The Triumph TR8 Looks Best From the Back Quarter

These really are cool, quirky cars.

I love these weird-looking, very-period convertibles.

  • Car: Triumph TR8
  • Location: San Mateo, CA
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (IG + Twitter: @16vPete)
  • Camera: Canon 6D, EF 50mm 1.8 AF

The Triumph TR8 doesn’t look like any other British convertible, and because of that, I really like it. It’s got some odd design features, such as that sloping crease on each side, and just generally looking like a wedge of cheese. There has to be someone who’s put black vinyl spots on a yellow example to make it resemble a hunk of cheddar.

It looks very much of its era as well, which spanned from 1978-1981.

Triumph threw the Rover 3.5-liter V8 under the hood, which I believe is a forefather to my Land Rover’s all-aluminum 4.0-liter V8. I’m not sure it was all that fast, but it did warrant doing some modification and making it a pretty well-campaigned FIA Group 4 race car. It was also a potent little beast in SCCA club racing back in the day.

Obviously, this very clean, road-going TR8 I spotted at Radwood, looking at its best angle, is far from a race car. But it sure had its place in the show, because it is peak early ’80s design. I wonder if these can be scooped up in project car shape for cheap.

Peter Nelson
Peter Nelson

Peter Nelson has been wrenching on and playing with cars since he started driving them quickly between the cones at Chicagoland autocross events in his late teens. Nowadays, he can be found wringing out his Mazda2 at tracks all over California. His writing background includes Winding Road, Donut Media, and Autolist.com. He's also an avid cyclist and '80s/'90s action film connoisseur. Contact the author here.