Lot 184 - 1980 Triumph TR8 Convertible

Lot 184 - 1980 Triumph TR8 Convertible

Lot 184 - 1980 Triumph TR8 Convertible

Lot Number 184
Registration KHP 533V
Chassis Number TPZDV4AT201675
Engine Number 15E00002
Odometer reading 27,276 miles
Result Sold - £24,640
  • One of two factory demonstrators
  • One of four right hand drive automatic examples
  • Owned by TR8 Archivist ‘Rex Holford’
  • In very good order throughout

Offered here is an original and very rare right hand drive, automatic example which was used by British Leyland as the factory demonstrator. Built to US specification the TR8 is fitted with a low compression engine for unleaded petrol and a Lucas electronic fuel injection system. Previously owned by Rex Holford, known to most in several associated car clubs simply as ‘Mr TR8’, who acquired the car in February 1987 and set about an extensive restoration over the next few years. This included a complete bare metal respray in its original colour of Platinum Silver and a refitted blue velour interior trim.

This example is offered with an extremely rare specification as only 16 cars were fitted with automatic gearboxes and fuel injection. Additionally, air conditioning was factory fitted, as befitted a car designed for California. This Triumph carries engine number 15E0002 (the lowest known in that series). The other 15 automatic examples were left hand drive cars and shipped to the west coast of America. In total some 2,800 TR8s were built - the bulk of which were left hand drive cars exported to North America. There were less than 36 factory built right hand drive examples, and of these just four came with automatic transmission, making this a superb opportunity to acquire an important part of Triumph’s history.

Rex Holford was the TR Drivers Club TR8 archivist after having been the TR8 Registrar for many years and was very well known in TR8 circles in both the UK and abroad. He helped organise five TR8 days over the past 25 years (July 2023 will see another one at Gaydon, in his memory) gathering factory built TR8s from across Europe. His website, www.tr8archive.co.uk, remains a testament to his knowledge and passion for the marque. One could consider this vehicle to be his legacy.

In 2021 the TR8 was treated to further mechanical work including an extensive engine rebuild and a complete gearbox overhaul. All work was carried out to a very high standard by renowned TR8 restoration and service specialists, Crucial Automatics. Included in the work was a full engine detailing and new Ethanol proof fuel hoses (to prevent E10 degradation). Having covered very few miles since the engine rebuild the appropriate care should be taken when running the new engine in, over the next 500 miles.

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. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. 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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