TR8 Coupe U.S.A. Spec

TR7V8 Homologation TR8 Coupe used by B.L. for research & development.

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All these pictures were taken 10 years ago...

I was selling this car but due to a fresh bout of enthusiasm I have decided to keep it...

The plan is to turn it into a "Rally Replica"

Do you know anything about the history of this car? If you do please e-mail me @ croydebay@aol.com

TR8 ..WAC275S...A very rare car indeed...only 5 or 6 in the UK.

Flamenco red TR8 Coupe, California Spec LHD, One of approximately 115 "Pilot production" V8 cars built at the Speke Factory in Liverpool. These cars were built principally so that the V8 engine could be homogulated into the TR7 Rally cars.

Initially the marketing people wanted these cars known as TR7V8's in order to bolster sales of the TR7.  The TR8 was not available in the UK (and was never to become available as it turned out). This would explain the official BL sticker under the bonnet which has the letters TR7V8 written on it. I do not know whether these pilot production cars carried decals declaring the car a TR7, a TR8 or even if it had no decals at all! Any further info would be appreciated.

Latest reseach on these early V8's here

Now this can be very confusing as so many TR7's have had a V8 conversions nowerdays and are generally known as TR7V8's. Despite BL's early indecision on the name of the car it is now accepted that any British Leyland built V8 engined car is now regarded as a 'Genuine' TR8. (even a few with TR7 chassis numbers as they were taken from the line and used for development purposes). Strangely the exception to this are the V8 engined works rally cars which people seem to prefer to call {Rally} TR7V8's or "works TR7V8's"

You can then take your pick with WAC275S and the other ACN series cars..."Works TR7V8" (but not 'Rally') or TR8.

The majority of these 'Pilot Production' cars were exported to the U.S. and used to "test the waters" before any real commitment was made to volume production.

WAC275S is Chassis number ACN #### UCF. Most of the works rally cars were actually derived from TR7's however I know that at least one...1979 Works Rally TR8 TUD682T bears an ACN chassis number effectively relating these 2 vehicles. (ACN denotes North American TR8 Coupe). I believe that only about 6 of these TR8 Coupes are known in the U.K. Some have been re-imported and a few (like my car) didn't go at all. Anybody know of any others in the uk?

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The car has been in a lock up garage now for nearly 10 long years...

WAC275S finally comes out of storage after 10 years... pictures here.

A brief history of WAC275S...

TR8 Coupe WAC275S, Chassis No. ACN####UCF, Engine no.#######, Flamenco red, Red/Black Tartan trim, 5 speed Manual Gearbox, (very unusual..most were automatic) PAS Aircon, Sundym Glass.

Built Aug/Sept 1977 and first registered as WAC275S by British Leyland (Power Train Division/Canley) on 12th Sept 1977 there is some evidence to suggest that this car was retained by the factory for "Electrical Development" In fact this may have been just a ruse used by senior management...many were keen to get theirs hands on a new TR8. Any further info would be appreciated.

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Left Hand Drive...Manual Gearbox...Red Taran Trim

The car remained with BL but was transferred to British Leyland (Power Train & Foundry Division/Longbridge, Birmingham) on 5th May 1981. It seems likely that this was the division of BL concerned with disposal of vehicles within the BL group...Another BL development car I used to own KHP543V was also tranferred in a similar manner prior to being sold off. Any further info would be appreciated.

Do you know anything about the history of this car? If you do please e-mail me @ croydebay@aol.com

A few months later on 21st Aug 1981 the car was purchased by Borough Garage, BL Dealers in Oldham. They may have purchased more than one and only recently another TR8 Coupe has surfaced (registered WAC276S?) -apparently development cars were usually commissioned in pairs. WAC275S was set to remain at Borough Garage for the next 7 years as the personal transport of the Director..a Mr. John Smith. I spoke to Mr Smith back in the early 90's who had fond memories of trips to Europe in the car. During this time I believe the car received modifications in Borough Garage workshops. Any further info would be appreciated.

Certainly when I acquired the car it had...

Limited Slip Differential,

4 Pot AP callipers and vented discs,

Stainless Steel Exhausts,

Iskadarian Cams,

High rev lifters,

10.5 to 1 Pistons,

100W Bulbs,

Centre Koni's,

Reduced Bump Anti-dive.

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Borough Garage sticker still in the rear window...

On 1st June 1989 the car was sold to a Mr. Richard Enfield thus ending nearly 12 years of BL ownership. Apparently Mr. Endfield planned to put the car into competition use but after 5 months use part ex-changed it for a race-prepared MG Midget. (So I was told). The car was traded to "The Classique Autocentre" Ashdon Road, Hyde Cheshire.

Do you know anything about the history of this car? If you do please e-mail me @ croydebay@aol.com

9 months later on the 30th Aug 1990 I traded in my beautiful black mint condition 1980 TR7V8 drophead (with dodgy pedigree) for a much more used 1977 TR8 Coupe but with an indisputably perfect pedigree.

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WAC275S now under restoration, latest pictures here

Initially the car ran very badly and was difficult to start when hot. As time went on it became impossible to start at all once hot and I spent a fortune at my friendly local garage until they finally admitted defeat...I had the car RAC "recovered" to "TR Techniques Mototsport Ltd" in Shropshire who diagnosed problems with the auto-choke system and carburettor problems stemming from the removal of the U.S. Spec catalytic converters...the car was returned to U.K Spec with a compete replacement carburation system running on 4 star leaded petrol...another fortune spent. By now I had owned the car 18 months and had hardly driven it. I loved the rigidity and solid feel of the coupe (not even a sunroof but I feel however that this is a good point) but I was also missing my open top convertible.

Perusing the small ads in "Classic and Thoroughbred SportsCar" one day, like you do, I spotted an ad for the rarest of all TR8's.. "The Holy Grail of TR8's" as Rex Holford ex-TR8 Registrar for the TR Drivers Club calls them...A genuine RHD U.K. Spec TR8 Convertible, one only 18 ever made...practically on my doorstep, down in Dorset. The car was viewed and authenticated. An offer was made and accepted and we returned to the TR Register International Weekend summer of 1993 once again with my wife driving one TR8 and myself the other, this time we each had a child beside us...So dont sell the TR when your wife is pregnant...buy another car!

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Sold the dhc after 10 years... I kept the coupe!

Attempts to sell the Coupe stalled and eventually lacking the time or resolve to get the car sold I rented a lock up, got the car freshly MOT'd and drove it in...this would be around Sept 1993. It was to stay there virtually 10 long years...pictures of it finally coming out of storage are here.

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For further info on TR8's visit this great website.

 

For details of my the RHD U.K. Spec TR8 Convertible I recently sold after 10 years of ownership .click here.