The view ahead, into what had now become a full-blooded 100-m.p.h. power slide, was through the unfamiliar screen, and over acres of dashboard space, belonging to the first factory TR7, which is designed to rally in Group 4.
A pair of such Triumphs, crewed by Tony Pond/Dave Richard, and Brian Culcheth/ Johnstone Syer, are scheduled to make their debut on May 6th, contesting the International Welsh Rally. “Our” driver was Pond.
The TR7 programme will be the final weapon, alongside the Broadspeed racing Jaguars and Dolomite Sprints, in a massive 1976 Leyland sporting programme.
The TR7’s strength is in its quite phenomenal agility. The works drivers demonstrated how the car can consistently be hurled from lock stop to lock stop via the competition rack and pinion, the car flatly unflustered.
Mechanically the Triumph has a brand new Leyland five-speed gearbox, destined for fitment to the forthcoming Rover-Triumph replacement, amongst others, and the 16-valve Dolomite Sprint 2-litre engine. The suspension is surprisingly little modified around production MacPherson strut front, and separate coil-spring damper live back axle.
Bilstein gas-filled shock-absorbers are installed ; the front suspension has half a degree of negative camber incorporated; alternative coil springs give considerable ride height variation, and the rear axle has Dolomite Group 2-type top links for extra location.
By the time they appear in public, the TR7s should also have 220 b.h.p. to complement an all-up weight of “less than a ton”, and disc braking all round. We wish Leyland the best of luck with their patriotic programme, congratulating Leyland ST Manager Bill Price for his initiative since the rallying go-ahead last October.—J.W.