For our last Video of the Week of 2016 I thought we would take a look at one of the still affordable and often overlooked classics out there. A car that could very easily be in the Sunbeam Tiger category of collectibles. Our Video of the Week this time around is a Buyer’s Guide to the Triumph TR8. This video was produced in 2015 by Hagerty, the classic car insurance folk.
In many ways, the comparison to the Sunbeam Tiger is a good one. Both cars are the V8 derivative of their more common 4-cylinder counterpart. Both were produced in limited numbers, and both were ignored as collectible for a long time. In the case of the Triumph, it still is for the most part. Although that may be beginning to change, a quick search online will find nice examples till available for around $10,000.
Let’s quote Wikipedia for a moment …
The Triumph TR8 is an eight-cylinder version of the “wedge-shaped” Triumph TR7 sports car, designed by Harris Mann, and manufactured by British Leyland (BL), through its Jaguar/Rover/Triumph (JRT) division. Because of its outstanding performance, the TR8 was often dubbed the “English Corvette”. The majority of TR8s were sold in the United States and Canada.
Very few genuine TR8s exist outside of the United States and Canada. In other countries the TR7 is often converted to a “TR7V8” with the same ubiquitous Buick/Rover 3.5 litre V8 powerplant used in original factory TR8s. In Australia a popular TR7V8 conversion is to use the 4416 cc version of this engine that had been developed for the Leyland P76.
In North America, the TR8 originally sold for around $11,000. A current rough estimate of the number of these cars remaining taken from the Triumph Wedge Owners Association registry of unique VINs), current Triumph Wedge Owners Association membership records, the World Wide TR7 TR8 Owners Club, and the TR Drivers Club UK is around 1000 convertibles and 200 coupes.
At one time, the TR7 / TR8 styling was a much-disparaged design, but it seems to be aging well and more people are warming to it. Combine that with the excellent V8 performance and the rarity of the TR8, and this car seems to be one destined for collectibility.