1981 Triumph TR8 3.5 Rover V8 from North America


The best sports car bargain few have found yet!


Needed Shocks and Struts.

Fuel Injection needed tuning.

Gas tank had to be cleaned and sealed.

General Comments:

This is probably the most overlooked sports car around. They didn't make too many of them, approximately 2747, but they are still fairly available now. Price rise since 2000 has been moderate with the cars gaining approximately $2,000 to $5,000 depending on mileage and condition.

The TR8 is a blast! The styling was so far ahead of its time, they still look new. Comfortable for anyone. 6'5", 275 pounds? You'll fit right in.

The performance is terrific!! Can run with Z3's and Boxters right out of the box. Blow the door's off a Mustang, Z Car, etc. Takes uprating very well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th September, 2002

1st May 2005, 16:33

There is no way a stock TR8 would outperform a Boxster or 5 liter Mustang. Stock 0-60 time was over 8 seconds, versus 5.5-6.0 for the aforementioned cars. With Edelbrock manifold, Holley carb, headers, raised CR etc. it can get up to over 200HP, then you might do it.

20th Sep 2005, 16:37

Wanna bet? A stock 5.0 Mustang is a dog. My 25 year old stock FI TR8 will beat them straight line and autocross every time. Z3? Not sure. Boxster? uh, no way.

The 1980 stock comparisons...the TR8 was faster than the Corvette and 911. Period. Check Road & Track or Car & Driver...

1980 Triumph TR8 Coupe 3.5 liter V8 from North America


Zoom, zoom, boom!


The following parts were replaced during the two years I owned this car: Cooling fans, radiator, radiator hoses and cooling fan relays (do we see a pattern here). When I sold the car it was beginning to exhibit the typical English car power steering rack leak and the A/C worked only when it chose to.

General Comments:

I was setting at a Grandy's restaurant awaiting my dinner order when a minor fire occurred in the wiring underneath the dash. I used my complimentary cup of water to extinguish the smoldering wires and drove home to enjoy a fresh order of crunchy nuggets. This was the life of a TR-8 driver and such instances were not commonplace. You either adapted and made in flight repairs or you went the way of the previous owners before you.

This car liked humiliating Mustangs and Camaros slightly more than it liked drinking high octane unleaded fuel. It would chew up rear tires almost as fast as you could alter, reconfigure, or repair the cooling system. If this sounds like a love/hate relationship, then I am doing a good job of telling about my love affair with the fastest Triumph ever.

The TR-8's braking and handling were of the same caliber of an old Celica GT, but its strait line acceleration rivaled that of anything built in its time. Its Buick derived engine started easily and ran well, but the Triumph engineered support components leaked anything and everything.

It would be a blatant lie to tell you that I wouldn't have another TR-8, but only if I lived next door to a contortionist. This car had so many nooks and crannies it was near impossible to work on.

If you want a reliable Triumph, buy a TR-3, 4, or 6. You may even like a Spitfire, but for heaven's sake stay away from anything that even resembles a wedge. I've also heard that the TR-250 was a bad ride. However, keep in mind that TR-7 and TR-8 jockeys may blow past you (while they're running).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2002

20th Sep 2005, 16:31

Well, maybe a maint problem for you. But my 1980 TR8 has 157,000 miles on the original drive train...that's engine, tranny, clutch (that's right) and rear end. I have had it 17 years... Oh, I do blow by the other TR's too. These cars are no harder to work on than any other British machine. Parts cost is another matter.

8th Jan 2006, 11:51

I can't speak for the TR3 or 4 but I can remember the TR6 getting absolutely panned in long term tests for its reliability (when it was new)

20th Nov 2008, 16:58

1980 TR8 Convertible.

I have owned this car since 1981. Yes indeed for 27 years.

This is a California car with fuel injection, and 36,000 miles only.

It has always been garaged and not used in the winter. It always starts immediately after sitting for 6 months, which is amazing considering its Lucas fuel injection.

Only maintenance problem has been a heater core which I had replaced 10 years ago.

Despite a new 2008 Corvette, which sits next to it in the garage, I cannot quite bring myself to part with it.

30th Dec 2009, 07:03

My TR8 is only new to my life, but for a 30+ year old car, it works perfectly and was wonderfully re-engineered by a previous owner. It genuinely looks new, it shares a garage with a lovely Audi S6, but when it comes to having fun and grin factor, the TR keys come out, not the autobahn stormer. Long live these little gems, that many people hate and don't want, and used to let rust, which is fine by me, it means my little baby is around for me, and she is not going to anyone else for a long time to come.

1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 from North America


This is a great car, best built by Triumph. V8 power, 5 speed, power steering.

Known problems, leaking PS rack, signal light switches are always busted, clock known to not work, as of yet special TR8 interior is very tough to replace. Lucas alternator is terrible as with the starter. 5 speed synchros can wear out as well.

General Comments:

Now the good stuff, most rag tops are not driven in the winter here, so rust is usually minimal. Some parts are the same as TR7s so this means cheap parts. Unibody construction is good. TR8s have excellent resale as compared to TR7s. Extremely rare car and fairly quick. Most are not trashed because people knew that they would be collectors items. Stay away from a trashed one if you are planning to rebuild it. Costs to rebuild it like new are very expensive. Save your money and buy a good one to start with. You'll enjoy this much better.

Buy a rag top; better resale for either car. You'll enjoy the TR8, it was a good car, and I feel the best car they ever built. It can almost beat any English car on the road. Interest in these cars is finally starting to rise. TR8s are finally getting respect.

Contact me Rob:

tr8guy@sprint.com if you have a question about a TR8 or TR7.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th January, 1999