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TR7 Spider

By Jenny Pawlak

Convertible, black, red decals, air conditioning, alloy wheels. The Spider was welcomed into our family of Triumphs by a complete coincidence. During a visit to my grandparents' house, my grandpa mentioned that a coworker's (brother) was selling a Triumph car. As it turns out, it was a TR-7. My dad went to look at it and decided to bring it home. My dad drove it for several months saying that he was "testing" it to make sure everything was ok. Well mom decided that everything was ok and soon enough, I was able to drive it.

The Spider was officially mine as a graduation present. When Dad wasn't working on his Spitfire or Mom's Stag, he fixed up my little TR-7. When I finished college four years later (for the first degree anyway!) the Spider was completely restored with a wonderful new paint job, new engine and everything else, all clean. The renovation of the TR-7 has been chronicled in several issues of the newsletter, and I'm fairly sure it was the subject of more than a few repair clinics.

After the restoration, the Spider started gathering awards. It started slow, with a few second and third places, and worked its way up. Thanks to Dad's great skills as a mechanic and car-geek, the Spider has just won the TR7 Concours at the 2002 VTR Convention ! At the 2001 Roadster Factory Summer Party, dad also introduced me to this thing called autocross. I was very nervous at first, but this autocross is so much fun! Any show or event that has an autocross, count me in.

All my friends have professed their love for the TR-7, and have asked to be adopted by my Dad so they can get a Triumph too. (It's not going to work!) So now they wait until I need to run errands, and suddenly they need to go to the same store at the same time. Could it all be a ploy to get a ride in the car? Probably.

I'm looking forward to many, many more years with my Spider. With my Dad's help, it should live forever, cruising the streets and catching the eyes of everyone it passes. And, with any luck, I'll learn how to fix my car myself, and leave Dad to his cars. Besides, Sandy's getting impatient since her Spitfire is sitting out in the barn, and there's only two more years until she graduates college.

The actual production numbers are subject for debate but the popular number is 1208 produced in late '79 as '80 model year cars. This special run was, however, the first TR to be painted black from the factory after the BL merger (post 1969). The car came standard with AM/FM cass. stereo, a/c, 5spd gearbox, factory alloy wheels (ala TR8), special grey/black striped interior, red reflective body stripes, and of course black paint. This was the only way to get a black car. In 1980 the price was $10,740, only $300.00 less than a TR8.