Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Car Pr0n #75

Wow. 1975 was a most craptacular year for new car models. AMC Pacer, Chevy Monza, Ford Grenada, Chrysler Cordoba; the mid-1970s were a particularly bad time for cars. Fresh off an oil crisis (with another looming) and facing draconian environmental regulations, the companies that only a few years prior had brought us the Chevelle, Boss Mustang, and Charger were now attempting, poorly, to bring us "compact" cars.


Fortunately, British manufacturers had been making more with less for many years. 1975 saw the introduction of the Triumph TR-7, replacing the more traditionally-styled TR6. The TR7 weighed the same as the TR6, yet was powered by an inline 4-cylinder engine rather than the 6-cylinder from the TR6. This would be addressed by the 3.5L V8 dropped into the TR8, which was styled very similarly to the TR7.

At a time when American cars were bogged down by emissions control and using much smaller engines than only a few years prior (consider the Chevy Monza's 2.3L I4 with 78 HP with the 454 V8 in the '70 Chevelle...), offering a small, light, nimble British sports car with a significant racing heritage made a lot of sense. There wasn't much on this side of the pond to give the TR7 much of a race, and for exotic, "wow" factor the "wedge" shape was certainly different.

And that convertible version? Oh my...

That is all.

7 comments:

libertyman said...

Sorry old chap, the TR7 was an awful car. It was the beginning of the end of the British sports car.

I am not sure what car from the 70s I would even want from any country. The 1970s , as you suggest, was a low point for automotive design.

Dave H said...

I almost bought a Pacer for my first car. All the glass on it reminded me of the Chariot from "Lost in Space."

TR7s were rare birds in my neck of Appalachia. An exotic car there was anything more than 3 years old with no rust.

Ted said...

My school teacher neighbor was the proud owner of a TR-7. Yes Looked great when it was new. But it was hopelessly underpowered , Cursed with Lucas Electrics, and built on a assembly line whoose labor union was determined to sabatouge the quality and volume of cars produced by Bl until they either got the wages they demanded or British Layland was forced into bankruptcy.

The Union won. All the current British Layland assembly line workers now make a living wage and the TR - 12 is a great sales success

RollsCanardly said...

I always wanted to collect the "doorstop" cars - First Gen MR2, Pontiac Fiero, Fiat X19, TR-7, etc. I did end up with a supercharged '89 MR2, which I'm still driving today.

Roy said...

The mid seventies was when the Japanese brands first started getting popular. Toyota, Datsun (Nissan today), and Honda, all became market leaders during this time. And it was all because, as you said, a gas crisis coupled with all the crap coming from Detroit, caused a lot of people to look elsewhere for the mileage and quality they wanted.

Roy said...

The first foreign-made car I ever owned was a 1975 Toyota Corolla. I loved that car. It was small, but it had a decent power plant for it's size, and a 5 speed manual transmission. It was also as reliable as a machine can get. I think I had it for about 6 years before I ever had to take it to a repair shop.

But, boy did I catch hell from all of the union people I knew.

"You're taking away our JOBS!!"

ASM826 said...

Libertyman,

The Mazda RX-2. Didn't look like a lot, but that rotary engine in a small sedan...

I also the Datsun 240z would have been fun but I never owned one.