Triumph Sports Cars

engine swaps and other performance upgrades, plus "factory" V8s (Stag and TR8)

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BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5735 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
TR7- a seriously underated car
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: May 25, 2011 09:51AM

Last week at Townsend I had the chance to drive Dan's bone stock TR7 back out Deals Gap and down the Dragon and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I'd driven the car before, and I've also been driving my wife's TR7-V6 but had much to do to make it pleasant to drive. So I figured I pretty well knew what the car was about. But I figured wrong. One change Dan had made was to fit the hard Hawk brake pads and we had no concern with brake fade and that was welcome, but the surprising thing was that once you get past the initial low speed feel of the car as if it wants to dive into the turn and wag it's tail, once you begin to drive a little faster and more agressively, you realize very quickly that the car's handling is marvelously neutral. It loves to dive into the turn but then it just sticks there, coming around as if on rails. The handling is very progressive, the limits are high, there is very little body roll, and plenty of warning near the edge. The wide and low stance gives it a great feel and great stability. This with the stock 185-70/13 tires mind you. Now I understand why British Leyland thought that this car could be a suitable replacement for the aging MGB. Appearances aside, it is quite capable. Not that I agree mind you, but I understand.

This motivated me to make some changes to the wife's car, most notably fixing the seats, repairing the transmission fluid leak, installing anti-squeal shims in the brakes, replacing the tie rods, fitting new tires and getting the alignment done. I took pains to have them mount the "roundest" two wheels on the front and that cured the infamous 50 mph shimmy which had been simply horrid. This transformed the car, and I now have a pretty good idea of what Dan's missing. He seriously needs to drive this car in it's present condition.

We've grown accustomed to think of the TR7 as a throwaway car. A stop-gap tin can that never had much appeal. Just not a real sports car after all. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. Those dinky little wheels and tires are incredibly light and responsive and soak up bumps much better than their larger heavier counterparts. They are widely spaced and give great control. The characteristic gawdy interior disguises the fact that the car is really quite well appointed and changing or upgrading the interior, as I've done with the wife's car, makes an incredible difference in the appeal. It is easy to drive and use, complains little, and is easy on the wallet. And it looks good and handles nice. It is cheap to purchase. Now to do the job right you have to put some money into the interior and nobody is really making good interior trim for the car yet so far as I've seen, but that's about where we were with the MGB a couple decades ago so I wouldn't worry too much about that problem.

Of course this doesn't mean I'm ready to give up my MGB. They are just completely different cars. But I do think a TR7, especially with a heart transplant, is worth having.

JB


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(2973 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: TR7- a seriously underated car, roadster ?
Posted by: roverman
Date: May 25, 2011 02:25PM

Jim and clan, Biggest negative I heard from the "press" was the roadsters being "flexi-fliers", i.e. when parked on uneven ground, the doors would not open/close properly. I have no personal knowledge of this. I wish we had a "data base", in this forum of pertinent data, for our beloved cars, things like results of : torsional deflection test, cg's, front/rear/side/side weights, etc. I hope to prove the merit of another, underated car, Jensen Healey's, sadly over-looked potential for fame. If it was up-graded by brilliant people, like the MGB or TR 7/8's, I feel, it too, would shine. Cheers, roverman.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2011 02:36PM by roverman.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: TR7- a seriously underated car
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: May 25, 2011 03:51PM

I have had TR7s and TR8s since 1990 all 40+. I got to drive 3,000 mile TR8s and 200,000 mile TR7s and even in stock form they are fun to drive. I personally have coupes but the few convertibles I had were nice even in the cold weather. The body flexing on the convertibles was a pain in the butt when you could either not get the door open or not get it closed. I do love how much room there is in the engine bay and interior/boot! I went from an MGB-GT to a TR7 and then TR8s and unless a nice MGB-GT V8 fell into my lap I will still be a wedgie. Nice Aconite 74 B-GT with a rover would be nice to have ;)


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(963 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: TR7- a seriously underated car
Posted by: Dan B
Date: May 26, 2011 09:47AM

It was especially fun when you were pushing Les (in Ken's car). Who would have thought that could happen?

Dan B


HealeyRick
Rick Neville

(462 posts)

Registered:
12/19/2007 05:01PM

Main British Car:
1963 Austin-Healey 3000 Ford 5.0L

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Re: TR7- a seriously underated car
Posted by: HealeyRick
Date: May 28, 2011 02:13PM

Always loved R&T's caption for this road sign:

http://i52.tinypic.com/2yyp37k.png

"Trucks on TR7s Ahead"

Never drove one. Closest I ever came was a 2 week trip to England in 1978. Wanted to rent a sports car and had booked a TR7. Upon arrival, the hire company said they didn't have one to rent as they were all broken down. We were given a B-GT instead which was great fun. I think the labor troubles in the UK really contributed to the poor rep of the TR7. Quality control was very poor and there was a lot of talk about cars being sabotaged at the time (like hanging a Coke bottle on a string in an inside body cavity so it would thump in the corners) IIRC there was a major strike at the factory soon after production began that killed off some of the momentum of the new car's introduction.


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(963 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: TR7- a seriously underated car
Posted by: Dan B
Date: May 29, 2011 10:32AM

I like to compare TR7s to Corvairs. Later models of both were good cars, but suffered from the flaws and reputation created by bad early models. By the time they were fixed, the damage was done.


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