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A brief history... I have owned 5 TR's in succession since 1980. The first was a '77/8 Speke built 4 speed TR7 Coupe in Flamenco red. Despite being only 2 years old at the time of purchase it rusted in front of my eyes and I had it reprayed ....hence the gold Canley decals... The headlights were erratic and the gearbox went...
I'd always wanted a convertible and I wanted a pristine one.... Although I live in Devon I went up to Warwick to buy the Pendelican white 1980 drophead above with just 21,000 miles on the clock. I then sold the TR7 FHC locally.
With GVP610W I won The TR Cup for "Best in Class" at the TR Register International 1984.
More pix when I find them!
I really wanted a TR8 of course but you could buy one! After some searching and hard saving in 1985 I bought KHP543V, a TR8/TR7V8 lhd dhc in black built by BL employees from an ex-development shell. This car I've always regretted selling, it was a great car. I am still occasionally in touch with the present owner.
This in turn was replaced in 1990 by a '78 Speke built Flamenco TR7V8 lhd coupe, one of around 135 pilot build homogalization cars exported to the USA and sold as TR8's. Full history of WAC275S here.
Kinda looks a bit like my first Speke TR7 doesn't it? 10 times as much trouble too...
This car was nothing but trouble from the moment before I bought it and after 2 years of endless hassle and expense I decided I'd be better off cutting my losses. I missed the softtop too and whilst scanning the ads in "Thoroughbred and Classic Sportscar" I came across a genuine UK spec RHD dhc in Bordeaux metallic (one of the 18) down in Dorset.
URU287X at Malvern circa 1994
This was in 1993 and it had 25,000 miles on the clock. It was sound but a bit neglected and I made an offer. The answer was no, two weeks later the phone rang and the answer was yes! I kept this UK Spec TR8 for the best part of 10 years. I sold it last year (2002) with 43,000 miles on the clock, still in very sound condition but still neglected!. Full history of this car (now registered TRA8OK) can be found here.
Now there were two TR8's outside the house! Attempts to sell the FHC TR8 for sensible money failed so eventually I rented a lock-up and in it went for a nice long (10 year) rest!
In 2002 with two cars needing money spending on them I decided to sell both the TR's and go modern. The UK Spec rhd TR8 was sold unseen over the internet to Mike Lovatt in China. This was a great leap of faith on his part but I still reckon he got a fantastic bargain!
Again attempts to get a sensible price for FHC TR7V8 failed (do you see a pattern emerging here?) Eventually however I sold it and took a deposit. I think 6 months is long enough to wait for the balance don't you? Although by this time I had indeed gone modern and bought a Mercedes SLK V6 (with metal folding roof), I suddenly got a fresh bout of enthusiasm for the remaining TR8. I returned the guy's deposit and decided to go back to plan "A" .... A Rally Replica!
WAC275S comes out into the sunlight following 10 years in a lock-up. 13 Years after I bought it.
There are more pix taken that day here. A lot has happened in the 10 years that the car has been locked away. It has now been possible to find out a lot more about the 135 ish "works" TR7V8's. Any qualms I have had about changing the car and destroying it's originality have now been largely quashed. Two reasons for this really. Firstly the car is clearly worth little in monetary terms and secondly it now appears that many of it's 135 brothers and sisters are famous, in TR terms at least...
I have now discovered that a good few of these TR7V8 pilot build ACN cars were (still are?) race or rally cars, both here and in the USA. For details of what I have found out so far and pix of the rebuild of WAC275S please read on...