Rick Ray 1980 TR8

In 1970, I purchased a 1959 Triumph TR3A as a 16-year-old high school student. Ever since, I have been a Triumph fan. I was the only kid in a small WV town to own a car from England. I kept this car, my junior year in college and then sold it for a Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396. I kept this American-made car for a couple of years before getting married and selling it and purchasing a Volkswagen Beetle.

In the early ‘80s, I went on a hunt for another TR3A. In 1982, I purchased a 1958 Triumph TR3A which I still own today. My family has enjoyed many rides in the little car over the years.

In 2011, I started to look for a Triumph TR8 to purchase. I was always interested in the more powerful engine of the TR8. I found a car months later for sale in Florida. However, I backed away from buying the car because of being able to retire from my career. I wanted the financial dust to settle before obtaining another Triumph. I retired, but still had that inner need to find a nice TR8.

Several months later, I found the TR8 again for sale in Rhode Island and, after some negotiation, I decided to buy the car. I have owned the car for less than two years now and have done several upgrades. We have added some circa NOS Lucas 20/20 fog lights. Also, we have replaced back up switch, temperature sensor, hazard and headlight switches. I found a NOS clock and installed it (and WOW, it works). This past spring we added some new Bridgestone 205/45/R16 Potenza Sport tires and a new radio that actually fits very well.

The screaming yellow car was a body-off restoration done in Florida. The engine was built by Woody Cooper of the Wedge Shop in Taunton, MA. The engine is a 4 litre Rover (with upgrades) that produces over 260 horsepower. No wonder the Brits called the TR8  "the British Corvette."

My wife and I have enjoyed putting the little yellow car in several car shows the past couple of years. The highlight for both of us was attending the VTR this past year in Dobson, NC. At this meeting, we had the honor to meet the designer of this car, Harris Mann, from England. We also had the opportunity to meet Woody Cooper, the builder of the engine and distributor of many of the upgraded parts that the car possesses. This was the second national Triumph event that we had ever attended. The highlight of both national events was meeting several new Triumph friends who enjoy the same little cars as much as we do.  We hope to continue to improve and keep both little cars on the road so many people will continue to smile at them.