TR7. Were we just lucky?

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TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby tigerdog » Thu 05.01.2017, 05:13

So I'm re-watching "Detectorists" once again, and I'm finding myself wondering, would Lance have owned an M100 if the producers could have found one? Or is it just that the TR7 the quintessential poster car of the middle aged misfit?

Seriously love this show.
Last edited by tigerdog on Thu 05.01.2017, 14:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby muley » Thu 05.01.2017, 10:09

We were lucky not to own one. Created by union-loving workshy layabouts. Appalling build quality. My father-in-law had a brand new one. He owned it for 16 weeks, 12 of which were spent back at the dealer. He traded it in for an Austin Princess -. that was even worse! After that a faultless VW Scirroco MKII.
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby Rambo » Thu 05.01.2017, 19:59

Tigerdog - I always liked them because of their unique look with that kicked up the backside stance and the fact there weren't too many of them around my neighbourhood

Fortunately, I was persuaded not to buy one. And that was someone who owned a Triumph garage :?
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby Rob P » Fri 06.01.2017, 09:19

Have to admit to owning a TR7 back in the mid 80's, bought it off a friend who had abandoned it in his garage whilst he worked abroad, cost me the princely sum of £200 if I recall correctly, was the horrible chocolate Brown colour which I quickly changed to Red with a friend respraying the car for me.
Wasn't a bad car really and I did a fair few miles in it. Not everyone's taste and certainly no match for either of my Lotus's but there is still quite a following for them even today. I have seen a few at classic car shows and some of them still bring back some fond memories most are DHC these days but I still prefer the FHC.
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby Saltire » Fri 06.01.2017, 09:56

Never drove a TR7, but I did have a go in a couple of the original factory-built TR8s (or TR7 V8 to be strictly accurate). These had the Rover 3.5 V8 engine and went like stink. Stopping them, however, was another matter . . . Good fun, but a bit crude and certainly nothing like a Lotus.

Later on, I had a TVR Chimaera 4.5, with essentially the same engine. Fastest lorry on wheels, but with a worrying tendency to catch fire occasionally :roll:
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby dapinky » Fri 06.01.2017, 10:10

TR7's were always around the garage which I used to have an interest in (being an indy Triumph specialist), and I did a lot of work on customers' cars.

At that time, I was into my Dolomites and never really got biten by the TR7 bug.

At the back of our unit as another Triumph/Rover specialist who was well-known at the time as being 'the man' (Del Lines) for TR7s (and TR8s), so most of the more interesting ones went there....except for the hybrid TR7 Sprints which came to us.

The 2 businesses were never rivals, and more often, colleagues - there was more than enough work to go round with those cars at the time!!!

In fact, before I got involved, the 2 owners had worked together at a garage, but each went their own way when the owner sold up - Brian set up the Dolomite business, and Del ran off to Teneriffe with a bag of cash :lol: :lol: - later returning to the UK when his creditors had been satisfied.

I navigated for a couple of rally events with Del in his TR7 Sprint, and TR8, and remember going airbourne at Cheltenham racecourse more than once - if well-sorted they were good cars, but most that left the factory were not.

Oh, and those seats - very marmite :smt078 :smt078
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby Rob P » Fri 06.01.2017, 12:29

dapinky wrote:Oh, and those seats - very marmite :smt078 :smt078


This was what mine looked like inside, what's not to like :poke:
TR7 Interiors.jpg
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby Bern » Fri 06.01.2017, 12:45

I've always liked the TR7 (must be my age I guess, I had a Dinky one), but every time I've driven one with a view to buying I've not enjoyed it! It just seemed to be missing something that you should get with a sports car!

I don't like Marmite, but I do like the TR7 interior, I think they were trying to match the Esprit series 1!

Dave - that wasn't Brian Kitley by any chance? I bought a head gasket there for a Dolomite Sprint I had.
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby Fredjohn » Fri 06.01.2017, 12:58

When I worked for Leyland Trucks abroad back in the 80's, I used one during a return visit to the UK. The fuel cap was stolen so the local garage supplied a replacement. I drove around for a few days then topped up with fuel, but could only get a few litres (or was it pints?) in. Drove around again, topped up again.......same problem. :roll: :roll: :?: :?:

Took it into the garage and they discovered I had a very, very small fuel tank. Had a new tank fitted along with a new replacement cap. The previous one they supplied was in fact a US spec NON-venting version!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This had caused a vacuum when the fuel was used and the tank had collapsed. Brilliant!!!! Seem to remember the US cap was supplied in a UK box with the UK part no. on it. Well done Unipart!!

Other than that I quite enjoyed the car. Even took it to N. Germany on a short holiday (and back). But as everyone says, it was not a Lotus. 6/18 months later I bought my first Elan, as pictured below, which I still have, and then understood what good handling meant. Even if reliability/quality were still a slight issue, at least I could work on the Elan and gradually sort it out.
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby tigerdog » Fri 06.01.2017, 15:41

I guess my real question is about the TR7 and Lance, the character in "Detectorists" who drives it. Pristine yellow TR7, driven by the very personification of the lonely, divorced, balding middle-aged fisfit. Sad man, lame hobby, lame car. BUT, would the Elan have been cast in the role if one was available?
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby Bern » Fri 06.01.2017, 16:01

I've not seen the Dectectorists, though I am aware of it!

But I suspect not, the TR7 is widely recognised here, and like most British Leyland cars of the 70s, seen as a bit of joke (though not to me!!). And I'd imagine that's why they chose it.

Whereas most people wouldn't know what an Elan is, and is in a different class anyway (though maybe I'm biased there)!
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby Rob P » Fri 06.01.2017, 18:43

Bern wrote:I've not seen the Dectectorists, though I am aware of it!
But I suspect not, the TR7 is widely recognised here, and like most British Leyland cars of the 70s, seen as a bit of joke (though not to me!!). And I'd imagine that's why they chose it.
Whereas most people wouldn't know what an Elan is, and is in a different class anyway (though maybe I'm biased there)!


When you say most people would know what an Elan is are you referring to the M100? in my experiences I find most people know the Original 1960's elan but don't know about the M100.
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby dapinky » Fri 06.01.2017, 19:37

Bern wrote:Dave - that wasn't Brian Kitley by any chance? I bought a head gasket there for a Dolomite Sprint I had.


The one and only. I first met him when he and Del were at Atlantic Garage in Weston, then a few years later when he had gone independent at Banwell. We soon established that he had bought my first Sprint off the man I sold it to back in 1981, and I had since bought it back again. a great friendship was born (and I still own that same car).
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby Bern » Sat 07.01.2017, 10:25

When you say most people wouldn't know what an Elan is are you referring to the M100?


Yes :-)

The one and only. I first met him when he and Del were at Atlantic Garage in Weston, then a few years later when he had gone independent at Banwell. We soon established that he had bought my first Sprint off the man I sold it to back in 1981, and I had since bought it back again. a great friendship was born (and I still own that same car).


I only went there twice, to Banwell, and I'm pretty certain it was 1997 (where have those 20 years gone?), he seemed like a genuine helpful guy. My Sprint was a mess really, a yellow 1974 model. I bought it from a guy in Bristol, he couldn't get it started and it was parked on the road and the tax and MOT were about to expire. I put the plug leads back on in the correct order and it fired up almost straight away! It was burning lots of oil though, I put the head on to a TR7 block to keep it running, turned out a piston ring was in pieces in the sump. I really needed something more practical, we'd just bought our first house, so I didn't keep it long and replaced it with a Peugeot 305 estate (which I bought in Weston).
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby stevie-a » Sun 08.01.2017, 21:04

Nothing wrong with the TR7, apart from the bad and unjust press it received, when it should have been the workers that got the bad press.

I have had a TR7 of one kind or another for 20 years, the one i have now only 30000 miles from new. As for the interior, more space in there than the M100


Love them.

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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby clemo » Sun 08.01.2017, 21:22

I to had a very late TR7 convertible when i was 20 .
YAC 174X Pharo Gold with burberry interior . Canley black badged version ( not trefoil sticker)

I loved it .. However it was rather untrendy at the time .

Sold it to Rimmer brothers .
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby stevie-a » Sun 08.01.2017, 21:41

Looks like your YAC is no longer with us.

Tax due: 30 June 1997

this is my mate's car also YAC, and also Pharo Gold but a FHC

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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby clemo » Tue 10.01.2017, 20:12

Same colour ... Pharo gold and same interior trim .

his one looks very nice.
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby stevie-a » Wed 11.01.2017, 00:06

Yes it is, 58,000 miles and if you look at it's past m.o.t's

It has never had an advisory.
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Re: TR7. Were we just lucky?

Postby clemo » Sat 21.01.2017, 22:19

Jim Clark S2 on the way . The one with the Yellow spoke wheels .
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