As I was born in late 1978, I’m a bit young to recall the Malaise era. One of my earliest memories in life is of John Hinckley’s assassination attempt on President Reagan, so most recollections I have of the cars of the time were on used car lots and, just as often, with the hood up roadside.
Of course, the British car industry was imploding around this time. Very few new models were introduced; most cars were rehashed, smogged versions of the cars British Leyland had been building for many years.
In the Triumph TR7 and later TR8, they did manage to bring a clean-sheet design to U.S. showrooms.
This 1980 Triumph TR8 is one of the hot V8-powered roadsters produced in very low numbers, rather than the four cylinder fitted to the TR7. This one is in period-appropriate gold, with an awesome beige tartan plaid interior. It needs some restoration, but looks quite solid.
I have a Triumph-owning acquaintance who’s certain that the TR8 will appreciate, as if it’s the next Sunbeam Tiger. While I rather doubt that any TR8 will ever trade for six figures like the best Tigers do, it’s time to see these underappreciated sports cars get some love.
I’d even venture a guess that this is one of the most collectible non-exotic cars of the Carter era, but I could be forgetting something. Anyone have any better suggestions?