Steve Jackson 1979 TR7

My car is on temporary display in a museum-this is the story that is alongside it.
FMN 2D rolled off the production line at Canley on 31 August 1979 and was first registered in May 1980 as HRA790V. I purchased the car from Country Classics (Wiltshire) in 2010 as a standard car, except for a high-torque starter, oil cooler and stainless steel exhaust. The extensive history file revealed that the early wheel trims and Speke decals were purchased by a previous owner in 2006. The first major job was to rebuild the original automatic gear box, expertly done by HGS Transmissions of Ballasalla. Disaster struck in 2011 when a dropped valve caused irreparable damage causing the engine to seize; an interim unit was also soon lying in bits on the garage floor at Q &S Motors, but fortunately Pete Abraham came to the rescue with a power-plant he had built for an abandoned project, the specification of which is described in his own words;
The engine has been totally rebuilt, including a re-bore, new pistons (+020”) with painted skirts, new little end bushes have been honed to size, block re-faced, crank polished, new main and big end AE bearings have been fitted. The head has been refaced,, with new stainless inlet and exhaust valves, seats re-cut, gas flowed and is fitted with a “PAYEN” head gasket. The cylinder block/head have had all core plugs and oil way bungs removed and replaced to aid cleaning and the block has been finished in a fresh coat of black engine enamel. The water pump has a new kit fitted and new timing chain, guides and tensioner are fitted. All bolts, head studs etc. have been re-plated or replaced. The engine has had a full balance, crank, rods, pistons, front pulley, flywheel,(lightened) The rods are balanced for weight and end to end, the pistons/rods are within 1 gram of each other.

At this point, I decided to have the car restored properly to do the engine justice. The rear axle was re-furbished and coach painted with a re-conditioned diff, brake lines and callipers were removed and replaced, petrol tank was cleaned, painted and fitted with new straps, uprated springs and adjustable rear shocks were fitted, along with new trailing arms and all bushes were replaced with polyurethane. The rolling shell was then sent to the body-shop, where the engine bay was stripped and resprayed. Other work included replacing the driver’s floor pan, repairs to wheel arches and the rear panel behind the window.

When the shell was returned to receive its new engine, a four branch manifold was fitted, carburettors up jetted, the viscous coupling was replaced by a Kenlowe electric fan and electronic ignition replaced the old distributor and points. Lastly some chrome parts were added to improve the appearance of the engine bay. The engine has now covered around 3,000 miles, and is probably the quickest 2.0 litre automatic that survives. The latest improvements include a temperature bypass valve for the oil cooler, and the replacement of the clock for a Smiths oil pressure gauge. Living on the Isle of Man without a garage means that the bodywork will never be perfect, but a good cover and regular trips to the body shop have kept the car looking close to its best.
Engine supplied by Pete Abraham: Mechanical restoration by Maurice Snell, Q &S Motors
Bodywork by Azzy Paints: Chrome work by Ashford Chroming
Thanks to Robsport for continuous next-day supply of parts