1978 Triumph TR7 Hard Top 2.0 Ltr 5 Speed


Unbreakable and cool


De-coked head and replaced timing chain tensioner (did it myself)

Petrol pipe leak, caused by rubbing bodywork (within the sill) replaced by me and rerouted to a safer position.

Window winder mechanism weak, constant problems even after dealer replacement.

General Comments:

I had this car longer than any other before and since, I loved it, the only reason I don't still have it, is that my ex took it when we separated.

It was the most reliable car I had owned up to this point, nothing serious went wrong with it, even though people called it a "hairdressers car" I didn't give a damn, I knew how good it was, it was very cool to own, had a great interior and was the only car that had a well placed foot rest for your left (clutch) foot, surprising what a difference this makes when cruising down the motorway.

The interior was very chic with tartan material on the doors and seats, it was really nice to drive, with quite a big boot for a sports car. I didn't have the usual problems with rust because it had been Zeibart waxed, it had only the occasional bubble which I easily kept under control.

I had no problems with the flip-up lights because I looked after them, even to the point of removing them and rubbing them down to the aluminum base and respraying them. A little bit of lubrication every 6 months keeps them working, I loved to press the button a few times as the lights would start to go out of sequence and begin winking, great to impress bystanders.

The 2.0 Litre OHC engine was not really sporty, it was however built to last and very easy to maintain, anyone armed with a Workshop Manual and spanners can keep it going.

On the road this car was very predictable, if the tail crept out you just eased off a bit, that's because it is well balanced without too much power on the rear wheels, it was at it's best when cruising, really comfortable, solid and ultra reliable.

My Ex ran head-on into a brand new hatchback at 30 mph, the Hatchback's engine fell out, it's front crumpled like paper, it was a write-off! The TR7 had to have new front bumper plastic and a (slightly damaged) front panel replaced, oh and a new badge (it was on the front panel)

We then got another TR7 Convertible, (so I could have the hard-top) We had the convertible for 3 months when my Ex suddenly stopped (for no apparent reason) and her friend who was following behind, (yes! in a hatchback) bashed into the back of the TR7 at about 20 mph, both cars ended up being written off, even though the TR7 looked OK (split in plastic Bumper) the impact was off to one side and the chassis got bent and was unrepairable. I bought this car for £400 off the insurance company (after they paid out) and swapped the Alloys for my steel rims and other bits and pieces and put them on the Hard-top, then sold the Convertable for £600 to a trader!

My Ex continued to crash into things, but the car kept going, I'm glad she's my ex, but she managed to keep the TR7 in the divorce settlement, damned Lawyers.

When I tried to buy one later I found the prices had shot through the roof, so I got a Van, ho hum. I'd love a TR8 :-)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th March, 2004

29th Apr 2010, 11:40


Great car the TR7, and in 2010 it's still driving very well, and has become the greatest TR for her reliability + handling, fun on the road, and driving how far you want. The TR7 has become also a true and rare poétic car now.

Best regards from France, TR7 driver.


7th Sep 2015, 03:45

Sexy cars... fun to have... and good in snow.

7th Sep 2015, 14:14

"Fun to have"?

Suspect that the author of the review below would take issue with that statement.

Not sure how a car with RWD and low ground clearance would be "good in snow", but whatever.

1981 Triumph TR7 DHC 2.0


Bargain fun, if you're handy with spanners!


Gearbox failed at 105k miles, which was disturbing, but a recon unit was easy to source and reasonably cheap. No problems with that so far.

Radiator was replaced at the same time, as it was weeping a little too much for my liking.

Windscreen wiper intermittent wipe is dodgy - the wipers don't travel far enough on the intermittent pulse. Just needs the electrics looking at.

Engine was a bit baggy when I bought it, but that was sorted out with the unleaded conversion.

The driver's seat has been replaced, and the foam is collapsing at the bottom of the backrest again.

Rust is a perennial problem on these cars, but mine hasn't suffered too badly. It's waxoyl'd for the winter which helps.

The feed for the starter motor relay perished, (it's right next to the exhaust manifold) but that's an easy fix with a soldering iron.

General Comments:

I'm biased - I love TR7's. I can forgive just about anything because of this. It's fun, different, and makes me smile. It stands out in the car park, and all my mates think it's cool.

It's not quick by modern standards, although I've had the ton out of it (uphill, with a good run up!) and it wasn't topping out or complaining.

It's also extremely comfortable, despite it's age, and has a lovely driving position - you're stretched out reclining, and the main controls are in just the right place.

The gearbox is great - other than the failure - and works like a rifle bolt. The throw is a bit long compared to modern cars perhaps.

Servicing is dead easy, all the bits are common parts (especially if you get the spin-on oil filter kit, which takes Ford Escort filters), but it likes frequent (4000 mile) plug and oil changes.

My only gripe is that the wheelbase is too short, which makes handling 'interesting' in the wet, but then it's easy to get the back end out, which is fun in the dry, especially as the steering gives you lots of feedback.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2002