Gary Hamilton’s “Barn Find” Triumph TR8

My friend and sometime rally driver, Gary Hamilton was recently looking around for a convertible sports car when he became aware of a Triumph TR8 that had not been driven since the late 1990s.  This car could be considered a “barn find” as it was in longer term storage in a garage about 30 miles from my house and in danger of getting lost behind various other items sharing the storage.


Triumph TR8 In Deep Storage

Gary took a look at the Triumph, decided that he wanted to buy it, and then negotiated a fair deal with the owner.  Gary took a chance because he was unable to be sure that the engine was free.  The remainder of the car was in an acceptable condition and the car does not appear to have rust of any consequence on the chassis.  The wheels were frozen when the deal was made and they have since freed up after the flatbed ride to Gary’s garage.  Gary has also reported that the engine is free although there is some strange impact damage to the standard SU carburetors.


The Triumph TR8 Sees The Light Of Day

I think that the Triumph TR8 cars have some upside value potential and I told him that as he was contemplating the deal.  The V8 engine gives the TR8 a certain cache that buyers will be attracted to.  The standard 3.5 litre Triumph TR8 V8 engine came from Triumph in a low state of tune, producing only 133 horsepower.  Over the years versions of this engine have produced more than 200 horsepower when Buick/Oldsmobile used this engine.


Dash Looks Fine But The Radio Is Missing

The interior just seems to need a good cleaning.  By the way, the seats look fine in the TR8 – much better than the “tartan” seats in the TR7s.


The Seats Appear To Be In Good Shape

The car was originally a green color, but it was painted red at some point in its history. As a starting point, Gary gave the car a good cleaning on this one side and the color has come alive.


The Standard Triumph TR8 Decals Were Not Replaced After The Paint Job

Overall, I think that Gary has got a good car here which he bought at a good price.  He is taking steps to replace the twin SU carburetors with a four-barrel carburetor which will improve the breathing and fuel delivery.  This new carburetor could add 20 horsepower to the car.  This is a fairly commonly modification to the Triumph V8 engine.


A Triumph TR8 Fitted With A Four-Barrel Carburetor

I look forward to going for a ride in this Triumph TR8 when Gary gets it sorted out and on the road.  I think that it will be a good lively car.

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