As an MG owner, I had no intention of buying a Triumph wedge. Besides, my garage was full and my disposable cash account was not. But then this one-owner, 30k TR8 opportunity fell in my lap. The car had been sitting a few years and the paint and top had suffered, as well as hoses and belts.
I was not allowed to test-drive it or even start it. I thought the price was too high, but the owner refused to budge. I knew that only 2500 and change had ever been built, and this was likely to be my only opportunity to buy one. And I knew others were scheduled to come look at it tomorrow. So I took the leap and the owner hauled it home for me.
My intent was to clean it up, get it running, and sell it quickly for a nice profit. It was soon running and once I sorted the maladjusted carbs it ran rather well. I sent my wife to the license bureau and told her just to get the title transferred to our name so I could start trying to sell it. She came back with a license and called our insurance agent to add it to our policies. Not sure why she liked it so much. Perhaps it was the factory air conditioning even though that wasn't yet working.
Well, that was 25 years and 90,000 miles ago. I had a shop strip the old paint and apply new after they straightened a few parking lot scrapes. I installed a new top and we started enjoying the car. It sees some normal use, but is mainly a hobby car. We have driven it to shows a thousand miles away and it cruises easily, even in the high passes of the Rocky Mountains. And it gets great gas mileage doing it.
The V8's wide torque band means you can never have the 5-speed in a wrong gear. Smooth power from 1000 rpm up to red line and beyond. Why the British didn't build and sell these V8 sports cars sooner is beyond me.
Don't tell my wife, but she was right. This is a car we need to keep.