I’ve been visiting car graveyards since I bought my first hooptie for 50 bucks in the early 1980s, and one thing about American junkyards has remained constant during the following four decades: the presence of 1970s British and Italian sports cars. Maybe they were a bit less weathered in 1987 or 1994 or 2006, but a steady trickle of discarded MGBs, 124 Sport Spiders, X1/9s, Jensen-Healeys, Spitfires, Midgets, and TR7s into U-Wrench yards has flowed at about the same rate throughout. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to discover this allegedly rare 1976 Triumph TR7 Victory Edition in a Denver-area yard last month.
The Victory Edition celebrated the TR7‘s domination of its SCCA division, and it included these stripes and emblems. Note the melted Lucas marker-light lens, which fared poorly in the Colorado sun (in defense of the Prince of Darkness, Speke is a lot gloomier).
The Victory Edition got a vinyl roof as well. Again, the Denver climate is rougher on car exteriors than the Speke climate.
The “competition-type spoker wheels” of the Victory Edition looked racy. Unfortunately, they were recalled for spoke failure; can’t use the Speke Defense on that one.
The interior is about as rough as you might expect. This 8-track sleeve suggests that the car got parked forever while Snif ‘n’ the Tears were still in the charts.
The dusty odometer shows just over 50,000 miles, which I believe to be accurate.
If you know how to turn a wrench and diagnose a haunted circuit, however, these cars can be great fun. This version of the Slant-Four engine (a close cousin of which went into most Saabs of the late 1960s through early 1990s) made 90 horsepower, not bad for a 2,400-pound car in 1976.
I’m pretty sure this sticker refers to one of the many now-defunct car dealerships on South Broadway in Englewood, just beyond the city limits of Denver and out of the reach of Denver County’s tax collectors.
I happened to bring along a 1910 Kodak modified with a pinhole lens and loaded with infrared film (as one does) that day at the junkyard, and it attempted to capture this British Leyland machine’s soul departing its body and beginning its journey back to Speke.
It holds the road like it has hands, and it goes like a bullet!
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