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Hi Steve,

These cars are from the early part of TR7 production and were the cars that gave the TR7 the bad press it never really recovered from, despite the fact that later models were pretty well built and had solved all of the criticisms, (like no convertible option and lack of a 5-speed gearbox). 

The 4-speed box can make them more difficult to live with, as it makes the car scream a bit on the motorway on modern roads - 70 is nearly 4000 RPM, but I did the Round Britain Run in one and it wasn't as bad as many make out, although that gearbox is a lot more delicate than the later 5 - speed. Some of the trim isn't as refined as later models, but you'll hardly notice the difference. 

Fundamentally the components and even the steel in the bodies was thinner and of lower quality than later cars and they were cursed by constant strike action which saw the plant stopped and body shells left out in the rain to rust. However all that stuff is pretty academic now, because the early TR7s are heading towards their 50th birthday. Cars that have survived nearly half a century have done well!! 

I would say if you are looking for a car for regular use, long-trips into Europe on holiday, daily commuting etc then look at a later car with a 5-speed box and more of the refinements of the closing stages of development. If you are looking for a project to save something of historic significance to be polished, driven to shows and exhibited then go for it - your restoration will solve many of the build quality issues along the way (done properly) and you'll be saving a very rare car indeed. It will be another preserved example of a pivotal moment in Triumph and automotive history and one definitely worth lavishing your attention on.

Hope that helps and encourages in equal measure! 


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The 5 speed box was available as an option for some time in the Speke built cars. I haven't found the steel to be worse or thinner in the Speke cars, in fact bonnets for instance always fair better in the Speke cars than they do in the later cars. Don't be put off by a Speke car or what you might read about them. These days you will be lucky to find a "cheapish" car that you can drive as prices are quite rightly going up.

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I have owned a 3 speed auto, and 4 speed manual, both hard tops. I now own the 5 speed convertible.

The later being my preferred TR7 from a driving point of view, with over 40,000 miles driven on UK and European roads.  I can’t say I noticed any significant difference in steel quality or build. The 5 speed box is an improvement on the 4, the auto for me was the less desirable. 

For long distance driving I find the 5 speed TR7 fun to drive and less tiring than my TR6. I would not be put off buying a TR7 wherever it’s built it’s about its current condition.



Edited by Misfit
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As a kid who grew up near Coventry we were always told that someone from Liverpool was good to have on your side in a pub fight but they didn’t know much about building cars.

Possibly true, to a certain extent. Motor engineering, in those days, was a skill passed down from father to son. Most kid’s granddads near Coventry had a shed full of tools and the grandchildren learnt all about them from an early age. I've still got spanners in my garage that belonged to my granddad.

But as has been mentioned, all the problems that were caused by a lack of skill have probably now been fixed.

(But I still think that if you are in a pub fight it’s a good idea to have a Liverpudlian on your side.)


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