1982 Triumph TR8 3.5L from North America

Summary:

Bargain of the century

Faults:

Cold start injector.

Steering rack leak.

General Comments:

You'd better buy a car in the 50,000 up range if you want to run with these cars.

The TR8 is the most comfortable sports car I've ever driven. The interior is roomy to excess, at 6'4" my feet hit the pedals just right. Great wind protection and vision.

It handles beautifully, but benefits from uprated shocks and bushes in the rear plus 14 or 15 inch tires. Even with 13" (205-60-13) the car tracks around any corner. It's a great autocrosser.

The TR6 is a nice std. roadster, but park a TR8 next to it and it becomes invisible. They are simply too common.

Performance wise, 5L Mustangs and that type of car need not show up, you can stay with a Corvette and most anything else on the open road. They are fast, but pleasant to drive. The only criticism I have is that the Rover 5 Speed is balky when cold, and you have to be careful not to tow the car or it will burn the transmission up.

The motor is jewel like in its torquey silk feeling. You can start in 2nd gear all day long and it is no problem.

They only made 69 of the 82's, 300 or so Coupes, and the rest roadsters for a total of around 2700.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th December, 2009

20th Dec 2009, 16:07

"The TR6 is a nice std. roadster, but park a TR8 next to it and it becomes invisible. They are simply too common."

I think that it is up to the individual. I personally prefer the look of the TR6.

Although the TR8 is a decent enough car, I really don't think it can compete with modern sports cars, performance wise. (Please don't get me wrong, I too love the classics)

30th Dec 2009, 06:57

I am very excited, as I have taken delivery of my Australian engineered TR8 today, a spur of the moment decision, all done inside 24 hours.

I am fortunate to have stumbled on an amazing car, where one of the previous owners lavished enormous dollars to convert the car to full original TR8 specs, and lavished by others since. Everything works and the car looks like new. These are wonderful and unique and great value.

I have had for many years classic cars; a concourse 911 convertible, a similar Maserati Ghibli, and while the dollars are much less, the smile factor for the little Triumph is just as big, if not bigger.

Personally I think most classic cars are wonderful, and I rejoice that I may be in the last generation to enjoy the growl of a V8 with fossil fuels. In 30 years I may drive a Tesla variation that gets to the benchmark in 2 seconds, but it will probably be silent, unlike the angry TR8.

6th Mar 2010, 04:32

I am now 3 months in with my mighty TR8 here in Australia. No problems, it is still a treat, and the smile is yet to subside.

17th Jul 2011, 04:48

My 18 months with the TR8 has come to an end, I loved my time with it. I do like to enjoy different cars, so the TR8 has moved to a new happy owner, and I am lining up for my a 968CS. The CS won't sound as good as the mighty Triumph, but will be a little more socially acceptable to the wife, who never really liked the fuely V8 smell and noise, or the old school seats.

1980 Triumph TR8 Convertible 3.5L V8 from North America

Summary:

Huge bang for the buck, particularly if you're handy with a wrench

Faults:

The factory just used many parts from the 4 cylinder when they put in the 8. Within the first three years, under extended warranty:

Needed a new transmission twice (until they figured out to change the oil viscosity needed, and upgrade the oil pump)

Blew the rear end once.

Went through brakes very rapidly (and machining rotors, if I didn't catch it fast enough). Car badly under-braked for the power, and disks only on the front.

Once that was sorted, all was good for the next 15 years or so, until electrics started going one by one.

No problems with the running gear, even though did a lot of performance mods to it.

Went through about 4 convertible tops in 25 years.

General Comments:

Fabulous, once you got the right stuff dialled in.

Suspension was initially terrible, especially on the North American model that had the rear end raised even higher, for our hillbilly tastes, I assume. I dropped the rear end 2.5 inches, the front 1.5, put in hardened coils and spax gas shocks, P7's, handled like it was on rails. Before that, nearly killed myself several times when not too difficult corners turned into 360 degree slides.

Very fast. Did the Holley 4bbl mod and a few other things, probably added 70 hp, could blow by a lot of fast american cars. Very tall gearing, got it up to 145 mph before topping out in 5th. (extrapolating the indicated speed to the revs).

It came with a weird combination of Whitworth and American inch, and metric threads, between, and sometimes within parts. Always easy to put the wrong type of bolt in the hole, and strip things nicely.

Mucho fun. great for everyday, long road trips, occasional slaloms. Oddly enough, good in snow. Aerodynamics such that you could have the top down in rain or snow, and not get wet if doing over 25 mph.

Huge amount of cabin space - it's a two-seater, but the same outside size as a 66 Mustang. Great for us tall folks. Lots of trunk space too.

Impossible to sleep in. It is possible to have sex in it though, if you're sufficiently motivated!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th December, 2007