Was the Triumph TR7 really the shape of things to come?


Those print and TV ads circa 1976 promised so much: Sooner or later, everything out there would be shaped like a wedge.

And what deserved the credit? The Triumph TR7, naturally. (Of course, we’re still waiting on our wedge-shaped televisions.)

[The Birth of the Modern Sports Car: Datsun 240Z, Porsche 924, Triumph TR7 and Mazda RX-7]

Looking back, do those wedge-shaped designs of the ’70s still fill our automotive dreams, or have they become a bit dated?

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/15/23 1:48 a.m.

I had the ad–or maybe it was some kind of promotional piece–hanging on my bedroom wall. 

DavyZ New Reader
11/20/23 5:06 p.m.

Somehow missed this one!  The TR7 was unlike anything I had seen before and, as an adolescent, I intrigued by the wedge shape.  Admittedly, the convertibles look far better than the hardtop, but I prefer the hardtop due to their better rigidity.  Mine was a yellow 4 cyl (weeps) coupe with red Tartan interior seats.  Loved it.  Bought it as a non-running coupe to do a Chevy V6 conversion, but financial issues (or was it yet another child added to the nest?) forced me to part with the car before I could complete the swap.  What convinced me to do a swap was the cost of trying to duplicate a college buddy's TR8--the Rover V8 was more expensive than a Chevy V6 which could duplicate or even better the performance of the Rover V8. 

Yes, I still look for TR7 coupes being advertised to this day.  indecision

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/21/23 9:09 a.m.

In reply to DavyZ :

The shape holds up well all these years later, right? 


wspohn UltraDork
11/21/23 2:40 p.m.

The shape wasn't entirely novel - the Fiat X1/9 by Bertone had the same sort of nose from 1972 (I think that the later TR was a Michelotti design).

Aside from the horrid quality control, the car looked and should have been, a midengine car like most of the rest of the cars that were using the same sort of styling in the period.

I never liked the TR7 but drove a TR8 and thought it a much better car, so I won't condemn the TR7 based on that experience.

Good article here  https://www.retromotor.co.uk/great-motoring-disasters/triumph-tr7/

ddavidv UltimaDork
11/23/23 8:49 a.m.

Similar to my Mini:  brilliant design, horribly executed. The only thing the British ever mastered was the ability to rush product into production.

AirTight New Reader
11/27/23 6:34 a.m.

In my opinion, the Triumph TR7 was definitely a bold move for its time, but I wouldn't say it entirely shaped the future of car designs. It had a unique wedge shape that stood out in the '70s and made a statement, but it didn't set a lasting trend. The TR7 did influence some later designs, but overall, the auto industry continued to evolve in various directions.

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