"The TR8 that appeared on the North American market used the all-alloy 3.5-litre V8 engine that had been powering Rovers since 1966. Most of the initial build cars came with dual Zenith Stromberg carburettors - only those sold into emission-conscious California using fuel injection from the outset. Early TR8s were only available in Coupe form - the much-admired convertible not reaching the market until October of their introductory year.British Leyland had eventually decided to introduce the TR8 to the UK and European markets in November 1981 and had constructed a mere eighteen right hand drive cars at the Lode Lane Solihull Factory some weeks before. Shortly after these examples were built British Leyland executives decided to cancel the whole TR range and plans to build the TR8 in any volume were scrapped. The order was subsequently given to clear all vehicle stocks which included the eighteen un-registered and unsold TR8s languishing at Canley. Car manufacturers used a term known as ‘method build’ prior to full production, the process is meant as test to iron out any snags and to fully learn the process of building a new model from start to finish.
To this end two TR7 convertible body shells were used to build a manual and an automatic factory TR8 in November 1980. Both cars were built right hand drive finished in Pendelican white and fitted with TR8 engines, in this case chassis no. 402290 the auto gearbox version was fitted with engine number 21E-00001. This car was also built with the North American market Tan velour interior.
The car was subsequently sold off by British Leyland during factory clear out in August of 1980 to a north London collector who took the unregistered car and placed it in a lock up in Hampstead until it was recently discovered by classic car specialist Anthony Godin.
Having remained hidden for a staggering 41 years the car is now available for restoration. Supplied with a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate confirming the car as a factory built Triumph TR8 Convertible it is one of the last great undiscovered cars of the iconic 1980’s.