Prized Possession: 1981 Triumph TR7 580 Mile Survivor – Sold?

by | Oct 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

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December 1, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “ClassiFIND” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

By 1981, the writing was on the wall that British Leyland was pulling out of the U.S. market. By 1980, its Triumph division only offered two versions of its wedge-shaped sports car in the U.S.: the inline-four-powered TR7 or the V8-equipped TR8.  With most U.S. Triumph dealerships beginning to close shop in 1980, buying a Triumph sports car became difficult after the 1981 model year.

This Silver Leaf over blue 1981 Triumph TR7 convertible for sale, last seen for sale on Craigslist in October 2023 near our offices here in Flemington, New Jersey, is one of only a few TR7s imported that final year.  The seller notes the original owner had to special order the car and have it flown over on a Boeing 747 cargo when new.  The original owner apparently purchased the car as a collector’s item, as this TR7 only has 590 miles since new.  While this Triumph TR7 may have been the original owner’s prized possession, they clearly admired the car sitting in their garage on display rather than behind the wheel driving it.

Last offered for $32,500,, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well above this guide’s six-month rolling results trend for similar Triumph TR7 examples.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is over double this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $16,000. The premium here is for what is likely the lowest mileage 1981 TR7 Convertible currently available in the U.S., if not the world.

The 1981 Triumph TR7 Convertible, the final iteration of the TR7 series, is a classic British sports car that holds a unique place in automotive history. With its iconic wedge-shaped design and a convertible top that invited drivers to experience open-air motoring, the TR7 is a symbol of the late 1970s and early 1980s. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this remarkable car, exploring its design, performance, and legacy.

Harris Mann designed the Triumph TR7, and it immediately caught the eye with its distinct wedge-shaped silhouette. This design was a break from the past, as it departed from the curvaceous lines of earlier British sports cars. The TR7 featured a low, aerodynamic profile with a sloping front end that incorporated pop-up headlights. The pop-up headlights, a popular feature of the era, were not only functional but also added to the car’s unique aesthetics. The convertible variant of the TR7 had a soft top that could be folded down, allowing drivers to embrace the joys of open-air driving.

The body of the TR7 was constructed from steel, and its compact dimensions made it ideal for nimble maneuvering through both urban streets and winding country roads. The sharp lines and the prominent wedge shape made the TR7 an instantly recognizable car that continues to stand out in the world of classic sports cars.

Inside the TR7, the design ethos focused on simplicity and functionality. The dashboard was modern for its time, adorned with a full array of gauges, including a tachometer and a speedometer. The two-seater cabin was cozy, with comfortable cloth or vinyl seats. While the interior might not have been as luxurious as some of its competitors, it provided all the necessary elements for an enjoyable driving experience.

The 1981 TR7 Convertible was offered with various engine options, depending on the market. In the United States, it typically came equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine. This engine produced around 105 horsepower in its base form, delivering smooth and linear power. Paired with a 5-speed manual transmission, the TR7 was capable of delivering an engaging driving experience.

The suspension of the TR7 was tuned for a comfortable ride without sacrificing handling. It was a car suitable for daily driving and a spirited weekend cruise along winding roads. Its lightweight construction and responsive steering made it a joy to handle through corners, while the convertible variant allowed drivers to fully embrace the sensory experience of the open road.

The Triumph TR7, like many iconic cars, had its fair share of admirers and critics. While it was lauded for its distinctive design and comfortable ride, it faced some challenges regarding reliability, particularly in its early models. The British automotive industry was grappling with labor strikes and financial difficulties during the TR7’s production years, which affected the car’s quality and reputation.

Despite these challenges, the TR7 has retained a dedicated following among automotive enthusiasts. Its unique design and affordable price point have made it an accessible, classic car for those who appreciate its historical significance. Moreover, its place in popular culture, including appearances in movies and television shows, has contributed to its enduring appeal.

The 1981 Triumph TR7 Convertible remains a captivating symbol of British automotive history. Its groundbreaking wedge-shaped design, comfortable interior, and enjoyable driving dynamics make it a car that stands the test of time. While it may not have reached the iconic status of some of its British sports car contemporaries, the TR7 is a beloved classic in its own right. With its last model year in 1981, the TR7 serves as a reminder of an era of automotive design that was defined by bold experimentation and distinctiveness, and it continues to turn heads and capture the imagination of car enthusiasts around the world.

The Grand Thrift Auto YouTube Channel provides a modern perspective of why enthusiasts should give the Triumph TR7 a second look:

Cars are only original once.  With only 580 documented miles, this 1981 Triumph TR7 for sale is the next best thing to building a time machine and returning to buying one brand new. The dilemma is, with only 580 miles since new, this TR7 convertible for sale is more likely a museum piece for a British sports car enthusiast as the premium price requested will only decline if the new caretaker decides to add any miles to the car.

If you are serious about buying this TR7, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Triumph featured here on Since this TR& for sale is located in the same town as our office, please feel free to call Rudy if you need someone to inspect the car in person.

Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1981 Triumph TR7 Fuel Injected Roadster *One of the last built*Only 600 Original Miles
This is probably the nicest, all original, and lowest mile TR7 in existence – UNDER 600 Original and verified miles. This rare 1981 TR7 was special ordered after production stopped and flown to the USA onboard a PanAm 747 Cargo jet to its original owner who kept it as a prized possession until his passing. The car is finished in the Rare (1981 only) SILVER LEAF Metalic paint with Blue Velour Interior. The car is one of a handful with the Fuel injected 2.0 litre overhead cam engine. This car also sports a rare Lenham removable hardtop. This Triumph has just been fully serviced to make it ready for use and or/show. A true time capsule or museum find. Call for extensive details and history documentation

Show or go: What would you do with this 1981 Triumph TR7 for sale? Please comment below and let us know!


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