Junkyard Find: 1980 Triumph TR7 With V8 V6 Swap

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

We’ve seen a couple of “poor man’s TR8” race cars in the 24 Hours of LeMons: you take a TR7 and drop a junkyard V8 out of a junked Land Rover into it. This works better than both the “really poor man’s TR8″ (a TR7 with Buick V6 swap), in the sense that it sounds a lot cooler, and is (slightly) more reliable than a Triumph Slant Four-powered TR7. Plenty of folks did this swap to their street TR7s as well, and I’ve found an example in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

For a crash course in the history of the TR7/TR8, check out the latest Ate Up With Motor essay. It’s all there.

Somebody got the intake from this wrecked ’80, but the rest of the engine is still there. The junkyard next door always has several complete V8-equipped Rover SUVs, which no doubt make for easier engine extractions than you’d get with this car.

The interior in this car is in very nice shape, so let’s hope that some TR7 owner grabs the good stuff before the whole mess gets fed to The Crusher. Hey, look— manual tranmission!

Note: As several readers have pointed out, this car does not have a V8 swap. It has a V6 swap. I failed to look closely at the engine, no doubt because I was so preoccupied with mental images of angry, just-got-off-the-picket-line British Leyland workers assembling this car with pickaxes and monkey wrenches.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • WedgeHead WedgeHead on Feb 21, 2012

    I could probably use the seats. How do I find out which wrecking yard it's at in Denver?

  • Johnmanske Johnmanske on Feb 23, 2012

    I am the webmaster of the TR7 Spider Registry and have owned three of these cars. Please refer to the site TR7SpiderRegistry.com and notice this is a true Spider based upon the VIN and Paint Code PMA and the Trim Code RAF. Paint PMA was black and only used on Spiders. How this car became red is a mystery for sure. What salvage yard is it at? I would like to call them and see if they can look at it a bit closer. Thanks John Manske (920) 730-0000 TR7SPIDER@TR7SPIDER.com

  • Varezhka I have still yet to see a Malibu on the road that didn't have a rental sticker. So yeah, GM probably lost money on every one they sold but kept it to boost their CAFE numbers.I'm personally happy that I no longer have to dread being "upgraded" to a Maxima or a Malibu anymore. And thankfully Altima is also on its way out.
  • Tassos Under incompetent, affirmative action hire Mary Barra, GM has been shooting itself in the foot on a daily basis.Whether the Malibu cancellation has been one of these shootings is NOT obvious at all.GM should be run as a PROFITABLE BUSINESS and NOT as an outfit that satisfies everybody and his mother in law's pet preferences.IF the Malibu was UNPROFITABLE, it SHOULD be canceled.More generally, if its SEGMENT is Unprofitable, and HALF the makers cancel their midsize sedans, not only will it lead to the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ones, but the survivors will obviously be more profitable if the LOSERS were kept being produced and the SMALL PIE of midsize sedans would yield slim pickings for every participant.SO NO, I APPROVE of the demise of the unprofitable Malibu, and hope Nissan does the same to the Altima, Hyundai with the SOnata, Mazda with the Mazda 6, and as many others as it takes to make the REMAINING players, like the Excellent, sporty Accord and the Bulletproof Reliable, cheap to maintain CAMRY, more profitable and affordable.
  • GregLocock Car companies can only really sell cars that people who are new car buyers will pay a profitable price for. As it turns out fewer and fewer new car buyers want sedans. Large sedans can be nice to drive, certainly, but the number of new car buyers (the only ones that matter in this discussion) are prepared to sacrifice steering and handling for more obvious things like passenger and cargo space, or even some attempt at off roading. We know US new car buyers don't really care about handling because they fell for FWD in large cars.
  • Slavuta Why is everybody sweating? Like sedans? - go buy one. Better - 2. Let CRV/RAV rust on the dealer lot. I have 3 sedans on the driveway. My neighbor - 2. Neighbors on each of our other side - 8 SUVs.
  • Theflyersfan With sedans, especially, I wonder how many of those sales are to rental fleets. With the exception of the Civic and Accord, there are still rows of sedans mixed in with the RAV4s at every airport rental lot. I doubt the breakdown in sales is publicly published, so who knows... GM isn't out of the sedan business - Cadillac exists and I can't believe I'm typing this but they are actually decent - and I think they are making a huge mistake, especially if there's an extended oil price hike (cough...Iran...cough) and people want smaller and hybrids. But if one is only tied to the quarterly shareholder reports and not trends and the big picture, bad decisions like this get made.