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Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
6/24/11 7:30 a.m.

A reader sent me this email and I thought I would throw it up here for some discussion:

Hi Tim, a few friends (of the Triumph persuasion) and I where discussing which was better a TR3 or a 4,or a 6 or a,....well nobody said a 7.. I said that I had originally been looking at Tigers but they were out of my price range so I got a TR6. Then the subject of TR8s came up an the talk came around to TR8 vs. Tiger. I have kind of a vested interest in this as I have a TR8 under reconstruction in my garage, and as you have a Tiger in yours, can you give an unbiased opinion of the two cars?

How do they compare performance wise, handling, and ride. I would think that the extra 15 years would make a big difference in creature comforts, but it may be hard for the Rover 215 to best a Ford 221,260,289. Thanks for any input. Thanks, Rob

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
6/24/11 7:39 a.m.

Okay, now I will answer this. I have owned all of these cars, so I do feel I have some perspective.

First; I have said many times to anyone who will listen (and that is not many) that the TR-7s and 8s are probably the best Triumphs ever, when it comes to driving experience.

Second; as our latest project car update outlines, we just put another 2500 miles (in a week) in our Sunbeam, and it is a damned comfortable, fun car to run long distance events in. I do understand that this one has been sorted and modified to death, and can't be compared with a stock Tiger.

I have also done a thousand mile rally in a well sorted TR6, and it was wonderful.

A subject that didn't come up in this email is supercharging a smaller engine car. Take one of Moss' kits and for $4000 you turn a $15,000-20,000 TR6 into a Tiger or TR8. Very, very nice, smooth kit. They also make a kit for the four cylinder cars as well, but the six cylinder engine of the TR 250 and 6 is smoother and tourquier for touring.

So, to directly answer the question. TR8 is very underated and undervalued car, but not everyone can live with the styling. Triumph TR, especially in supercharged and/or six cylinder version makes a wonderful, comfortable, practical tourer and if you've got the scratch, Tigers kick all the ass.

pjr300 New Reader
6/24/11 7:45 a.m.

Tim, I've loved Tigers for years.... probably goes back to watching Agent 86 in one of my favorite TV shows.

Every time I see a clean resto of one of these it makes me want one all the more.... but prices have really gone thru the roof on Tigers.

I think the TR8 is under-valued but has the potential for appreciation down the road. Nothing is guaranteed, but who knows? If anything, it's an reason/justification/excuse (pick one) to buy and restore one.

racerdave600 HalfDork
6/24/11 8:19 a.m.

While I don't have the experience Tim does, I have owned most of the ones on the list. The only exceptions are the Tiger and TR8, although I've spent a lot of time in a TR8. As a Triumph guy from way back, I have to say any of them can be good, it depends on the condition and spec. I'd much rather have a good condition 2, 3 or 4 than a poor condition 6, 7 or 8, or vice versa.

Given equal conditions, I'd probably take the 8 simply because a Tiger is now out of my toy price range. Other than the 8, I really want a 250.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Web Manager
6/24/11 8:20 a.m.

I've been lucky enough to drive the Tiger, and it left me wanting much more time to spend with one someday.

I haven't spent much time at the wheel of a TR8, but it doesn't pull at my heart the same way that a Tiger does. I'd like to try one that's sorted and well finished to see which I'd really, really want to own forever.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
6/24/11 8:34 a.m.

Sigh, I suppose someone has to post this:

Which is better?

The MG.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
6/24/11 10:22 a.m.

You are right Basil. The MG is the better car...........for your wife!

AndreGT6 Dork
6/24/11 10:26 a.m.

TR 250.

You get the body of the TR4 which I love and the 2.5 of the TR6.

But come on. JAG E Type Lightweight.


rconlon HalfDork
6/24/11 11:41 a.m.

Off the show room floor, the TR-8 was the better and more reliable modern car to drive.
The Tiger has more collectible value today and is the one I would choose to take to a car show. If I had to restore then sell one and put $20k into it, it would be the Tiger. I would never get my investment out of a TR-8.
I would choose the TR-8 for myself since I like a good deal and following the road less travelled. I also like a car that I can park on a city street. Cheers Ron

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
6/24/11 1:59 p.m.

In reply to Joe Gearin:

How right you are! My wife vintaged race a MG Midget with me. At least until her bad back couldn't handle it anymore. She beat me at her last race and came in first in class and I came in second.

The other guys asked me "how do you like being beaten by your wife?" I asked them, "how did YOU like being beaten by me AND my wife?"

Tahoe New Reader
6/24/11 3:55 p.m.

Well, I've owned 3 Tigers, a '65 Mk1, 66 Mk1A, and '67 Mk2. The '65 was my daily driver for 10 years, and was the best of the 3 because I did some upgrading to 305HP 289, and 3:31 gears, along with a few other things. I've also driven a TR8 several times, and we're talking apples and oranges here. The only similarity is a 2 seat British DHC with a V8. In stock form the TR8 is a better car to live with than the Tiger. The Tiger when modified is more fun than a stock TR8 by far. I think money is better spent on other British DHC's than a Tiger in my opinion. Even after living with Tigers for more than 10 years and probalbly 200,000 miles I'm not in love with them. My Elan is much more fun than any Tiger I've driven in my opinion. I also owned and liked my (non British) Miatas and Alfa Duetto better than my Tigers. Don't get me wrong Tigers are fun, but don't get hung up on thinking a stock 260, 2V, 165 HP, V8 is a great performing sports car. You'll need to build one like CM did, to really have fun with one.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
6/24/11 3:57 p.m.
Basil Exposition wrote: The other guys asked me "how do you like being beaten by your wife?" I asked them, "how did YOU like being beaten by me AND my wife?"


ddavidv SuperDork
6/24/11 4:40 p.m.

Never driven a Tiger, but I've driven an Alpine. I don't understand why they are so overlooked. If we're comparing 4 cyl cars, then the Alpine is certainly a worthy contender.

The Triumph six is just so darn heavy I'd have to pick the aluminum Rover V8 over it any day.

DeadSkunk HalfDork
6/25/11 9:39 p.m.

Oh, come on, you bunch !!! You haven't lived until you've driven a Vauxhall Viva HA. All those Triumphs are little more than tractors. Duck and run......

Series6 Reader
6/26/11 12:54 a.m.

All good choices. I might suggest that he look around his area or the net and seeing if there's a club of one marque or the other and how much support there is from them. One of the things that make owning a LBC is the friends that go along with them.

If he's looking for a great driver find an Alpine and do the 2.8 Ford V6/T5 conversion. I've got one and am building a second. Still have the great handling of the Alpine and it flys. If he wants to go that way see the SAOCA website under Modified.

rconlon HalfDork
6/27/11 12:33 p.m.
DeadSkunk wrote: Oh, come on, you bunch !!! You haven't lived until you've driven a Vauxhall Viva HA. All those Triumphs are little more than tractors. Duck and run......

No need to duck from me. My first car was a 1966 Envoy Epic the sister to the Viva. It had a neat 4 speed transmission and all British mechanicals. It was slow. I tried to better 65 mph one day but could not against a light breeze.


aeronca65t Dork
6/27/11 12:40 p.m.

I always wanted to get a TR7 and remove that "swoosh" on the side. It might be a neat thing to do.

When I first saw the Z4 I thought "Good God! The Germans have copied the Brits!"

Anyway, for many folks the "best" Brit cars are those with good parts support: obviously, MGBs, Spridgets, Spitfires, TR6s, etc. I do think that the TR7 is undervalued and a better car than many older TRs. They handle and drive nicely.

And speaking of driving, the one feature I don't like about Alpines is the steering. They use an old-style steering box with little feel. The Tigers use rack & pinion (and I guess an Alpine could be converted to this).

TR8owner Reader
6/27/11 1:30 p.m.

I've owned a Tiger and currently own a TR8. The TR8 is definately the more modern and more practical car, also far easier to work on. Its quite easy to modify a TR8 into near super car status with some engine work and suspension mods. The Tiger really is a beast since it was never really designed for a V8 engine. In contrast the TR8 was designed as the TR7 with the V8 in mind from the start.

It really depends on what you want. The Tiger is a 60's classic but the TR8 is a more pratical daily driver.

wspohn Reader
6/27/11 1:46 p.m.
AndreGT6 wrote: TR 250. You get the body of the TR4 which I love and the 2.5 of the TR6.

Which is no improvement - you have added weight in exchange for a lame smogged engine that doesn't perform any better than the old 4 cylinder. If you were talking TR5, I could see what you are saying, or if you are talking not about stock cars, but about potential then certainly the overly sedate (heck, admit it - moribund) 2.5 engine can be dragged kicking and screaming into being a reasonable power producer.

Too bad that both the Tiger and the TR-8 have the same shortcomings of too small wheels to fit decent brakes into, but they aren't too bad with optimized brakes with good pad material.

I am not a big fan of the TR7 styling, but having helped a friend do a re & re on a Tiger engine, I think I'd rather own the TR. That 260 (OK, let's admit that there are probably only 3 Tigers with original engines that aren't running 289s or 302s) fits pretty far back under there. Not as bad as changing the plugs on a V8 Chev Monza or pulling the starter on a Mk 2 Jag, but still pretty high up on the barking your knuckles and cussing scale.

Series6 Reader
6/28/11 11:37 a.m.
aeronca65t wrote: And speaking of driving, the one feature I don't like about Alpines is the steering. They use an old-style steering box with little feel. The Tigers use rack & pinion (and I guess an Alpine could be converted to this).

With all due respect, you have it backwards. Even the Tiger guys will tell you that, with the R&P, the Tiger's Ackerman angles are all wrong. Even in a parking lot you can hear the outside front tire scrubbing. There's a remedy but it's expensive. I know of two companies that make replacement front crossmembers that are complete to bolt in. All you add is wheels and tires. Cures the issue.

aeronca65t Dork
6/28/11 2:11 p.m.

Ahh! I haven't driven a Tiger....just an Alpine. It reminded me of a Chevy pickup (or the TR3 I had at that time).

So they're both bad in stock form?

My Miata scrubs noticably in parking lot turns and I've noticed others that do it too. I always figured that was the extra toe-out they give it to improve higher-speed turning. I guess you're saying the low speed scrubbing in Tigers is more of a screw up?

TR8owner Reader
6/28/11 10:23 p.m.

In reply to Tim Suddard:

"supercharging .....you turn a $15,000-20,000 TR6 into a Tiger or TR8."

Sacrilage. My brother has a lovely modified TR6 with triple webers and appropriate engine work as well as suspension mods. To my mind, that's the correct way to do up a TR6. His problem is that he hasn't been driving it much this year since he finished restoring his Lotus Europa twin cam.

Tahoe New Reader
7/3/11 10:42 p.m.

Tigers always were thought to be too heavy in the front because of the V8. In truth the weight distribution is 51/49 with the heavy feeling caused by the R&P being set too far forward causing a reverse acherman angle. The Tiger always got lighter at higher speeds but always felt heavy at low speeds. The acherman angle problem was a result of the $10,000 paid to Shelby to make the V8 fit in the Alpine. Wow a whole $10,000, what would that cost today? Anyway the first fix for the steering problem was developed by Lew Anderson of San Diego in the late 70's when he was autocrossing his Tiger. He later sold this fix as a kit because of his success in autocrossing the Tiger. He won at least one National Championship in the Tiger before switching to a TVR Griffith and winning more champioships.

Vince Reader
7/4/11 2:52 p.m.

I had the pleasure of driving a Tiger with 260 engine in a couple weeks ago at Mosport (not racing). The owner flipped me the keys and said "take it for a spin" Kinda floored me "are you sure"? "Really??" ...... "Yes, the keys are in it". After driving it very cautiously around the infield area he waved me over. "Get in the passenger seat"... OK so he hops in and we hit the road and he explains the few mods to the original 260 he's made and how many long treks he's taken this baby on over the years... I felt so honored he had tossed me the keys! On a nice straight stretch of road he stops then Matt's it and what a rush with tires squeeling, smoke and glued to the back of my seat for 50 yards . GREAT RIDE!!!!

But you know, I'd still never trade the beautiful lines of my round tailed GT6 for any other British car.. Not the best British car but the prettiest by far and I have a soft spot of course..

The Tiger rocks for sure.

Dave_Jorgensen New Reader
7/5/11 10:53 a.m.

Gentlemen, you have it all wrong. My supercharged 1953 MGTD is the best British car ever made. Never mind that it was completely rebuilt and re-engineered in western Canada, it has Queen Victoria stamped all over it and will eat your TR6's, TR8's and Tigers for lunch. I can go 98 miles per hour, so you should all be very afraid. Plus, mine looks way cooler than all yours.


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