spec TR8 dropheads built.

Competitors would include the Ford Capri 2.8 Injection or perhaps even the TVR Taimar Turbo. Alternatively, the MG RV8 and MGB GT V8, though both more expensive, might make good rivals today. Of course, if you really want a V8 Triumph, there's nothing wrong with the Stag.

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