TR7 Spider
[Factory TR7 Spider]
(What the Spider may look like, some day!)

[Current status of the Spider project]My 1980 Triumph TR7 Spider, purchased in November, 1996 for a mere $500, is currently undergoing complete stripping to sheetmetal. It was actually quite a find, since it had been resprayed red, and then "brick" colored primer. So far, little bondo has been found (and by the license plate, no less!) Also, due to a faulty window regulator , the floor below the passenger seat has oxidized into non-existence. Eventually I intend full body restoration to Spider colors but with different seats and racing harnesses.

The body is about a third stripped and primed. I expect to get it to the paint shop around summer of '98. I have wondered if the red reflective striping can be applied, and then clear coat sprayed over it. Haven't asked my paint shop if that is a workable plan, but it would really protect the striping, and might eliminate the wax bits all around the stickers.

Suspension: [suspension parts painted, showing poly bushes]
The front and rear suspension is a work in progress simultaneously with the body. All suspension bushes have been replaced with the poly units from TS Imported Automotive (Ted Schumacher). The suspension arms have been wire brushed down to bare metal, and resprayed with "Appliance Epoxy" (the only epoxy paint I could find in black, locally). {The picture to the right shows my right side suspension parts wire-brushed, painted & bushed, with additional bushes pictured. If you look closely, you will see that the bushes are in 3 pieces, greatly aiding installation}
The next suspension parts will be SPAX adjustable shocks and uprated springs from TRF or Rimmer Brothers, and stiffer sway bars from TS Imported Automotive. If I can locate a red epoxy paint, I'll spray the sway bars with that.

I currently intend set it up with 4-pot calipers in the front and disc brakes in the rear. S&S Preparations has a disc brake kit available now. As a less expensive alternative, I may just uprate the front brakes and get a TS Imported Automotive adjustable brake proportioning valve.

The latest plan is to temporarily use the 2.0L four cylinder from my 30th Anniversarty Edition TR7, while I come up with the cash required to have Woody Cooper build me a good 3.9L V8. My TR8 headers will be Jet-Hot coated and user with this engine. Intake should be a Holley 390. Maybe I can fit a nitrous plate between it and the intake manifold. A Quaife limited-slip differential, with 3.45:1 or 3.08:1 gears will fill out the tail end. I like the look of the Compomotive 'AT' alloy wheels that Rimmer Brothers have, and will likely fit them in order to clear the brakes.

Safety: I intend to fit a roll bar from TS Imported Automotive (Ted Schumacher) and his chassis stiffening kit as well. The Spider will also get the uprated brakes noted above, and 4 or 5-point racing harnesses.

Interior: I plan to use seats from a 92-95 Honda Civic. The look is there, they're really comfortable, closely color matched, and should fit. Door panels may or may not be changed. A decent stereo will be fitted, just in case I get tired of the sweet sound of my V8. Otherwise, the interior should be pretty stock. I may add an oil pressure gauge where the clock is fitted.

Other bits: .
For weight and cost savings, I'm sticking with manual steering. However, there is a product developed at TS Imported Automotive that greatly aids in ease of steering: needle bearing inerts for the front struts.
A couple of NOS cannisters should fit nicely off the lower gas tank brackets, or off the rear "frame" members. Since I currently plan on using a Holley 390 carbueretor, (4-barrel), a NOS spacer plate should be a straightforward install.
Taking a cue from the new Jeeps, I intend to fit an overhead light and rear speakers mounted directly on my rollbar. I am also considering red neon lights on the inside of the rollbar uprights, mounted within recesses in the rollbar padding instead of the dome light.
Mohair tonneau cover, and canvas convertible top should be fitted towards the very end.
I am also considering fitting custom headlights. The three configurations, pictured, are: stock lighting system (really ugly when up), lights clipped from Roadster Hayashi: a Japanese Miata written up in Sport Compact Car in June or July 1997, and Porsche 928 lights.There is also another alternative: MOSS motors has a trick setup for Miatas as well...
The Porsche lights will likely be expensive, and I'm not aware of a source for the Miata setup. It's likely not DOT-legal, anyway....

(I'm still trying to fing a good 928 picture to paste the lights in from...)

[Stock front clip] [with custom Japanese Miata lights] [Porsche 928 headlights]

Send me e-mail with your thoughts on the project. []