Lot 176 - 1980 Triumph TR8 Convertible

Lot 176 - 1980 Triumph TR8 Convertible

Lot 176 - 1980 Triumph TR8 Convertible

Lot Number 176
Registration KHP 542V
Chassis Number TPZDJ8AT203896
Engine Number 10A04546A
Odometer reading 78,419 miles
Estimate £23,000 - £28,000
  • Factory development car
  • Fully restored
  • Good history

The TR8 that appeared on the North American market used the all-alloy 3.5 litre V8 engine that had been powering Rovers since 1966. Most of the initial build cars came with dual Zenith Stromberg carburettors - only those sold into emission-conscious California used fuel injection from the outset. Early TR8s were only available in Coupé form - the much-admired convertible not reaching the market until October of their introductory year. British Leyland had eventually decided to introduce the TR8 to the UK and European markets in November 1981 and had constructed a mere 18 right hand drive cars at the Lode Lane Solihull Factory some weeks before. Shortly after these examples were built British Leyland executives decided to cancel the whole TR range and plans to build the TR8 in any volume were scrapped.

This 1980 Triumph was built as a TR7 convertible, to Californian specification, and was due to be sent there on completion. In 1979 British Leyland’s last-ditch attempt to keep the TR7 viable they took twenty-five cars, twenty fully built, and five partially built cars off the production line and gave them to their development department. This was to drive costs down and develop the ‘O’ series engine, possibly with 16 valves and certainly to build a turbo version. When the development of these cars concluded in June 1981 all the running gear was removed, the cars were listed as scrapped and went back to the production line. KHP 542V, being one of these cars, was rebuilt as a right hand drive TR8, fitted with the 3.5 litre V8 engine with a manual gearbox and sold in the UK. Purchased by the current owner in 2011 he kept the car in storage before sending it to British classic car restorers M. V. Classics Ltd., of Southampton, Hampshire in 2014. Over the next two and half years they were responsible for the complete restoration at a cost in excess of £45,000, this included changing the colour from white to this lovely shade of blue. The interior remains black leather with black soft top roof. In 2018 the owner took and registered the car at his home in Guernsey where it has remained, with very little use, until being re-imported to the UK and registered with its original factory registration number. Further work was carried out while in the Channel Islands this included a new alternator and replacing the twin SU’s, with manifold, for a new ‘four pot’ Holly downdraft carburettor which the owner tells us the power increase is staggering, and the handling is like driving a slot car around the track. Supplied with a V5 registration document and a file containing old MoT test certificates, a Heritage certificate, photographs and invoices from the restoration. A very rare English sportscar, an investment for the future.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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