The Triumph TR8, 1977/78 – 1981 – eight-cylinder 3.5 litre (Rover V8) version of the Triumph TR7 was designed by Harris Mann and manufactured by British Leyland/Triumph. It was in effect the road going version of the TR7 V8 Rally cars driven by Tony Pond etc in the late 70’s.
Sometimes archives and records held in a dusty old box in a museum just aren’t enough because Triumph and others just weren’t great record keepers, and even at the time, produced various documents with different specifications on. The TR8 Efi is a case in point with some factory paperwork showing the power as 137bhp and other documents as 148bhp.
To find the answers, we need to stop just being archivists and collectors of records, and become detectives instead, almost present-day archaeologists if you will. In effect we need to work backwards from what is actually still here today in the TR8’s and people still around, before they are gone.
The purpose of this website is to make all the historically true TR8 information freely available to anyone with an interest in genuine factory TR8’s, Its aim is to ensure there can never be any doubt to a genuine factory TR8’s identity. Unfortunately in doing so, it will no doubt make the dubious chime in to promote their own unfounded claims, given the rapidly climbing value of genuine factory TR8’s, particularly the 22 RHD cars. TR8 fakes and parts cars are suddenly becoming a lot more common, particularly in the UK, with in some cases very believable back stories, so please beware no matter who it is telling you the story. If the chassis number isn’t a genuine TR8 one it almost certainly 99.999% isn’t! Claims to be factory converted RHD from LHD TR8 are only true in a very tiny amount of cases. The only way to prove such a car was converted by the factory is either being sold at the Measham auction August/September 1981 as a RHD TR8, or press/company pictures from Gaydon showing the car as RHD while still owned by the factory. There are currently only five we know about that fulfil this criteria, the vast majority claiming this will have been done later outside the factory.
Because of its outstanding performance, the TR8 was often dubbed the “English Corvette” in the USA and received rave reviews in the motoring press there. Almost all genuine factory TR8s were LHD and only sold in the United States and Canada with a total production run of approximately 2750. A pre-production run of only 22 RHD TR8’s were built which BL sold off at Measham auctions along with other engineering and prototype TR8’s from August 7th to September 4th 1981.
Almost all RHD cars in the UK you see will be converted TR7’s to V8 power ala TR8, or LHD TR8’s brought back and converted to RHD. The TR7V8 became a very popular conversion in the 80’s and 90’s. Simply because, you couldn’t buy a genuine RHD TR8 in the UK, given they only actually built 22. Many of the converted TR7V8’s carry full TR8 badging so are often hard to tell from the factory cars; as a result some owners and for sale sites in the UK, will try and tell you their car is a genuine factory built example. Only in a very rare amount of cases will that actually be true.
See RHD TR8 page HERE where all of the genuine factory RHD TR8’s are listed, including their chassis numbers etc. In the USA and Canada they are nearly all LHD and genuine factory produced TR8’s. You will however still see a few converted TR7V8’s as well as other USA based V6 conversions and similar.
TR8 Day 2023 details are here
Face Book TR8 Group here
The Triumph TR8 is the rarest TR with approximately 2750 built vs the TR5 with 2947. The RHD TR8 is rarer still with only 22 pre production “Home Market” cars built.
Triumph TR8 Surviving cars
Around 65% of the TR8’s sent to the USA and Canada still survive largely down to their rarity and collectability. Perhaps surprisingly. It is still possible, even today, to still buy a “NEW” unregistered TR8. There are three of the 22 RHD TR8’s still unregistered after over 40 plus years!
There are around 160 genuine factory TR8’s in the UK including all less three (1 x destroyed, 1 x Ireland, 1 x USA) of the 22 RHD TR8’s. Many in private collections/museums and around 30 – 60 are on the road in the UK at any one time. There are around 50 across Europe and there are a few, perhaps 20 or so in Australia and New Zealand.
If you have information on the Triumph TR8 you would like to share or want to know more about them, or perhaps you have a TR8 to sell or parts for them, (no charge to sell) please do get in touch. Contact details above.