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TR7 Sprint sidestripes

A TR7 16V

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I was trawling through stuff and discovered that a link to pictures I posted on this forum a while back don't work anymore. These are thumbnails of the "TR7 Sprint Homologation" pictures from the BMIHT archives. I checked with Jan Valentino of the BMIHT archives at the time and got clearance to post these photos on the forum then  -  as long as I made clear they are BMIHT copyright, etc. The good versions are available from them and were published in TR Driver Issue 296, p 50-53.

These photos are from 1 Nov. 1977 and detail the inspection (I believe by Neil Eason-Gibson, who was RAC inspector at the time, and did the Chevette HS in 77-8, and led me to believe he remembered this inspection when he was RAC Director of Motorsport in about 1990). That was for the second FIA approval of the 16-valve head for the Group-4 TR7 rally car, which was needed when the FIA removed the so called "100-off" rule from Appendix J 1976 (the set of rules for homologations) and, effective from the end of 1977, banned modifications that had been approved under the rules in previous (1975) Appendix J. That included the first approval  of the head. That second homologation was then granted on 1 Feb 1978, in time for the Group-4 16-valve TR7 to be used in the Mintex rally that year. The approval is in the FIA book of recognition for the TR7 #3071, amendment 10/8v, and the use of the TR7 in 1978 is documented by Graham Robson and others.

The 100-off rule of 1975 allowed approvals of multivalve heads (and optional gearboxes with overdrives, etc.) on production of 100 kits of parts, but no modified cars. Without it, the approval of 1 Feb 1978 needed identical cars with the modification. There's plenty of evidence the number for a variant as described in amendment 10/8v was 50 cars. There was also a need for probably 4 cars for National Type Approval, also required by the FIA from 1978, and 4 cars were built specifically for car shows. I suspect the other 3 went to "Special Customers".

Anyway, these show the sidestripes fitted to at least some of the TR7 Sprints of 1977 when they were built:

This is of SJW 530S just before it was registered and transferred from Sales and Marketing at Longbridge to Power Train and Foundry Division, identified to DVLA as the "Selling Dealer". The joke is that these pictures make SJW 530S the "holotype" of the species. I do realize that it took Power Train the thick end of a year to sell most of the SJW cars to the BL management lease-hire scheme. James Johnson has that some of the LHD TR7 Sprints were exported one or two days after these pictures are dated and the presumably associated homologation inspection by Neil Eason-Gibson happened.

The other interesting thing is a source for the other well known Sprint decals.It's also well known that there was a problem in rallying the TR8 under the name TR8 for before the TR8 was launched - that may have been even more complicated because the FHC TR8 was never launched and, given that the number made almost exactly matches the number needed to homologate the TR7V8 as it came to be known, it may never have been intended that a FHC of the TR8 would ever be launched, only the DHC. Anyway, this picture taken off the FIA book of recognition for the Grpoup-4 TR8 #651 shows one possible option as a set of decals - TR7 Sprint V8.

This scan off the FIA form isn't a very good image, but I think it's just clear enough. There's a better version of it available from Motorgraphs, which I believe is the sales arm of the BMM picture archives.

There's also the picture of the very small decal on the front of a TR8 (that I seem to remember traces to Power Train) in David Hardcastle's book on the Rover V8 engine. It's not visible in the homologation pics of the TR8, but I assume it's there.


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Apologies. I miss remembered the TR8's FIA book of recog. number. It's #654 not #651. You can also read the decal set on the pictured car as "Sprint TR7 V8", which may have been the intent.

I note also that I didn't quite say the pic in David Hardcastle's Rover V8 book is of a the small sprint decal on the front of a TR8, presumably one of the Speke built FHC TR8 homologation specials like that on the homologation papers. That does appear more like "TR7 Sprint" as I remember.

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